Expences of working

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Expences of working
17
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 7:44am
What are your expences for working?

Mine have always been very low.

I don't have daycare expences, now they are past that age but when they were younger I worked while they were in school so I have never had daycare expences with work.

My work attire is jeans/shorts and t-shirts so aside from my job being rough on clothes and having to replace them more often no added expence there.

I take my lunch to work so no added expence there.

I only work about 3 miles from home so gas is not much of an issue, plus on the way home I pick my DD3 up from school so if I were not working then I would have to make that trip anyway so that cancels out some of the gas that I do use.

I don't buy anymore convience foods then I would if I were not working.

I guess someone may have $20-$30,000 of work expences that are talked about in those cost comparisons but I don't see it happening for the average person. One exception may be paying daycare for multiple kids and in a high cost area.

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Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 8:46pm
Day care is my biggest expense. Besides that, not much. I do buy my lunch but that's not an expense of working as it doesn't come with the territory. I could pack my lunch but I like buying and can afford it so I do. I probably drive less because I work and my work clothes cost less than my blue jeans and everything is washable so there's no expense there. Working cuts down on entertainment costs too. I don't feel the need to leave home once I cross the threshold as I would if I were home 24 x 7. We do spend more on food but that's because we like to eat well and can afford it not some necessity of my working. I have no desire to spend all day in the kitchen so I don't. Other than dc, I really can't think of an expense that is necessitated by my working.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 6:14pm
Your last sentence really hit home to me. There is no better feeling in the world than coming home after working hard to your family. My home feels more like a retreat to me now than it ever has.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 5:27pm
ITA

Meals are an expence whether you work or not. If you choose to eat out since you work that is not an expence of working that is a choice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 4:52pm
i have often thought the same thing. if i sah, i wouldnt sah!! i would be out running around which would burn more gas and spending more money. i work 3 miles from home and usually run out to lunch. that is a perk i allow myself as i sacraficed *a lot* to sah with the kids. my clothes are exactly what i would wear at home as i wear to work. very casual. while working, it makes me stay in the office(no running around town) and when i get home, i stay home. i enjoy my home, and being at work all day makes me really appreciate it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 3:59pm
I agree with your last paragraph. I have often on these site read things like "It is not worth it to me to go to work if all I am going to clear is $10 a day after expences." But it really depends on how much a family needs that $10, $10 a day comes out to $200 a day and for a lot of families that could be their grocery budget. That puts much more importance on that $10.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 2:41pm
I spent more money when I was a SAHM than I ever have as a working mom. Driving around town, paying for activities, movies, not to mention astronomical grocery and utility bills. I tend to shop and spend money when I'm bored and I was bored a lot when I stayed at home.

If I didn't work I wouldn't have 401K and other benefits like 4 weeks of paid time off, sick days, personal days, and family care days. My only real expense is childcare. But I subtract out the food and activities savings as well as the tax break it comes down to a mere fraction of my income. Plus, my children really enjoy their daycare. If they weren't thriving I wouldn't work.

Anyway, there are costs associated with both staying at home and working, they are just different costs.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 1:41pm
Minimal.......

It's a totally laid back environment (cpa/controller for a steel company)....... 95% of our workers are in coveralls out in the plant, lol. Those of us in the office/admin side are business casual. Even when I'm home I am a khacki/cardigan or sundress/sweater kinda gal and that's what I wear to work too, so wardrobe is N/A.

Car expenses......... with gas skyrocketing and it being $70 to fill up the Suburban, I've been taking dh's lexus, which is cheaper/better gas mileage to drive. I only work two days a week, and it's about 15 miles each way....... so maybe $5 in gas/overhead a week these days.

Lunches......... I rarely eat out. I'm paid by the hour since I am not full time. THus, why would I want to take time to go to McD's or something when I could get stuff done while eating and still be getting paid, lol. I take my lunch, heat it in the microwave (it's usually leftovers), and eat while I work. Maybe once every other month, we go out for someone's bday...... and that's like what....... $15 at a Macaroni Grill or whatever, no biggy, won't break the bank.

Day Care. None usually. My parents take the kiddies the two days I work.

To be utterly honest, I spend way more money SAH than I do WOH. On the five days I am home, especially the three weekdays when dh is at work, I'm out and about all over this town....... Seriously, If I worked ft, I'd save us money, LOL. Because I sah 5 days a week, I take Ds to gymboree ($140), I go to McD or ChuckECHeese playgroups ($10-15 a pop), I go to the mall and spend money on carousel rides and sandals I really don't need, lol. I go out with my girlfriends to movies, the zoo, the dinosaur park. And I scrapbook........ that's a huge cost right there. If I woh ft, I probably wouldn't have most of those costs, lol....... so SAH is way more expensive to me than working is!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 11:37am
I realize that there are some hidden expenses here. If I stayed at home, I could get by with just jeans, sweats, sneakers and tshirts, but because of my job, I need dress pants, blouses, and shoes and a nice coat for winter. Of course - if I didn't work, I'd be hard-pressed to find the money to buy any dressy clothes, so I guess I'd show up at church, weddings, and funerals in my jeans!

If I stayed home, we might not need two cars, or at least, my car could be the unreliable, old clonker, instead of a '98 Honda. Of course, the old cars might blow an engine or transmission, and we'd be hard pressed to come up with the $$ to fix that if I wasn't working!

If I stayed home, I'd have time to clip those coupons to save money - but wait - If I stayed home, we'd only be able to afford store brands. No coupons for those!

I don't need to get that dressed up for work. My only "daycare expense" now is $25/week for before-school care. Summer camp will be ~$1200 for two. My commute is about 14 miles from home.

If I look at the list of what we'd have do without should I chose to stay home - that's what convinces me I have to work. I know I'm lucky to make good money - but say a woman makes only $25k/year, and with small kids in daycare, only manages to "keep" $10k. You might say, wow, you spend half your salary just getting to work! Yes - but it's the other half (the $10k) she desperately needs!

Avatar for 1969jets
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 10:59am
There are different types of work expenses. The kind you MUST have and the kind you have because you are working and you can afford them. When I was working the expenses I could not avoid were childcare, work clothing, and transportation. Once my wardrobe was built up I was always able to find nice suits, blouses, etc. on sale so I didn't spend all that much money on clothing. Afer all as a SAHM I still buy clothes. I don't think the ongoing expense of work clothes is that high.

I had my own car. Dh and I could have shared a car ride to the train station and back, but coordinating schedules would have been a PITA and we really wanted our own cars. I still have my own car and I SAH. So that was not really an expense of working it was just something we have chosen.

I ate lunch at our corporate cafeteria every day. It was more expensive than bringing lunch from home but not nearly as expensive as eating out in lower Manhattan every day. Many people brought their own lunch. If I had wanted (or needed) to cut expenses I could have done that as well. But I chose not to. So lunches out is not an expense of working, just something that some working people chose to spend money on.

Jenna

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 10:45am
One thing that always peeves me about this debate is that there are added expenses to SAH too.

In order to do a *true* analysis of the cost of working, one also has to consider the cost of SAH. In other words, while there would be some savings for me to quit (daycare, an occasional lunch), there is also added cost to SAH.

What you say? How can it cost more to SAH? Well, here goes.

1. increased grocery bills - currently my kids are fed at daycare. So, I would have to spring for lunches and snacks for my kids. In addition, *I* get at LEAST one free meal a week at work, so add in some additional food cost for me too.

2. increased utilitiy bills - increased use of electricity, water, and sewage. HEre in Arizona, the increase in the electric bill could be very significant. With 90-100 degree weather from April to October, the added cost of running the AC an additonal 45 hours a week could be big.

3. Increased entertainment costs. Dd's summer camp covers a movie (and popcorn and drink) each week, bowling each week, and swimming each week. If I had to pay for those lessons directly, it would cost me. Plus, I'd be renting more movies for the kids, so add that in too.

4. Then there are things specific to *my job*. I get 4 free shirts a year at my company. So, I'd have a slightly increased wardrobe cost. I also get $10 a month off my internet service. Bam! $120 bucks a year I'd lose SAH. Not to mention that I get *loads* of free meals and events every year (charity events, free Moscow Ballet tickets, etc) that I would probably want to take my family too anyway, that I now get for free.

So, for me to truly *analyze* if it would be better to SAH, I would have to deduct my daycare costs, my lunch costs (minimal as I go home most days), my commute costs (minimal - I have to drive dd to school anyway), but then I would have to add back in all the increased costs above. I've done that. Financially, it *is* better for me to work.

Hollie

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