During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been forced to work from home. But once we’ve moved past the virus, many workers may continue working from home. Nearly one-quarter of Canadian business expect that 10 per cent or more of their workforce will continue to telework or work remotely post-pandemic, according to Statistics Canada. This shift to at-home work can affect people’s lives in many ways – and it may end up providing workers with some long-term financial advantages.
If you’re one of those who will continue working remotely, either full time or at least a few days a week, how might you benefit? Here are a few possibilities:
- Reduced transportation costs
Over time, you can spend a lot of money commuting to and from work. According to Statistics Canada (2016 census data) a total of 1.5 million Canadians spent at least 60 minutes commuting to work at an average cost per week of $273. If you are going to work primarily from home, you should be able to greatly reduce these costs.
- Potentially lower car insurance premiums
Your auto insurance premiums are partially based on how many miles you drive each year. So, if you were to significantly reduce these miles by working from home, you might qualify for lower rates.
- Lower expenditures on lunches
If you typically eat lunch in restaurants or get takeout while at work, you could easily be spending $50 or more per week – even more if you regularly get coffee to go. By these figures, you could end up spending around $3,000 a year. Think how much you could reduce this bill by eating lunch at home during your remote workday.
- Lower clothing costs
Despite the rise in “casual dress” days, plenty of workers still need to maintain appropriate office attire. By working from home, you can “dress down,” reducing your clothing costs and dry-cleaning bills.
As you can see, it may be possible for you to save quite a bit of money by working from home. How can you use your savings to help meet your long-term financial goals, such as achieving a comfortable retirement?
For one thing, you could boost your investments. An Edward Jones financial advisor can help you decide how to best us the additional savings you might have uncovered over the last year. A financial advisor can help you identify and prioritize what’s most important to you, and help you get on track to achieving your goals.
You also might use part of your savings generated by remote work to help build an emergency fund containing a few months’ worth of living expenses. Without this fund, you might be forced to dip into your retirement accounts to pay for something like a major home repair.
Becoming an at-home worker will no doubt require some adjustments on your part – but, in strictly financial terms, it could lead to some positive results.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Nicolle Lalonde.