About 13 years ago, when the Oprahfication of my life was in full-force, I was introduced to a book called Your Money or Your Life Link to Chapters on-line
It was a real game changer for me.
The essence of the book is we all trade our life energy for money. Sometimes we can keep our energy, get paid less and actually be happier and wealthier. We typically don't realize how much we are getting paid in the end once we deduct the true cost of working. Young families in Canada realize this very fact once you have to pay after-tax dollars for child-care!
I remember when I took paid paternal leave in 2006 when although my income was reduced, I had way more money since I didn't have all the work expenses.
In the book Your Money or Your Life, pages 67-68, is a helpful worksheet you can use to balance your income with your work-related expenses considering your current job or a potential new job.
Take your salary or potential salary and deduct:
1. Commuting costs
- time spent commuting to and from work that you could be getting paid
- wear and tear for commuting miles costs
- gas and oil or public transit costs
- parking costs
2. Costuming costs
- clothes bought for work
- make-up bought for work
- briefcases et cetera bought for work
- shoes bought for work
- drycleaning for work
3. Meal costs
- convenience meals since you are often too late/busy to cook
- coffee breaks at work
- lunches at work
- entertaining for work
- food rewards for unpleasant jobs
4. Daily decompression opportunity costs
- time till the kids can have fun after you get home from work
- recreational substances (my daily beer) at home you need after work
- time till able to be productive again at home after work
5. Escape entertainment costs
6. Job related illnesses costs
- lost time to flu, colds, stress related illnesses related to your job
7. Other job related costs
- hired help to clean house, mow lawn, shovel snow since you are too busy
- childcare while you are working
- educational programs for your career
- memberships, certifications for your career
How much do you actually make? Could you make more be doing something else? Is your job "costing you too much"? It might just be wiser to work a simpler job closer to home for less money.