Work From Home Expenses: 7 Simple Ways to Cut Cost

Your work from home expenses may be more than you think, so says Patrick Donnelly, VP and senior wealth advisor, The Colony Group. As more people transition to remote work, we keep learning more and more about how working from home really works.

work from home expenses

Presently, we know that telecommuting helps us save money on things like

  • daily commute
  • gas
  • transportation
  • car maintenance
  • office clothes
  • laundry and dry cleaning
  • lunch
  • and many more.

What you may not fully know yet is exactly how much it is costing you to work from home. In this post, we shall address this and highlight seven (7) simple ways to keep your work from home expenses on the low, but first

Read on:

What is Work From Home Expenses?

This is the cost of working from home. It covers everything you spend on hardware, software, and other things in between- to enable you to perform your work effectively.

During the lockdown, companies like Shopify allowed employees to take their office PCs and other work-related gear along to facilitate working from home. Other companies like Apple offered employees $100 incentive towards purchasing work from home gear.

If you’re among the 10% of staff who won’t mind a pay cut to work from home forever, chances are you’ll be bearing the cost of setting up your home office yourself. 

Here’s what to expect.

Some Key Components of Work From Home Expenses

  1. Office Setup 

WFH Office Setup

Source: Pixabay

-Decorations, etc

2. Recurring Expenses 

-Office Stationery
-SaaS Subscriptions (for software)
-Internet or Wi-Fi
-Hardware Repairs/Maintenance

Why You Need to Track Your Work From Home Expenses

Like snacking too much and other bad work from home habits,  huge expenses can also sabotage your remote working experience.

You need to track your work from home expenses so they don’t get out of hand and impede your ability to do your job or fulfill other financial obligations.

This is even more important if you’re newly remote due to COVID-19, a solopreneur, freelance writer, dropshipper, digital marketer, or doing one of several online jobs. In which case, you’ll be bearing all costs.

So, here are

7 Simple Ways to Minimize Your Work From Home Expenses

1. Ask Your Employer for Funds or Refund

This is the default setting if you work for a company and have been asked to go remote due to COVID-19. Your employer should bear the cost of your home office setup and operation.

If you have already spent your personal money to buy gear to set up your home office, do the math and request for a refund in line with company policy if one exists. If you’re still considering going remote, ask your supervisor if there is an option to fund it or a refund policy in place.

2. Use Budgeting Tools (Apps)

How would you know if you’re spending too much on telecommuting if you aren’t keeping track? Instead of leaving a paper trail, you can now download and install budgeting apps from your Android or iOS store.

Wally is one of the best apps that helps you keep track of your expenses. You can use it to see how your work from home expenses stack. This can help you minimize expenses and redistribute or reallocate resources as needed.

Others include:

  • Mint
  • Mvelopes
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB)
  • Trim
  • Count About

3. Go Minimalist/Go Lean

After tracking your work from home expenses for a while, it becomes time to make certain necessary cost-saving adjustments. For instance, if your power bill is over the top, consider cutting costs by limiting your use of air conditioners.

You can buy solar-powered mist fans, wear lighter clothing during summer, work out of your patio, or other more aerated areas. You can also turn off the Wi-Fi or internet connection if not in use for extended periods. You can download instead of streaming, reduce video or picture quality, etc.

4. Use Co-working Spaces

Another smart way to cut work from home expenses is by working out of a co-working space. This is perfect if your job doesn’t require a lot of phone calls. Co-working spaces allow remote workers to work in an office-like environment.

You can pair up with a friend to rent a co-working space, split the cost, and save big. Nearly all co-working spaces provide power, free wi-fi, kitchen space, plus convenience, and everything you need to work remotely. 

5. Share/Rent Your Space

If #4 above is out of the question, you can also decide to rent your own space out to a friend or trusted neighborhood freelancer. This way you have full control of your working environment. 

With the right pricing model, not only can you save costs, but you can also earn an income by sharing your workspace. This can go towards offsetting the cost of running your home office.

6. Outsource

Another cost-effective way to curtail your work from home expenses is by outsourcing some of your non-essential work, especially if you’re self-employed.

Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer dot com, and others are teeming with freelancers who’re ready to help you do your work, often for a small or reasonable fee. This can help you achieve more for less.

7. Earn More Income

Perhaps the best way to cut your work from home expenses is to increase your earning power, without additional spending. This is particularly advisable for freelancers or self-employed solopreneurs.

Here your work from home expenses does not increase, but your monthly income does. This way your expenses do not eat deeper into your pocket. This is my most recommended methods to bring down work-related spending.


Failure to check your work from home expenses may force you to rethink remote work. If you really love the idea of telecommuting and the benefits that come with it, then consider minimizing your monthly running costs with the tips shared above.

Again, you can achieve this by:

  1. Asking your employer for home office setup funds or refunds
  2. Using budgeting tools
  3. Going lean
  4. Using co-working spaces
  5. Renting your office space
  6. Outsourcing non-essential tasks
  7. Increasing your earning power.

Use the comments section below to let us know how you plan to cut down your work from home expenses going forward.

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Article Author Details

Olu Bunmi

Olu Bunmi is a Business and Ecommerce Copywriter and content marketer. When not writing, he’s thinking of writing or making music. He’s been featured in Altitude Branding, StartHubPost, MarketMadHouse, Pulchra, among others.