How to Save Money While You Work from Home

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“Starving Artists” do not just apply to those sexy bohemian painters or the dark cloud of stunning actors. Pursuing the dream of creative work definitely does not rake in the triple digits…in the beginning at least. I guess my Birkin bag might have to wait for another lifetime. But who is to say that the creative career is bound for desolute and scraps because there is always ways on how to optimise your expenses as you live your passion. It is not about being cheap, it is about making the right choices so that one can live the wonderful creative life.

1. Spend to Save

shoppingImage by Unsplash

Who would have thought you could shop to save money! But this is the essence of investing in yourself. Take the time and money to deck out your office space properly. However, you must first set a BUDGET of how much in total of money and time you will spend on this project. Put a definitely deadline of when everything absolutely has to be done and make sure to be kept accountable by your friends/family/partner. It is a strict guideline to stick to and there is no “extensions”. With that kind of ultimatum, you just try for as close to “perfection” as possible!

To have an office space that is functional and beautifully inspiring makes the ideal working from home scenario. It keeps one happy to be working hard while also ensuring a environment conducive for all creative conjuring.

2. Walk short distances

walking on streetImage by Unsplash

Though Malaysia is at the center of a fire pit ie crazy hot & humid, a little self prescribed walking can do the trick to all the #fatdieme woes. The restaurant or shops several blocks down the road is not worth the endless ramps out of the apartment carpark. Just think of all the extra calories you can wolf down from walking and sweating off for 15 – 30 minutes each day.

3. Water all the way

drink waterImage by Unsplash

Keep those hard earned dollars in your pocket by hydrating with H2O while also cutting down on extra calories and sugar in your diet. There are loads of benefits from keeping well hydrated and the best part is that water is practically FREE. Add some fruit such as lime, lemon or kiwi to enhance the flavour.

4. Cook and shoot

food photographyImage by Digital Trends

Use dinner time as an excuse for another scrumptious blog post. Make the effort to cook at least 70% of your meals at home. Not only is it nutritious and waist friendly, it also ensures that a simple night out is not going to send you broke. Try new recipes and document them for a sensational blog post that is guaranteed to make your readers drool.

As the cost of living slowly and surely rises each year, eating out is now considered a luxury. Unless you are guaranteed that the dining out experience is less than how much it will cost to cook at home, I think it is wise to try and limit these experiences to 1-2 times a month. And hey if friends call for mamak, stick to no. 3 above (water) and pay a small amount to hang out. Blame sugar as the culprit!

5. Slash the gym

Image by Unsplash

Gym memberships take out a fair chunk out of your paycheque. But with all the awesome exercise apps and videos out there, you can get a proper workout in that tiny gym at your apartment complex or just in your living room. If you find yourself getting demotivated without the threat of wasting money for something you have paid for, why not try “paying yourself” to work out by depositing RM20 into a separate bank account after each workout. You are then allowed to it cash out only after you have lost one kg or dress size to spend on anything you like.

Try out any of Beauty Guide’s top picks for the best fitness apps. My personal favourites are the Nike Running App, Sweat with Kayla (not free but effective) and the Whitney Simmons YouTube channel but so so good for time poor peeps like me. Save the weekends for long bike rides or park walks to explore new spots in the city!

6. Hitch a ride

carpoolingImage by Unsplash

Find out where your workmates and friends live then be that “parasitic” friend that forever asks to hitch a ride. Okay I don’t mean be an absolute horrible person, instead offer to pay for parking or a drink later so that it is a win-win situation. Nothing wrong with doing your part in saving the environment!

7. Start the party at home

party at homeImage by Unsplash

Trying to get buzzed at a pub or club can imprison you in credit card debt..especially when like me…it takes at least 10 drinks. Start the drinking / partying at a home or at a friend’s house and have a few quick ones to put you on that nice happy high before heading out. Better yet…leave the credit card at home and rely on a pre-determined amount of cash with you.

8. Go paperless

paperlessImage by White Light

Going green is not for just those carbon emitting giants. Do what you can by always switching off at the plug and going paperless. Who needs paper and ink anymore when everything is 95% online.

9. Entertain creatively

family christmas spreadImage by Me

There are hundreds of amazing events happening in Kuala Lumpur each day but the thought of wading through crowds and traffic jams just seem so unappealing. Why not take entertainment to the next level by organising dinner parties, movie nights or even a group lesson on something interesting. Make the effort to ‘Level Up’ with decorations, themes and of course the right people. My family is the absolute best at this…creating themed dinners with matching food to cheer up the holiday festivities.

10. Goodbye Work Clothes

goodbye work clothesImage by Unsplash

Not having to waste money buying stuffy work clothes anymore is so liberating. Spending money on clothes that you actually like without worrying if it makes you look professional or mature or approachable. On the plus side, you already have a stash of work clothes if ever needed and when used sparingly can last a lifetime. Just don’t tell anyone that truthfully…I am actually working in bed still in my Keroppi pyjamas!

Let us know if you found this article helpful! For more inspiring tips on living the creative life check out this section.

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