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When working actually costs you money!

Finding a good job may seem like the end of any financial worries, but sometimes, going to work can leave you worse off than staying at home.There are a number of ways that being in employment can eat away at your pay, and not all of them are as obvious as you might think.
Getting a well paid job is a great achievement but for most people, it won't be on their doorstep. Traveling to get to work lengthens the working day but also costs extra cash. Whether you drive, carpool or take public transportation, expenses can add up, especially with the rising cost of gas. In the long run, finding a lower paid job closer to home may leave you with more money at the end of the month. Working from home is the most cost effective option of all and if you have the right environment – and enough self-discipline – asking your boss if you can work at home one or more days a week may be received well. You could find that without the hustle and bustle of other workers around you, your productivity actually increases.
Another indirect cost is the need to maintain a working wardrobe. Individuals who work at a place with a uniform are less affected by this, but may still need to shell out for a decent pair of shoes. Unfortunately, it is hard to get round this expense unless, of course, you work in your PJs or yoga pants at home. You can reduce costs by wearing layers; your work clothes will be suitable for all seasons as you can simply add or remove extra clothing as the weather dictates.
Food is another problem area and yes, it's far easier to buy lunch than to make it. But even $8 a day – which will barely cover the cost of a sandwich and a coffee – soon adds up.
Additionally, when you have been at work all day, the last thing you may feel like doing is standing and cooking a meal. This can lead to either more take-outs or reliance on convenience foods – both far more expensive than home cooking, but admittedly much quicker. Taking lunch to work can seem dull, but buying your favourite foods from the supermarket can help brighten up the prospect of a packed lunch. If you have access to a microwave you can bring your own meals to warm up, a lunch to look forward to on cold winter days. Cooking large batches of food and then freezing them in portions is a great idea, as it means you simply need to defrost and warm them up at the end of a long day. Alternatively, using a slow cooker on timer can mean a healthy, delicious meal is ready and waiting for you when you get in from work.
Ultimately, no matter the savings, you may find you shell out more when you work than when you stay at home – especially for families who need to pay for childcare. If this is the case, it may be worth exploring how else you can save money, such as finding a better deal on your mortgage or finding alternative ways to make up for some shortfalls.


Anonymous said...

You bring up some good points, all things that should be considered when calculating the bottom line. That said, here's some additional info:
-shoes worn only for work in service trades (nurse's shoes, mechanics shoes) ARE tax deductable. If they are shoes that are normally ONLY worn for work, not just a pair that you can wear whether working or for casual use. they must be trade specific
-care for uniforms (drycleaning if not employer provided) is also deductable
-childcare at a licensed facility or even an at home nanny who is "on the books" is deductable
If in doubt, check the government tax website or with your accountant. the aforementioned are all deductions that we have taken

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