Penny-Pinching on the Job

Most people work to bring home the bread, but spend their hard-earned cash before they leave the office. Learn to manage your money so you can get more out of your paycheck.

Cut Clothing Costs

If you have a uniform, you’re actually lucky. You spend almost nothing on working clothes. For the rest of us: Buy the best quality clothing you can afford and take good care of it so that it will last. Avoid impulse shopping and be sure any clothing or accessories you purchase can work with your current wardrobe.

Choose Cheap Commuting

If at all possible, use public transportation, carpool, walk, bike, or find alternatives that will save you on commuting costs. Driving alone to work is a cash drain.

Be Frugal with Food

Eating out is an enormous waste of money. To get an idea of just how much buying lunch at work costs, keep a written account of what you spend on each bagel, sandwich, or salad for just one week. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it all adds up. Instead, save your money for a nice dinner or lunch out with a coworker or friend, and start carrying lunch to work. Most workplaces have a refrigerator, coffee maker, and microwave available to employees, so your brown-bag options are pretty broad. Not only will you save money by bringing food from home; you’ll probably eat healthier compared to the fast food you can buy at work. If you feel as if you’re missing out, make a date with a work colleague to eat your sack lunches together at the park or in the office. If you prefer to go solo, bring a great book you’re dying to finish while you eat.

Don’t Waste Change on Coffee

Oh, what we will pay for a cup of Joe. We don’t know whether to laugh or scream when we look at the prices for these so-called gourmet cups of coffee. It’s easy and a lot less expensive to make and tote your own in a thermal mug. It’s even cheaper to buy the instant special coffees and make them at the office.

Maximize Your Paycheck

Many people sign a contract with their employer and leave the details of their paycheck to the accounting or human resources department. Don’t make that big mistake! It’s up to you to be in charge of the money you earn. Only then will you be sure that every penny is working for you.

Inspect Your Insurance

Make sure the coverage offered through the company is cost effective by checking with an insurance agent you know and trust. You’ll want to check if you’re paying too low a deductible or have more insurance coverage than you need. This is especially important for married couples who both work and have insurance.

Automatic Savings

If your employer offers it (and most do), sign up for automatic deposits of your paychecks. Many banks will lower or even drop checking fees entirely if you use direct deposit. This method of payment is faster, safer, and the money is available to you immediately.