Is Your Job Worth The Time & Money It’s Costing You?

multiple people at a meeting arguing while woman thinks if her job is worth it

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated for any purchases you make, at no extra cost to you. Click to read my full disclosure.

How’s it going? Have you ever thought, “Is my job worth it?” I’m sure we all have at some point or another. Here’s the thing. Your job may be costing you more than you might think. Whether you make $10 an hour or $100,000 a year, we may not realize every job has costs.

In this post, I’m going to go over how much money your job is costing you and help you determine if your job is worth it, as well as provide alternatives to consider if you determine that your job is, in fact, not worth it.

I’m going to talk about the following aspects of working:

  • Commuting costs
  • Clothing costs
  • Food costs
  • Mental health costs
  • Costs in your time and energy
  • Costs for childcare if you have kids

After I’ve gone over each, I’ll provide insights as to what you can do if your job is costing you too much. Here goes!

How Much is Your Commute Costing You?

You may not realize this, but the average American spends between $2,000 and $5,000 per year just to commute to work! On top of that, the average American who has a car is spending $9,282 per year on their car.

On top of monetary cost, the average American also spends up to an hour commuting roundtrip to and from work every day. How does that add up in time?

If you were making $15 per hour and worked 8 hours a day, you’d be making, before deductions, $120 per day. If you factor in an average one hour commute time, you’re now working 9 hours a day for that same $120, which lowers your effective pay to $13.33 per hour. Yikes!

Your Job Costs You Clothing Money

Unless you’re issued a uniform at work, your work clothes are costing you money and are therefore making your job cost you money. When figuring out if your job is worth it, you can’t forget about the cost of clothes.

The average American spends $161 per month on clothing, where women spend nearly 76% more than men do. $161 per month times 12 months is $1,932 per year spent on clothing.

While some of these expenses are not related to work clothes, you can definitely see that clothing adds up, and that doesn’t include the cost to maintain your clothing, such as doing laundry, going to a dry-cleaning service, and so on.

The Average Worker Spends up to $3,000 per Year on Lunch at Work

Most people don’t have time to make lunch every day for work and end up eating on the go. Did you know that the average American spends almost $3,000 per year on lunch at work? That’s a lot of money that your job is costing you.

For those who eat on a budget, your meals could still run you just under $2,000 (approximately $5 per day). If you were to make your own food every day, that time spent would be factored into unpaid work time. Either way, you’re losing time or money.

Many Workers Suffer from Mental Health Issues Due to Stress at Work

This could have a financial effect and a psychological effect. Here’s why. If your mental health is affected by your job, you could spend more money on “feel-good” things to lift your spirits. Financially speaking, that could add up to all kinds of cash spent.

Not to mention the actual degrading of your mental health, which could lead to depression, anxiety, and worse. Do you ever feel like collapsing in your bed when you walk in from work? When you’re lying there, are you asking yourself, “Is my job worth this?”

Mental health is so important, and most places of employment don’t give ample time for employees to take off to rejuvenate themselves and feel fresh, causing mental health to suffer.

Time is Priceless

When you go to work, you’re trading your time for money. Wouldn’t it be better if it was the other way around? You can always get more money, but you can never get more time. In today’s world, many people give up so much of their time to make money to get by.

When I quit my software engineering job, I told myself enough was enough. I was tired of trading time for money and began working for myself at 1/3rd of what I was making. But here’s the thing. I gave up all that pay to get all the freedom I wanted. Suddenly, I had all the time I wanted.

Now I’m not saying you should get up and quit your job, but consider how much your job is costing you in time.

Childcare in America Averages Over $10,000 per Household

If you have kids, then childcare is a factor that you can’t overlook. Childcare averages over $10,000 per year for the average American household. That’s a big chunk of change taken out of your annual pay! That’s why many married couples choose to have one parent stay at home with the kids or have another family member, such as a grandparent, take care of them.

How to Reduce How Much Your Job Costs You

If you’re now really asking yourself, “Is my job worth it?” or even saying that, “No, it’s not, but I don’t have a choice,” then hear me on this. There are some avenues you can take, but these avenues take time and effort, which may be a lot to ask if you’re already burnt out from work.

Avenue one is cutting back your living expenses to give yourself more money every month. This doesn’t make your job more worth it, but it gives you more money, which may make you feel like you’re making more.

Avenue two is getting out of your job by first starting one or more side hustles.

Related Post: The Best Side Hustles You Can Do In 2020

When you have side hustles that pay small in the beginning, the idea is that you eventually scale them up to replace your full-time job’s income. This requires discipline and patience because it can take years to pull this off, and there’s no guarantee.

For example, my wife and I started an online business that consists of this blog and Pebblebrook Apparel, a print-on-demand store, to one day replace her full-time income and my previous job’s income. We’re nowhere near that point right now (as of May 2020), but we both understand that the process could take a year or longer, hence discipline and patience – no easy task.

Wrapping It Up

As you might imagine, we may often feel trapped at our job despite the high cost we pay even to have one. Sometimes when you look at it, your job is costing you so much that your net hourly pay is a lot less than what you thought originally. With that in mind, finding a job closer to home, or making your own lunch, or finding a less stressful job might be necessary.

What have you done in the past when you realized your job was costing you more than it was worth?

Working has its share of costs. You spend time and money on commuting costs, childcare costs, lunch at work, and more. Is your job worth the time and money spent having it?
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x