A recent salary comparison by Salaries.com found that people who work from home typically have slightly smaller salaries than office workers. But that’s like comparing apples to oranges. There are many “hidden” financial benefits of working from home that must be considered to make a fair and accurate comparison.
- Travel costs. Depending on the length of your commute, traveling to and from the office five days a week can add up. And don’t forget about car maintenance. Working from home means less driving and less wear and tear on your car. Even if you don’t drive to work, the cost of public transportation or bicycle maintenance or even shoe leather if you walk to work are expenses you don’t have if your work at home.
- Wardrobe. When you work from home you can work in your sweats or even your jammies. You don’t have to maintain a pricey business wardrobe or the dry cleaning bills that go with it.
- Meals. Instead of picking up a $5 Starbucks on the way into the office, you can brew your own coffee when you work at home, saving you a fair amount of money. Eating your lunches at home instead of eating out of picking up a sandwich at the deli can triple your savings.
- Tax breaks. If you work from home, you may be able to claim several tax deductions. Many home workers are eligible for a tax deduction on the portion of their home they use for business, including a prorated portion of your utility, home insurance and maintenance bills. Office equipment and supplies may also be deductible.
- Time. One of the biggest advantages of working from home is that it gives you more time to spend with your family or on other pursuits. The time you would have spent getting ready for work, driving to work and driving home becomes leisure time when you work from home.