WORK-LIFE BALANCE / MAR. 18, 2015
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8 Ways Your Job is Costing You Too Much Money

Job Cost

Are remote workers, telecommuters and work-from-home professionals getting it right? Let’s be honest: it costs a lot of money to work at an office. From transportation to lunches, our full-time job or career opportunity is putting a dent in our paychecks and bank accounts.

It’s quite ironic when you think about it. We go to work to earn money, but that same job is costing us money. In the end, what’s the point? Indeed, it is important have a job because it helps pay the bills, keeps us productive and it keeps the economy afloat. When we work, we’re contributing to our overall economic, financial and societal infrastructure.

Although it’s unlikely that most people are going to hand in their letter of resignation because the job they are working at is costing them a pretty penny, it is rather interesting to calculate just how much a staff member is doling out on a regular Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. routine week just to work. 

Here are eight ways your job is costing you too much money on a day-to-day basis: 

#1 Transportation

Unless you live a few blocks from your office, you’re likely spending money on either public transportation or on a vehicle. The former costs a large sum when you factor in both a monthly transit pass and the amount of time wasted. The latter, meanwhile, is immense: car payments, insurance, maintenance, taxes and the list goes on.

You do both because you have to get to work somehow, and walking or biking in the winter is simply not feasible.

#2 Food & Drink

Sure, you can bring food to work for your snacks and lunch and you can carry a canister of coffee for your day, but a lot of people don’t do this. They spend a vast sum of money on fast-food for lunch while also putting money in the vending machine for a can of soda or a chocolate bar at least a few times per week.

#3 Clothing

We have to look our best when we get to the office - we can’t sport around stained pants, a smelly shirt and torn socks because it’s unprofessional and hurts the corporate image. Therefore, we dry clean our clothing, purchase new shirts and pants and ensure we have a professional attire. 

#4 Wage Stagnation

The Great Recession, corporate restructuring, and tight budgets are preventing you from getting a raise and bigger paycheck. A paucity of wage growth is a problem for most developed countries - from the United States to Great Britain - because the cost of living is soaring and our paychecks are covering our monthly expenditures less and less. 

#5 Time & Family

Unfortunately, we spend more time doing something we dislike, loathe and abhor than playing around with our hobbies and interests. Furthermore, we spend more time with colleagues - some of them pleasant and some of them not so much - than our own friends and family members. Time is a limited resource and is not something we have an abundance of. After reading this article, calculate how much time you spend at the office and then compare that to how much time you spend with your spouse, children or best friends.

#6 Mobility

Due to the ubiquity of smartphones, tablets and phablets as well as constant connectivity, it can seem as if we’re always working. Whether it’s checking email or responding to a client’s inquiry, we’re always on-call, and this is gradually dwindling the gap between our work life and personal life, a much talked about issue in today’s societal discourse. 

#7 Office Parties

The interoffice Christmas party, corporate gala or the summer park celebration comes with several costs, including time we lose and money spent on food and beverages. This mind-numbing and dreaded event is a burden for many people, but it never ends. 

#8 Skills Freeze

When you work at a company for far too long, your skills start to stagnate and your human capital slowly erodes. Working at the same firm, performing the similar job duties and using your acumen for the same tasks can be monotonous but also detrimental to your career path. Instead of learning about biometrics or quantum physics, you’re still stuck honing your craft on Microsoft Word and Facebook.

It’s no secret that we have to work to put food on our tables, even if it costs us a quarter of our annual salary to maintain our present employment position. In order to avoid the growing costs of working at your place of business, try to incorporate a few of these tips into your daily work routine:

  • Bring snacks and lunch to work every day. 
  • Always spend at least an hour a week learning a new skill. 
  • Take good care of your clothing to avoid buying new clothes every month. 
  • Shut off all communications device when you leave the office. 
  • If possible, try to walk or bike as much as you can to get to work on time.

How much do you spend working at your company? Let us know in the comment section.

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