Got the Green Light for Permanent Remote Work? 3 Moves to Make

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on March 20, 2021

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A woman smiles during an at-home video conference call for work.

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You may want to make some changes if you'll be working from home for the long haul.

When offices across the country first shifted their employees into remote work at the start of the pandemic, many people assumed they'd be doing their jobs from home for a few weeks, or maybe a few months in a worst-case scenario. Fast forward a year, and a lot of people are still in that same remote work setup. And while many are itching to get back to an actual office, others are enjoying getting to work from home.

If you're one of those people who's thriving in a work-from-home arrangement, you may be able to convince your employer to let you do so permanently. In fact, a lot of companies are rethinking their office space needs in light of the pandemic and are making plans to let workers do their jobs from home, even after the coronavirus outbreak is behind us.

If you are approved to work from home, it could impact not just your schedule, but your finances, too. Here are some money moves you may want to make if it looks like you'll be working remotely for the long haul.

1. Redo your budget

The money you'd normally spend commuting is money you won't need to shell out if you'll be working from home. And you might reap other savings, like spending less on childcare. Take a look at your budget and see how working from home might change it. You may have a solid opportunity to earmark more money for your savings, and that's an opportunity you don't want to miss.

2. Consider relocating

Many people aim to live in close proximity to their employers to keep their commuting time to a minimum. If you're paying a small fortune to live in a big city because that's where your job is, but you no longer have to report to an office, you may want to consider moving somewhere more affordable. Of course, there are considerations outside of your job that you'll need to think about in regard to moving -- uprooting your family, finding a good school district for your kids, and so forth. But if you live someplace where housing is expensive, you might consider moving to where you get more value for your money, or where you can spend less on housing altogether.

3. See if it pays to sell a car

If you live in the midst of suburbia, you'll probably need a vehicle, even if you don't use it to get to work. But if you live someplace where you can get by without one, unloading a car should save you serious money. AAA reports that it costs $9,282 a year, on average, to own a vehicle, so that's a substantial expense to free yourself of. What's more, even if you live in an area where you need a car, if you'll be working from home long-term, you may be able to downsize from a two-vehicle household to a single shared vehicle.

For some people, the idea of permanently working from home is unappealing. But for others, it could make for a much better work-life balance. If you fall into the latter camp, it's worth petitioning your employer for a permanent remote work arrangement. It could end up saving you money in more ways than one.

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