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5 ways to save money while at work
Published 16 May 2016 by Kyri Levendi
You probably spend more than you think when you’re at work.
The majority of our week is spent at work – so it’s no wonder that we pick up a few unhealthy spending habits while there. Whether it’s a daily coffee fix, eating out at lunch, or hitting the sales during your lunch hour, here’s five simple ways to cut back on what you spend at work.
1. Be a smarter commuter
There are a number of ways to make your daily commute that little bit smarter. If you drive to work, see if there are any colleagues that live near you that you could lift-share with.
They could make a contribution towards your petrol and you could even split the responsibilities of driving, if they’re a driver. Your workplace might offer a car share scheme, so check this out.
Alternatively, you could ditch the car in favour of walking or cycling if you don’t live that far from work. This will save you money and set you up for the day with a morning exercise.
If you have no other option but to get public transport to work, you should look at getting a season ticket to reduce this cost. These could be available for train, underground and bus depending on your area.
Travel by train? Find other ways to save on your train tickets in our blog.
2. Make your lunch
We all know how tempting it can be to buy your lunch at work but it can prove costly. According to Promotional Codes, if you buy a meal deal every day for an average of £4, this adds up to £1,040 a year!
You can easily save yourself this additional cost by taking a packed lunch to work with you. You don’t even necessarily have to make your lunch fresh every day – just make extra dinner the night before and take the leftovers to work with you the next day.
Need some inspiration? Here’s four leftover lunches that would be ideal for work.
3. Occupy yourself in your break
If you work in a city centre or near some shops, it can be all too tempting to shop in your lunch hour. Break this habit by occupying yourself with other activities. You could arrange to eat your lunch with some colleagues, head to the park for a walk, take part in an exercise class or read a book.
Whatever you do try to make this hour a ‘no spend’ zone – you may just be surprised at how productive it can be!
4. Bring your own tea or coffee
If you tend to buy numerous cups of tea or coffee on your way to work, this is likely to cost you more than you think. Research* conducted on our behalf found that if you visit a coffee shop more than 15 times a month, based on the average price of a cappuccino** you could end up spending as much as £515 a year if you keep this habit up.
To cut back, invest in a travel mug and start taking this to work. Your office might have tea and coffee-making facilities but if not, you could pool together with your colleagues to buy a kettle, tea bags and coffee. You could take it in turns to bring the milk in for the week.
5. Never buy bottled water
Your employer is required to provide you with drinking water by law. So there’s really no reason why you should be buying bottled water to take into work. You can pick up a water bottle fairly cheaply and use this time and time again to fill up.
Even though this is only a small daily expense, you’d be surprised at how much money this could free up from your budget.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 19th December and 30th December 2014, of whom 635 were in Scotland.
** Based on £2.45 for a medium cappuccino / latte