Your work-from-home setup could be on its last legs. According to a recent report from Resume Building, a whopping 90 percent of companies plan to return to the office by 2024.
While a full five-day workweek may not be in your future, a hybrid setup is likely on the books within the next year. You may have to work as many as four days in the office, with just one day at home.
That switch promises a big change to your schedule, not to mention your budget. The good news is that you may have another year to prepare before you’re expected back at your cubicle. Take advantage of that time by prepping your budget.
What to Include in Your Back-to-the-Office Budget
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If you don’t already have a budget, make one. Once you have a bare-bones budget that reflects today’s spending, it’s time to add your future work expenses.
Below, you can find a quick breakdown of the most common expenses:
- Transportation: Here’s where you need to know the cost of a monthly transit pass or the price of gas, parking, and tolls if you drive.
- Food: You can have the best intentions to eat a brown bag lunch every day, but there will come a time when you forget to pack one, or your office bestie suggests going out for lunch. The average person spends $150 to $300 on food every month, so consider setting aside some of this for these takeout lunches and snacks.
- Clothing: If you gained the quarantine 15 or started a new job with a strict dress code, you might have to refresh your wardrobe to look professional at your desk.
Don’t Forget to Include Emergency Savings
A basic budget should include a short-term savings account that helps you cover unexpected expenses that go above and beyond your normal spending. If you don’t include these savings, sit back down with your budget to learn why. Look for non-essential spending you can cut to free up cash.
For drivers, a special commuter’s emergency fund is especially important. According to the AAA’s calculations from 2020, every mile you drive adds roughly $0.09 to your maintenance budget. The not-for-profit organization recommends setting aside at least $50 each month to handle routine upkeep and unexpected repairs.
Some drivers open a line of credit to supplement their savings in case a single repair costs more than they save. You can see about adding a line of credit loans online to your financial safety net for expensive emergencies. You can dip into this line of credit if you need to replace your entire transmission — a repair that costs as much as $5,000.
Having this account means you can get your vehicle fixed before it interferes with your commute, even if you don’t have $5,000 in savings.
How to Juggle it All
Adding new expenses to a budget means you’ll have to examine your spending. This check-in helps you figure out if you can easily accommodate your commute without changing your habits. If not, you will have to give up some non-essential spending.
But remember, Resume Builder’s report shows that in-office work will arrive by the end of 2024. That means you have time to start searching for a new job. While most corporations plan to be back in the office, some make work-from-home permanent. Set your sites on remote jobs and skip the commute.