Today I have a guest post written by Francesca who blogs at From Pennies to Pounds. Francesca writes her blog as a guide for improving your finance and your life through saving money and making more money – something I love. You can find her on Twitter @FromPenniesTo. Over to Francesca…
Most of us think of our job as earning us money, but did you know that your job may be costing you much more than you realise? Sometimes there are expenses that we may not necessarily think about, but which add up to a substantial amount.
We generally think of our wage as being a certain amount per year such as £15,000 or £1,000 a month, but after tax and national insurance, there are other ways that you are not being paid what you think you are.
It's important to look at all of your expenses, to check that you are keeping as much of the money you are being paid as possible.
When looking for a new job, it is also worth weighing up the additional costs that could be involved, especially if there will be more travel to and from your place of work,
Here are some ways that your job may be costing you money:
How far is your place of work from where you live? The average time in the UK is 49 minutes each way, with East Anglia having a very high commuting time of 2 hours and 25 minutes on average. The costs of commuting could include:
- Train tickets
- Bus fares
- Car insurance, tax and repairs.
The average UK employee spends £146 a month commuting, totalling £135,871 over a lifetime. Isn't that crazy? Imagine that instead of spending that much money on commuting, you put it into a savings account or invested it. The money that you would have would I'm sure, be worth working walking distance from your home.
Eating out at lunch
When you are in a rush and working long hours, it can be hard to prepare your lunch each day, and with your co-workers asking you if you want to go out for lunch, it can be easy to fall into the habit of eating out with your colleagues every day. If you work full time, this is a lot of money that you could be spending!
The average amount of money that people who travel to work spend on food works out at about £10.59 per day when all of the snacks and drinks are counted up too.
With an office job, this means a whole new wardrobe; suits, dresses, shoes, tops etc that are work appropriate. In certain jobs, it is expected that you will dress in a certain way to carry out your role, and also to keep up your personal appearance in the form of looking after your hair and makeup.
More and more parents are finding it hard to return back to work after having children, because of the costs of childcare. Unless the childcare is based within your work space, you are probably paying for more hours than the ones that you work, due to commuting times, so instead of paying for your child to be looked after for the 9-5 hours, it is more likely to be something like 8am – 6pm.
In the UK, the average cost of sending a child under the age of 2 to nursery full time (50 hours per week) is £890. It is much higher in different areas, with London being higher than that. Baring in mind that this is just the cost for one child – there are many families who have 2 or more children in childcare full time. It becomes even more difficult during the school holidays, because the costs will have to be covered for school children too. Various forms of childcare include:
Unfortunately there are many companies who expect their workers to carry out unpaid overtime – and there are many who comply. There are lots of people working and not being paid for it, but who feel as though they have to in order to complete all of their work and keep their job.
A recent study suggests that there are millions of people in the UK doing hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime – which works out at about £33.6 billion last year – with teachers and managers doing the most overtime generally.
Did you buy a house near to where you work? I see this time and time again with those who live in London who insist they could not get work if they did not live in London. The consequences of this are that people are buying or renting housing at incredibly high prices. Upon getting a new job, many people buy a house closer to their new work – which could mean buying in a more expensive area, or being stuck there if you lose or change your job.
Some ways that money could be saved instead of doing all of the above are:
- Work from home. There are more jobs that are available from home than a lot of people realise – including their own current job – speak to your employer and see if they will allow you to work from home on a permanent basis. You could start up your own business from home that will allow you to choose your own hours – such as Emma does with her blog and various other side hustles.
- Choose a job that is close to where you live. Imagine how much more money you would have if you spent nothing on commuting? If your job is within walking distance from your home, this will not only save you tons of money – but is good exercise, and will also save you time. Who wants to be stuck in traffic for hours anyway?
- Take a packed lunch to work. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks – this will save you a lot of money over your lifetime, and encourages you to eat healthier too.
- Stop buying new work clothes. Rotate the clothes you have currently, and see if you can borrow/have any off family and friends. When I started my new part time office job (very close to my house!) my mum very kindly gave me some of her old work clothes, which still look really nice and saved me from going out and buying anything new.
Is your job costing you money?