Can you afford to take that job? Can you afford to keep the one you have? What are your alternatives? Few people look at the cost of going to work, instead looking only at the paycheck at the end of the week.
Evaluating your current or new job should be part of the decision making process when preparing to accept a position. Letting your excitement about a new job interfere with logical thinking can cost you more than you think. Reviewing your employment costs is a crucial first step.
Travel costs can be the single largest cost of employment. The cost goes beyond gas. Travel costs include tires, oil changes, car insurance, tolls and parking. Work outings and business travel often carry incidental costs incurred while traveling that may not be covered under your employer’s reimbursement policy.
Saving On Travel
Utilizing grocery store points for gas discounts can save 20-40 cents per gallon or more per week depending on the grocery store. Changing your own oil or shopping for discount tires online will help extend the travel budget. Shopping for best deals on gas can save over $100 a month plus another $100 a year doing your own oil changes. Carpooling can cut vehicle expenses by half, saving as much as $300 a month depending on your vehicle and commute.
Clothing costs are another expenditure most employees forget to calculate. Maintaining an up-to-date wardrobe can diminish your paycheck by as much as 10% depending on your profession.
Saving On Clothing
Build a basic wardrobe that can be updated with one signature piece each season. Shopping at end of season sales for discounts as deep as 70% can save enough to buy one go-to trendy item, keeping your closet up to date.
For women choose the basics, perhaps seven slacks, ten blouses, four skirts and three dresses for a month long work wardrobe without repeating a combination. For men, choose three suits, two sport coats and four pairs of dress slacks, along with seven dress and casual shirts. All this plus seven coordinating ties will deliver a whole month of professional dressing.
Grabbing a bite on the way to work and lunch or a light meal with colleagues at the end of the day can eat into your net paycheck. Additionally, team-building outings can cost you in a variety of ways including gas and food or drink.
Saving On Food
Work outings can ruin your savings. Drink soda during happy hour or limit yourself to one beer. Plan ahead when packing for business travel to avoid last minute airport purchases.
Dining out can add up. Brown bagging it doesn’t have to be a PB&J. Make an extra serving of dinner for a hot lunch the next day. Keep snacks purchased in bulk at the grocery store in your desk drawer to avoid vending machine mania.
You don’t have to limit your savings on just work related expenses. Combining car and home insurance and renegotiating credit card rates along with other money saving options can save you yet another $300 a year. All those little savings add up to over $7,500 a year and that equals a family vacation, a new car, or possibly taking a stay at home job. Savings can be found by combining homeowner’s or renter’s insurance with an auto policy.
What kind of things do you do to help save you money and not let your job waste your wages?