Do you know how much money you’re earning for the amount of time you work? Of course you know that your salary is “x” amount of dollars and your typical work week might be 35 to 40 hours. However, there’s a real trade-off in time, energy and money that’s directly associated with your job.
Here are six reasons why you’re earning less than you think:
Getting to and from work, whether you drive, walk or take public transportation, costs you time and money. How long is your commute? Calculate how much money you spend on a bus pass, walking shoes, gas, parking, tolls, traffic tickets, and car (and bike) maintenance.
Related: Relocating for work: Pros and cons
Do you need a special wardrobe for work? This not only includes the obvious outfits like nurses’ uniforms, construction workers’ steel-toed boots and chefs’ aprons, but also the tailored suits, ties, shoes and accessories that are the norm in offices.
Consider the time and money spent on shopping and personal grooming. Don’t forget dry cleaning, tailoring and other clothing maintenance expenses.
Extra costs for meals can take many forms – money for morning coffee and doughnuts, daily lunches, drinks after work with your co-workers, and expensive fast foods that you buy when you’re too tired to cook dinner after work.
When you come home from work are you ready to jump into your personal projects and share family time? Sometimes you’re tired and drained from a long day at work and need to relax in front of the TV for a few hours with a drink in hand.
5. Job-Related Illness
How is your job affecting your health? Many job-related illnesses are brought on by stress, physical working conditions or conflict with employers or fellow employees. There is a lot less illness-caused absenteeism in volunteers than in paid employees. Think of the time spent waiting in the doctor’s office and the money spent on drugs and remedies not covered by insurance.
6. Other Expenses
Childcare expenses like day-care, a babysitter or nanny can take a big chunk out of your salary. So can hiring a housekeeper or cleaning service. Then there’s the hours spent reading work related material, upgrading your skills, attending seminars and conferences, and evenings spent at networking events.
The Bottom Line
Calculate the hours you spend on work related activities – what you wouldn’t do if you weren’t working – and add them to your normal work week. Then subtract all your job related expenses from your salary to come up with your real hourly wage.
Decide whether it’s worthwhile for one parent to stay home with the kids, or use the results as criteria for accepting or rejecting a job offer when you can see clearly what it’s worth.