Back in March we were sent home with the hopes of returning back to the office in two weeks. Those two weeks turned into another month at home and yet another month and another month. Just last week they announced we won’t be going back until January. I personally think that is a bit too optimistic. But what do I know.
When we started working from home, I was concerned about increasing our electric bill by extra lights, having a computer plugged in for 8+ hours, and going through more toilet paper than originally planned because I was home all day. The sad part is that my employer flat out refuses to give any type of stipend or increase in pay to cover these costs. Even though they are saving money on electricity and water and supplies in the nearly vacant offices. They are receiving millions from the state and local government while I only received a one time $1,000 stimulus check.
The scales have been certainly tipped against employees during these times. Employees are trying to find space in their homes to work without distractions. Employees are working from kitchen tables or in my case a small folding plastic table. Employees are forced to use their personal computers to work. We are asked about having what we need to do our jobs but we are given nothing. We are being told that we might be able to get a discount on buying office furniture in the future. Then we are told not to expect a raise until sometime next year. Meanwhile grocery prices have increased. Employees are fearful of speaking up because in some areas other jobs just are not available if they were to get fired from their current company.
Sure employees are saving on commuting time, gas, and wear and tear on their vehicles but what gives. How are employees going to get ahead financially during a time like now? Over the past couple of months I have seen a decrease in electricity expenses during this year as well as compared to prior year. Here are some steps we have taken to reduce expenses during these times without living like it’s the stone age.
- Open up shades/curtains to use natural light to work rather than turning on lights.
- Unplug everything you are not using such as lights, fans, air conditioners, etc the second you are done with it. Please do not unplug your refrigerator! That is just a terrible idea. Why pay money to keep that little “I’m plugged in” light going?
- Cool your home over night. Open up those windows and let the cool air in overnight. This will reduce the amount of time you need to use your air conditioner the next day.
- Use a window fan to blow in cool air as soon as you wake up. Again this will reduce the amount of time you need to use the air conditioner.
- Close shades/curtains around your house at different times to block out the sun. When the sun is shining through those windows it is heating up your house.
- Charge your cell phone through your computer while you work. Avoid charging your phone separately via a wall plug.
- Charge you cell phone while you are driving. Consider adding the habit of charging your phone each time you get into your car. Mr. BMM has not charged his phone at home in years because he charges it each time he gets into a vehicle.
- Stop driving all around town to grocery shop. Sure you might save $2 here and $3 there but you spent an extra 30 minutes driving between both stores plus the gas to travel. Gas prices are fairly low. Consider grocery shopping at 1 single store each week.
- Ride your bicycle to run errands. Maybe you need to drive to a central location first but from that central location you can ride your bicycle for your errands. This saves money and is a free workout.
- If your garage is connected to your home, park your car outside when you get home until the engine cools off. Engines are a couple hundred degrees and this heat has to go somewhere. Why have that heat enter your home just to pay to cool it off?
- Cook food all at once. Unless you are using a crockpot or instapot, only turn on that oven once a week and get your cooking done all at once.
- Find an outdoor hobby at night. Go for a walk, a bike ride, or something rather than sitting on the couch watching TV and running the air conditioner. You will sleep better and spend less money.