The numbers are in, and the winner is: your job.
So, maybe that is an oversimplification of the overall topic at hand, and that is how much you have to spend just to be able to save. And the “save” portion in this discussion means working.
The average person spends almost $4,000 per year in order to work, when you factor in things like lunch at a restaurant, clothing allowances and the cost of transportation (such as gas or tolls, etc.).
That adds up to just under $200,000 in your lifetime, which might not sound like a whole lot but the more glaring is the $4,000 number mentioned that we’ll spend from one year to the next.
So when so much is about saving money, how can be justify spending that much just to work? Even more important of a question is how to we actually get that $4,000 number lowered so that work doesn’t seem like we’re just punching in and punching out just to barely get by?
Well, almost half of that total number focuses on eating, specifically spending money eating out at restaurants for lunch. The easy fix on that is to actually take the time to plan meals, make lunch the night before and stop spending between $10 and $15 on just one meal a few times per week. A good plan would be to make dinner at home, and then leave just a little bit aside for the next day, so that lunch isn’t about making a sandwich or another meal per say but rather over preparing and cooking and then having leftovers. If you must eat lunch out, such as a working lunch or food that is bought and centers around a meeting where food isn’t provided, go light.
Transportation is another higher end cost, even though the cost of gas is down somewhat versus a year or two ago. Some have found that carpooling works well, while others have started to think more efficiently when it comes to vehicle purchases and gas mileage. More progressive employers allow you to work from home a few days per week, and if they don’t, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask if you have that sort of job that includes office days for paperwork, the same work that can easily be done at home.
The average worker might also want to consider small expenses throughout the course of the day, such as bottled water or snacks.
No one is going to suggest that a work stoppage is in order as far as saving money goes, but you still can implement certain techniques to keep your yearly expenses in check.