The Financial Pitfalls of Working From Home: A Reality Check for Home Workers

Working from home has its perks, from comfy pyjamas to a flexible schedule. Personally, I am working in my jeans kind of guy, but hey-ho as long as you are productive and hitting your goals who cares what you have on.

However, there's a side to it that's often overlooked—the financial pitfalls. These pitfalls, if not addressed, can quietly erode your savings and financial stability. 

In this article, we'll shed light on the common financial pitfalls of working from home and provide actionable solutions to help you navigate them wisely.

Pitfall 1 - Promotions and Raises

Some companies prioritize in-person presence when it comes to promotions, which can be a disadvantage for remote workers. Over time, this disparity in opportunities can take a toll on your career progression and income potential.

As Home working, remote working and hybrid become more embedded as the new “normal”, some companies will step up and this will not be an issue.

However, my personal gut response tells me that the average company and divisions are going to struggle with promoting and paying pay raises that do not include a strong element of presentism.

Solution to the pitfall: We are happy to move jobs to get the pay rise you deserve.

Consider exploring opportunities with companies that value and promote remote work fairly. Your skills and dedication should determine your career path, not your physical presence in an office.

This first Pitfall is a top-line pitfall affecting your income. Much of the below pitfalls are based on outgoings.

Pitfall 2 - Heating and Lighting Costs

There's no escaping the fact that working from home increases your heating, lighting, and electricity bills. While it's a necessary expense, it's one that won't be reimbursed by your employer.

As with all good things, there is a price to pay and the Electric and Gas company seems to be the one benefiting from all this. There are many ways to reduce your costs from these sources, for instance, installing energy-efficient lightbulbs to keep the heating on all day - but set it to one temperature and never change it.

The Solution - Negotiate a Contribution: Initiate a conversation with your employer about covering a portion of these utility costs. Many companies are open to this arrangement, especially when it's clear that remote work benefits both parties.

Know, this is easier said, than done. As many employers will see this is part of the quid-pro-quo of having people work from home. How you approach this will of course depend on your employer and their culture.

Strategies you could try include:

  • Ask for a contribution over a pay rise

  • Highlight the cost savings they are making not having you at the office.

  • Ask regularly, especially with other home workers.

Pitfall 3 - Snack Snack Snack

Working from home means your kitchen is just a few steps away, tempting you with snacks throughout the day. While you may save on dining out, the cumulative cost of constant snacking can add up.

Personally, I have a craving for a salty snack when I get a bit bored. So this is very hard to try and do and stop.

The Solution - Exercise Willpower: Recognize the temptation and practice self-discipline. Create a designated workspace away from the kitchen to reduce access to snacks. Set snack limits and stick to them.

Sorry, I am clearly taking the Micheal with that last comment. Out of sight, out of mind is really the only way that I can think to stop this.

Pitfall 4 - Stationery

Without realizing it, you might find yourself indulging in a stationery shopping spree. Those colourful pens and cute notepads can quickly become an addiction, leading to unexpected expenses.

As an addict too using a new writing pad (it’s my favourite stationary-based thing to do) and have spent a lot of money over the years. My other stationary-based love is Post-it notes, like these ones.

The Solution - Company-Supplied Stationery: Propose that your company provide regular stationery sets to remote workers. This not only curbs your spending but also ensures you have the necessary supplies for your job.

Pitfall 5 - Free Time, Means Spending Money

Having more free time without a daily commute or office distractions can lead to increased online shopping, streaming subscriptions, and other expenses. For instance, when I started working from home my spending on books increased.

The Solution - Budget and Save: Set a budget for your leisure activities and stick to it. Prioritize saving a portion of the money you're no longer spending on commuting and work-related expenses.

Actionable Takeaways

1. Seek Fair Treatment: If your current employer doesn't value remote workers' contributions, consider exploring opportunities with companies that do.

2. Negotiate Utility Contributions: Initiate a conversation with your employer about sharing the costs of heating and lighting while working from home.

3. Practice Self-Discipline: Control your snack urges by creating a separate workspace and setting limits on indulgences.

4. Company-Supplied Stationery: Propose a stationery supply program at your workplace to save on personal expenses.

5. Budget and Save: Allocate a portion of the money saved from remote work to savings and investments rather than unnecessary expenses.


For more insights on managing your finances while working from home, check out Home Working Henry's article on the underappreciated financial benefits of remote work.


  • Remote work comes with financial pitfalls that can affect your career and savings.
  • Seek companies that value remote work for fair career opportunities.
  • Negotiate with your employer to share utility costs incurred while working from home.
  • Exercise self-discipline to control snacking expenses.
  • Propose a company-supplied stationery program to reduce personal spending.
  • Budget and save a portion of the money saved from remote work for future financial stability.
Please remember that I am not a Financial Adviser, so please take appropriate advice.

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