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What expenses to expect when returning to the office after working from home

From your commute to having lunch with co-workers, every aspect of your day-to-day is now more expensive.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If you’re one of the many people going back into the office after working from home for the last two years, brace yourself for some sticker shock. Your day-to-day routine is going to cost a lot more than it did pre-pandemic.  

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Let’s start with your wardrobe. 

Heading back into the workplace means saying goodbye to your favorite sweat pants and comfy slippers. If you’re in need of new clothing, just know it won’t come cheap. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of men’s apparel overall increased 8.8% from March 2021 to March 2022 and 6.5% for women in that same time period.

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Men’s suits saw the largest increase year over at 14.5% according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women’s dresses experienced the biggest jump in price, increasing 10% from March 2021 to March 2022.  

Getting to and from work is also going to cost you more now than it did pre-pandemic. 

Just in the last year, gas prices in both North and South Carolina have almost doubled. According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in North Carolina is $3.94. That’s $1.27 more a gallon than it was just one year ago. In South Carolina, the average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.85 which is $1.25 more than it was last May 2nd.

The price of having food outside of the home is more expensive than ever. 

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the general cost of food away from home has increased 6.9% from March 2021 to March 2022. It’s even more expensive if you eat at a sit-down restaurant; the costs have jumped 8% from last March. Opting for the vending machine will also cost you more with prices increasing 5.5%.  

Contact Carolyn Bruck at cbruck@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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