Working is a necessity for the majority of us. Nowadays, dual income is the norm, even for families with children. Being a stay-at-home parent is somewhat considered as a luxury.
Many people, however, do not consider the costs of working, as yes, working actually costs money:
- Commuting. Cars are not cheap, even if you own them outright. The extra gas, wear & tear, insurance, mileage, parking and tolls really add-up. Public transportation is your best bet to save money, but it may not be a possibility.
- Daycare. If you have young children, this one can really be a dozy. In Vancouver, monthly costs for a licensed daycare can reach $ 1 000.00. If your children are of school age, you may not be able to pick them-up at 3.30 pm. You will also need to account for school breaks and other school closures, not recognized by your employer.
- Lunches out: even if you are disciplined and a proponent of bringing your lunch to work, there will be occasions when it won’t be the case. And what about a latte here and there?
- Work wardrobe: you may not be able to wear your jeans or casual clothing to work. You will need to account for the extra spending.
- Work socializing: there will always be the occasional birthday, baby or wedding shower, Christmas party and other after-work activities. Pitching in for gifts and drinks also adds up.
- Pet care: if you have a dog, you probably won’t be able to take it to work with you. Dog walkers or doggie daycare are not cheap.
These are actual dollar-costs. That being said, the biggest cost of having a job, in my opinion, is time.
Whether you are a parent or not, you need to look beyond the salary and benefits before accepting a job offer or deciding to return to work.