Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Cost of Working Calculator

Years ago I was working a job that I truly hated, but felt I had to keep since we needed the extra paycheck.  It was one of those things that I couldn't even enjoy my two days off, as one of those days was spent in dreading the following work day.

Then we did our taxes.  I was in the middle of check registers and paper shuffle when it hit me.  I went through the check registers (pre-debit card and computer era), adding up everything that I had spent for the year that was even remotely associated with my job.  Most of it was eating out because I was too tired and too disorganized to put a meal together.  There were a few checks written for clothing and I figured in the extra gasoline.

So, how'd I fare?  Drum roll please....I was actually clearing $1.35 an hour.  That sucked.  I don't know that it would have felt any better if I had actually loved the job.  I stuck it out for a few more months until I decided that I'd rather sit out on the curb with a 'will work for food' sign.

Here's a nifty little calculator that will help you decide if it's worth working a crappy job, or any job for that matter.  Make sure you subtract what you pay in taxes before you enter your amount in the 'net income' field.  http://www.anycalculator.com/costofworking.htm

This still won't give you the total picture.  There's the wear and tear on your vehicle to consider (oil changes, tires, tune ups).  Sure, you'll still have those expenses whether you work or not, but a set of tires will last you many years if you're only driving 5000 miles each year.  Okay, maybe you aren't in hermit mode like I am.  Last year I drove 1750 miles.  But you see what I'm talking about.

There's also the flip side to consider.  If your employer pays for part of a health insurance plan, you probably get cheaper rates from the group insurance plan.  Buying health insurance on your own is really expensive.  Or you can go without it.  Many people can't afford it.

Would you go nuts staying home?  I thought I would, but I was going nuts working crappy jobs, too.

Things are different today than what they were years ago.  The internet has tons of information available with some mouse clicking.  I could have learned how to save that couple hundred bucks that I was actually clearing each month and not stressed about it. 

Maybe this will help you decide if it's time to quit working for someone else, live a more self sufficient lifestyle, or if it's time to look for a better job.

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