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Staying Home - is it really a way to save?

By Edited Dec 17, 2015 0 1

We pretty much take it as read that by “spending a day at home” we’ll be saving money. Nothing to be spent running the car, or taking public transport, no buying anything, no grabbing the occasional snack from the supermarket – it’s the obvious way to avoid spending. What’s more, as working from home becomes increasingly common, it’s something we are getting more used to doing - spending time at home is no longer something we like to do, it's something we have to do. But how expensive is it just to stay in our own house? Are our employers taking advantage of us by making us spend more on our workspaces than they would have to? Are we fooling ourselves into thinking that spending the day at home we can make a major saving? After all, most day-to-day activities have some cost. Here’s how much some common day-to-day activities cost, starting from when we get up to when we go to sleep. There are a few surprises!

 

Activity

Notes on calculation

Cost £

Cost $

Getting up

 

 

 

Taking a shower

8 minute hot power shower
Washing and conditioning hair

£0.40£0.08

$0.60 $0.12

Wet shaving

Basin of water
Single use razor
Shaving gel

£0.01 £0.14
£0.08

$0.01 $0.22 $0.12

Dry shaving

Electricity

£0.03

$0.05

Using toilet

Includes a single flush
8 sheets of toilet paper

£0.01
£0.02

$0.01 $0.03

Brushing teeth

Includes running tap for 2 minutes

£0.02

$0.03

Drying hair with dryer

Not strictly necessary for spending a day at home, but put in for completeness  - 2 minutes (men), 10 minutes (women)

£0.01 (m)£0.04 (w)

$0.01$0.06

Make up

Not strictly necessary for spending a day at home, but put in for completeness – assumes lipstick, blusher and mascara

£0.19 – £0.50

$0.30 -$0.75

All day costs

 

 

 

Heating the house all day (winter) for 12 hours

Set temperature of 20C or 70F

£5.00 approx

$7.80

Air conditioning house all day (summer) for 12 hours

Assumes a temperature of 20C or 70F and individual room A/C units

£2.40 per room approx

$3.70

Lighting costs, per room (summer)

Lights on early morning / late evening, total 3 hours, 100W total lighting per room

£0.03

$0.05

Lighting costs, per room (winter

Lights on most of the day (total 10 hours) 100W total lighting per room

£0.10

$0.15

Breakfast

 

 

 

Breakfast cereal

Cost of typical cereal, milk and sugar

£0.22

$0.35

Toast

Cost of bread and toaster use

£0.14

$0.22

Piece of fruit

Banana, apple or orange

£0.25

$0.38

Tea / coffee

Includes boiling a kettle

£0.20

$0.35

Daytime activities

 

 

 

Mobile phone use

Ten 4 minute calls using (typical pay as you go service)

£10.00

$16.00

Land line use

Based on ten 4 minute calls using typical package

£4.00

$6.20

Computer use

On all day

£0.20

$0.30

Washing clothes

Assumes 1 load of laundry

£0.10

$0.16

Drying clothes

Assumes 1 load of laundry dried in dryer

£0.22

$0.35

Ironing

For2 hours

£0.20

$0.30

Read book

 Does not matter as to the subject, type or variety - it's free!

£0.00

$0.00

Sleeping / resting

 Again, it doesn't matter where you are, doing nothing is always cost free - and it's good for you.

£0.00

$0.00

Mowing lawn

Electric mower being used for 15 minutes

£0.10

$0.15

Gardening

This doesn't include the cost of plants but just some general maintenance

£0.00

$0.00

Lunch

 

 

 

Ham sandwich

On sliced white /wholemeal bread

£0.60

$0.95

Cheese sandwich

On sliced white /wholemeal bread

£0.50

$0.85

Salad sandwich

On sliced white /wholemeal bread

£0.30

$0.45

Egg sandwich

On sliced white /wholemeal bread

£0.35

$0.52

Bag of crisps / potato chips

From family pack

£0.20

$0.30

Snack

Apple / banana

£0.25

$0.38

Snack

Cereal bar

£0.40

$0.65

Snack

Nice ice cream

£1.00

$1.56

Evening meal

 

 

 

Healthy / diet option

Home cooked chicken breast and salad

£1.50

$2.75

Family option

Home cooked meatloaf / beef stew / meat & 2 veg

£1.80

$3.00

Gourmet option

Home cooked Thai curry / nice steak dinner

£3.00

$5.20

Takeaway option

Curry / Thai / Chinese delivered

£10.00

$15.60

Soft drink

Coke / Lemonade / fizzy water

£0.30

$0.50

2 bottles of beer

Bottled beer

£2.00

$3.10

½ bottle wine

House wine / supermarket wine

£2.50

$3.80

Water

Tap

£0.01

$0.01

Evening activity

 

 

 

TV / video use

Assumes watching for 3 hours

£0.10

$0.16

Read book

 

£0.00

$0.00

Exercise

 

£0.00

$0.00

Bedtime

 

 

 

Relaxing bath

Stay in until the water gets tepid, about 40 minutes

£0.40

$0.60

Brush teeth

 

£0.02

$0.03

Have sex

1 condom
Unprotected

£0.50£0.00(*)

$0.75$0.00

Charge phone overnight

 

£0.08

$0.12

 

(*) Add £100,000 ($200,000) if pregnancy results

From this it is possible to conclude that in order to have a thrifty day at home:

It is better to take a long bath than a shower
Don’t bother to shave or wear makeup
Use clothing to regulate temperature
Eat healthy stuff, don't drink or get takeouts
Read a book, sleep, do some exercise or go on line
Don’t phone people
Don’t get pregnant

None of which is exactly rocket science, but now you can prove it.

(Please note that this is a very general study and individual cases may well vary from the figures listed above. The dollar cost has been calculated by multiplying the British Pound cost by the current exchange rate of 1.56 dollars to the pound - so if you in the US find that your costs are actually less than what people in the UK pay, you can feel suitably joyful.)

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Comments

Aug 18, 2012 6:09am
KevinMarx
Very interesting! The google ad kind of messes up the columnar structure but it's easy to follow/see your points. I do believe there is a mindset that staying at home is (financially) better but as stipulated, it really depends on what you're doing there! Staying home all day could easily end up being more expensive. You had some great points about being able to mitigate those costs if you just watch what your doing and cut out the unnecessary stuffy!


Kevin
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