If you’ve never worked from home or never spent any time at home aside from your yearly vacation, you may be in for a shock. When you stay at home 24/7, certain expenses will increase. These include all your utility bills, your food bills and even your personal hygiene bills.
1. Your Utility Bills
When you leave for work, you probably have your thermostat set lower than you can personally tolerate. This is because you aren’t home and you want to save money. All you have to do is make sure your thermostat is set to a temperature that prevents your pipes from freezing and keeps your pets comfortable. If you want your pets comfortable 65 is a good temperature in the winter. If your only goal is to prevent your pipes from freezing, you may have your thermostat set for as low at 55 degrees in the winter. In the summer, you may have your thermostat set as high as 80 when you aren’t home.
If you don’t want to see a dramatic increase in your electric or gas bills, leave that thermostat alone and put on some more clothes. As it warms up, take off some clothes. Otherwise, you are going to be in for a shock when you get your next utility bill. The other thing to do is open your windows and leave your lights off. The only light I have on during the day is my office light. The rest of them I leave off until it’s so dark in my house that I can no longer see anything. You should consider doing the same. Yes, you will be walking around in the dark to some extent. You’ll get used to it. The goal here is to prevent astronomical utility bills. If you have to put tape over the switches during the say to remind yourself to leave them alone, do it.
2. Your Grocery Bills
I bet you thought you went through a lot of food while you worked. Depending on how many people are in your house, you’re going to experience a dramatic food increase. This is because restaurants and fast food places are closing, and quite honestly, you no longer have to eat out for lunch. Instead of eating seven meals at home a week, you’re now eating 21 meals plus snacks. Your food bill is going to get out of control quickly. Consider bulk items of rice pasta and beans. These make good fillers and can stretch meat supplies. If you’re used to eating a lot of steak, consider pork or cheaper cuts of beef. You can also try to clip coupons and take advantage of weekly sales. However, sale items may be hard to come by for the next few weeks.
3. Personal Hygiene Bills
I bet you used a lot of toilet paper at your workplace and paper towels and other personal hygiene products that were made available in the bathrooms. This greatly reduced what you needed at home. Once you start living at home fulltime, these expenses increase. While there’s not much you can do here to save money, you do need to be aware of it. Plan for 1 roll of toilet paper per female in your home and half a roll per male per day.
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Other Places You Can Cut Expenses
Your Gym Membership – Your gym is closed, cancel it. Whether it’s $10 a month or $45, as your income decreases, you’ll need those few dollars.
Your Car Insurance – If your car is paid off, call your insurance agent and go down to state minimum. You’ll save hundreds of dollars over the next few months. If you are still making payments, talk to your agent about lowing the limits and raising your deductible. (Where are you going to drive?) Once you get back on the road, you can increase your car insurance.
Subscription Services – If you have a ton of these, it ads up. You n\will need every saved dime to pay for your toilet paper and food. Do you really need subscriptions to Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu? Pick your favorites, cut the rest
By taking steps now, you will make your current cash last longer and ensure you can eat. Once you go back to work, you can bring all these things back into your daily life.