The Costs of Working

So, it turns out that your job is really costing you more than your health or sanity.

Tim Grant’s recent article added up the “hidden costs” of working, and it gave me pause.

Here’s the idea: a typical workday is loaded with fixed expenses (parking fees, bus pass, tolls, etc) as well as small, insignificant purchases (umm, daily coffee?) that can really add up.

Thus, the true cost of holding a job is rarely appreciated.

Where the money goes, on average, per week:

  • Gas and transportation: $67
  • Lunch: $29
  • Coffee: $10

In a given year, that tallies to nearly $3500 on gas, $1500 on lunch and $520 on coffee.

Men also appear to be bigger work-related spenders (i.e. less cost-conscious on work-related spending) than women. Huh.

I’m lucky in that my current commute is a mere 3 miles (the huge improvement in my overall wellbeing from my former 45-90 minute commute – each way – cannot be overstated), I have free parking, and I bring my lunch every day.

But that coffee cost is real. 

While we do have free coffee at my workplace (doctors love coffee and all), it is pretty lousy. So I hit the coffee place across the street from my building every day for a fix.

I save money (a dime, but hey! It adds up) by bringing my own travel mug, and it’s a nice break during the day to take a few minutes to go over there. Given everything, I can live with $10 a week.

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