As the economy tries to recover, you need to start thinking about your back to work budget. It might be landing a new job, being called back from furlough, or even being asked to put in more days for work. This is exciting news for anyone who has been trying to make ends meet during this crisis. It hasn’t been easy managing their finances with limited income coming in.
On top of this, EHS Today shares that in a recent survey, 71% of employees reporting back to the office are confident their employers can keep them safe. At this point, this is a crucial component for people reporting back to work. It is not enough that you drive up back to your old office. Your employer needs to make sure that minimum health standards are in place to help protect you from contracting the virus.
Of course, you cannot leave everything up to your employer when your safety is involved. You need to put in an equal amount of effort to make sure that your workplace is safe. This is part of the reason why you need to start looking at your back to work budget. But once you do, this is not the only thing you need to start looking into.
Remember that from the time states gave orders for people to stay-at-home, your finances drastically changed. Now that you are reporting back to the office, it will change again. If you’re not careful and overlook the need to adjust to these changes, you might find it challenging to manage your finances. That being said, here are a few of the budget changes you can expect when reporting back to the office.
Back to work budget should include your transportation cost
If you were working from home for the most part of this crisis, you never had to worry about your gas every week or even parking. Vehicle maintenance was far from your mind and your car was just in the garage for days at a time. You might be driving it around only on occasions you need to go out to buy essential needs for your family.
Now that you are reporting back to work, you need to start budgeting for your transportation expenses. If you drive to and from work every day, you have to think about your gas budget. It will go up now that you are reporting to work. Parking, car maintenance, and even insurance are other expenses you need to revisit as well.
Of course, you can take public transportation but you increase the chance of contracting the virus this way. It’s because you never know if the person next to you is sick or not. One option is to consider using a bike to get to work and back home. If your office is not that far, this could be a great and cost-efficient alternative. Not to mention that you get a fair amount of exercise every day as well.
Your food budget will change
When you start to look at your back to work budget, your food expenses should be a priority on that list. This is because your food budget when you are at home can be a lot different when you report back to work. If you stay at home, you can cook your food every mealtime. This allowed you to prepare your food ahead of time and even buy in bulk over the weekend.
Now that you are going back to the office, this can all change. Since it will be difficult and very time-consuming to cook your meals every time you need to eat, you begin to buy your lunch at work. Then you start to swing by a local shop every for your hot cup of coffee every morning. At night, you could already be too tired and increase the chances of ordering take out for family dinner.
To help you manage your food expenses when going back to work, you can still prepare your meals ahead of time. This can help you curb that impulsive food purchases while in the office. While you’re at it, it would help also if you brew your coffee at home in the morning and bring some to the office. Preparing dinner at home does not have to take forever if you include it in your meal preparations over the weekend. The idea is to prepare beforehand so you do not have to buy food elsewhere.
Clothing allowance should be added to your budget
Your back to work budget should include adding or making changes to your office clothes for a reason. This is because if you have been staying and working from home for the past few months, you did not really find the need to dress up for work. Now that you are reporting back to work, you need to dress appropriately in the office.
It would be a good idea to try and fit your clothes again. You may not need new ones but most of them might need some slight adjustments. Staying at home for extended periods of time could change your body as well. If you did not put in a lot of exercises in the past few months, you might find your clothes a little tight.
Your work clothes also depend on the type of job description you have in the office. If you are always in a meeting with clients, you need to put in a little more effort into your choice of clothes. If you are only in the office working behind the scenes, then that is a different story. But overall, you need to make sure you always presentable in the office. This means putting a little more budget into your work clothing allowance.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a must
A back to work budget would need some allocations for PPEs to health concerns. Your employer might take care of this and provide you everything you need. But it is also a good idea to purchase a few things for yourself. They do not have to be expensive and again, the items you need can also depend on the type of work you do. The White house website lists down some of the things you and your employer can do to limit the spread of the virus.
If you are in the medical field, you would need a lot of layers of PPEs to help you lower the chances of getting sick with the virus. Remember that there are minimum health standards you need to follow. The most basic would probably a mask. You need to wear one to limit and control the spread of the virus from one person to the other
As you look at your back to work budget, you have to include health expenses. Apart from medicine and even consultations, it pays to be proactive when it comes to your health concerns. This simply means that you put in an effort to be a healthy version of yourself every single day. You do not need to start going to the gym and lifting heavy weights or joining several classes just to stay healthy. You can begin your journey at home.
Your health is one of the best investments you can ever make. The best place to start with this is in your kitchen. Make an effort to eat healthy food throughout the day. It will also help to get a decent amount of exercise to help your body get stronger and healthier. You can even take up your favorite sport over the weekend to get some exercise.
You need to sit down and go over you back to work budget when you begin reporting to the office to keep your finances intact. The last thing you need when things are just getting back to normal is being in debt for things you could have avoided in the first place.