Many of us have spent the past 18 months working from home, but for some the days of virtual meetings are soon coming to an end. Companies are beginning to announce their return-to-work plans and while there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach, a lot of those plans include eventually returning to physical office spaces in some capacity.

Image illustrating a wallet, calculator and a budget sheet to help save you money as you return back to work

Love it or hate it, the change in routine brought on by working from home has resulted in some undeniable financial benefits. Habits your bank balance hasn't missed are things like that cup of coffee you'd grab on the go each morning, lunches eaten out with coworkers and maybe most of all, money spent on gas commuting back and forth.

If you're headed back to the office but don't want to give up on the savings you've been enjoying since being at home, here are some tips to help keep the good habits going.

Back-to-office tips to save you money

Plan and prep your meals.

When you're creating your weekly grocery list, plan to include lunch and snack items that are quick to make and travel conveniently (check out our tips for saving money on food costs). Prepping your week's lunches ahead of time (say on a Sunday afternoon) will save you time on weekday mornings and lessen the chance you'll default to buying meals on the run. This includes your coffee - a Keurig can be as convenient as a drive thru!

Set up a slush fund.

Keeping up the good habits doesn't mean avoiding social activities. It means having a plan to pay for them. Work things like the occasional lunch out or after work drinks with friends into your weekly budget so as not to lose track of what you're spending. Even better, set up pre-authorized contributions into a dedicated slush fund account you can spend from.

Carpool for your commute.

If you're comfortable, organize a carpool with a co-worker who lives near you or a neighbour whose office is close to yours and take turns driving. Not only will it be good for the environment, but it will also help cut back on the overall cost of commuting.

Save as you spend.

Again, you don't have put yourself on a complete spending freeze. Instead, make your spending work for you by setting up Top-Up Savings for your Servus Member Card®. This way every time you spend your savings will be getting a boost with your spare change. You'll be surprised at how fast it'll add up, and without any extra effort.

If you've enjoyed a little extra money in your account since working from home, don't let returning to the office become a relapse into old spending habits. Following these tips can help you moderate your spending and allow you to put more of your money towards reaching your financial goals.