We really enjoyed our salary piece last week so we thought we'd continue on the money trail with this article on saving pennies at work! We took a look at some of our daily/weekly/monthly, work-day related expenses and came up with some solutions to combat them and hopefully save some money:
Bring A Packed Lunch – at least £3 per day
This depends if you’re a meal deal person or a deli type, but either way, you’re spending money on lunch. If you cook a spaghetti, cook a bit more and bring it in for the next day's lunch. Perfect! Who doesn’t like a bit of homemade cooking to break up the 9-5? Our Caggsy brings in all sorts of concoctions for his lunch. Sausage variations,mash and gravy tends to be his lunch of choice and the smell literally leaves us dripping with envy. Caggsy eats a lot of sausage throughout the working week, but you can bring in whatever you like. Make a sandwich the night before. You’ll pay less for the loaf of bread to make 5 loads of sandwiches than you will for one hoisin duck wrap. Where’s the justice?
Take advantage of O2 priority moments if you’re on O2 (I wish I was!). You can grab a meal deal from places like Boots and WHSmith for £1 which is just great is it not? Not so good when you go to pick up a prescription on your lunch and there’s 150 people queuing outside the door of the store, but can you blame them? It’s all about SURVIVAL out there now #RickGrimes.
Avoid the pub - £10 per week
Anyone who works in the capital and doesn’t have the responsibility of driving home will know how difficult this can sometimes be! As soon as it gets to around 5pm, there’s usually someone specially commissioned to pipe up ‘fancy a pint tonight’. Of course, it doesn’t mean that everyone says yes EVERYDAY, or that it is even said every day of the week but when it is said it can be nothing less than lethal. Let’s say you go once a week for a drink after work. Whether it be with your colleagues or a friend you’re catching up with. Even if you have one drink, that’s going to cost you at least £4. Let’s be honest here too, you’re probably going to have a couple aren’t you? If you’re in the mood to go in the first place, the chances of you going for just one drink are fairly small! If you’re going for a bottle of wine with a friend, depending on your wine standards, you’re looking at at least a tenner. OUCH.
Take The Stairs Instead of using the local gym membership - £60 per month
Local gyms in Zone 1 are SO expensive. Why pay £60 a month for a basic gym when you’ve got a perfectly good set of stairs to walk up? Walk up and down a couple of times, three times, FIVE times. If you care enough about saving money, you’ll RUN (safety first please). Another good trick is a little squatting in the toilets. This sounds a lot dodgier than it actually is. When you’re in the cubicle and you’ve done your business, go for 50 quick squats! It’s something isn’t it? Why pay £60 a month to squat in the gym with 12 meat-heads gawping at you when you can squat in the privacy of a freshly cleaned (here's be hoping!) toilet cubicle?
Stop Snacking – at least £2 per day depending on one's snacking standards
You don’t need all those biscuits and you definitely don’t need a packet of crisps at 3pm! STOP SNACKING. You’re probably spending £3 at an absolute minimum on snacks during the day. More if you’ve got a mega appetite. You need to understand that you don’t need to do this. If you want to healthy snack, bring in some carrot sticks from home. It’s far better value for money to buy a whole bag of carrots and chop your own portions, than it is to buy a pack at Sainsbury’s. If you care about your waist line and your bank balance, you’ll stop snacking for the cash. If you think about it, save money snacking, have more money to spend on nicer, smaller clothes that aren't just on you to hide your Christmas rolls...
Use The Office Tea/Coffee Supplies - £2.50 saved per day
This is a really easy way to save money. Stop buying coffee shop coffees and hold your horses. Yeah, the Nescafé they’ve got in the office may not be as creamy and sumptuous as the Caffé Latte you order from Starbucks everyday but it will A, be far less calorific and B, well, it’s FREE. The fact that Starbucks gets to you first on a typical working day, is no excuse. You can wait.
Pie Off The Tube - £124 a month
I apologise for anyone who doesn’t live within a feasible walking distance to work, but for the purpose of this exercise, let say you live at least in cycle distance to work! Cut out that tube cost right now…IF YOU CARE. Get on your bike and take a little exercise. This also solves the gym cost too. Two birds. If you’re scared of the roads like I am, why don’t you buy yourself a little push scooter? Yes people do stare, but you’re the one laughing when you’re getting home traffic/crowd free in under 30 minutes, plus it’s actually fun! Walking isn’t completely out the question either. In my opinion, if a walk is an hour, it’s totally doable. Especially in the summer! Sometimes you forget how far you’re walking in London because there’s so much to see. This one wholly depends on the cost of your laziness.
Get Your Meeting Costs Expensed - £18.60 per week
This should really be a standard in all businesses, but it’s up to you to get them expensed. If you forget, more fool you (I hate that saying but it fits!). I’m going to take one meeting a week as an example, because it wildly depends on the nature of your job. Let’s say £3.60 for a return tube and a budget of around £15 for a drink and some doughnuts for your client. You’re potentially missing out on £18.60 per week which is LOADS! This is clearly subjective. You might take your clients to Gaucho once a week, which would cost more, or you may not care for foodie gestures at all in which case, forget the doughnuts and cancel your reservations. I’m going to include the Krispy Kremes.
According to this, you’re potentially racking up £450 per month on unnecessary expenses! Not unlike our living in London article, let’s take a look at what you could buy every month for that saving:
A Spy Master Key Fob
Complete 13 Go Ape tree top courses
Spend one night in the Shangri-la Hotel at The Shard in a Superior Shard Room
Go on a tandem sky dive with enough money left over for a 3 course dinner afterwards
72 Gold plated staples
Don't fret about savings. All these items look dead exciting, especially the Spy Master Key Fob (contains hidden camera...SNEAKY), but they aren't the be all and end all if you're really struggling for cash. Maybe you've been in a role on the same salary for the last few years with no signs of movement. No one wants that. You need to progress and of course, financials fall under that bracket for many people. Why don't you take a look at some of our marketing jobs in London for inspiration?