jobs

This weekend I was talking to one of my friends and he had a very interesting predicament. Was he winning or losing working at his current employer at his current salary? He has a bachelor’s degree in administration, he’s been working for over one year now as an administrative agent for a large accounting firm.

Let’s go over his salary, deductions and then his cost. He makes 36,000$ per year (the national average is a little lower than that). In Canada we might get free health care but we are taxed heavily. He gets two paychecks per month, 1500$ each, and after deductions he get about $1100 per pay period (24 pay periods per year). He moved to the suburbs to save on the purchase price of a house (like many others do) and to have a nicer quality of life. The main reason was that most houses he liked in the city were just too expensive. Prior of moving out of the city core he never owned a car and always used public transportation, but because of his work located in downtown Montreal he had to purchase a vehicle.

Now that we know how much he makes let’s look at his costs related to working:
All prices includes taxes and are rounded up

His car : 400$ per month
Insurance 150$ per month
Gas per month : 240$ per month (and going up!)
Monthly parking downtown: 160$ per month
Snacks/food downtown (company suppers, happy hour, etc.) : 200$ per month
Clothes for work (suits, shoes, etc..): 100$ per month

1250$ per month goes for just getting to work and being at work, and this cost does not even include the cost related for maintenance on his car.

One of his pay checks goes to pay for expenses to go to his work and to come back. His mortgage payment is 600$ per month, so this gives him about 350$ for groceries and other expenses. Considering we haven’t talked about saving money, or even other expenses such as internet, cable, heating and electricity. Is it really worth going to work in these conditions ? If his salary would be 40k a year it would give him an additional 200$ per month, yet it does not help much.

After these quick numbers I told him let’s look at this on a different perspective. If you were to work in the suburb close to your home, even if it’s a job in a Home Depot or any large retail chain (that pays more than minimum wage) that opened beside your home and get rid of your car how much money would you have to spend after all recurring expenses ?

Let’s have a look shall we:

0$ for the car
0$ for insurance
0$ for petrol
0$ for parking
Can go eat lunches at home, again 0$
No need to spend money on special type of clothe you probably have a uniform.

Total expense for getting to work and being at work: 0$

Considering Home Depot or any large retailers don’t pay much, let’s say he has a 12$ per hour salary. That’s 800$ per pay period after taxes, take out his housing payment and he is left with 1000$ per month for his other purchases, compared with only $350 with his job downtown.

Not only would he SAVE MONEY by working close to home and in a totally different field, but this does not include his new benefits of no more traffic jams, waking up later each morning, eating at home which means healthier lunches, etc. It would take him 10 minutes to get to work compared to 1 hour right now each morning and the time it takes you to get to work is not paid, you have to disburse to get there yourself.

What we need to learn from this:

1- Public transport is the key

If my friend would have moved close to a metro or suburb train station he could save a lot of money. His parking and the gas price does add up, and the cost is insanely high.

2- Live close to work

Going to work is something you do on a daily basis, I don’t get it when people move AWAY from their work. Just doesn’t make sense to me. Live as close to work as possible and you will save a bundle!

3- Keep expenses at the minimum

Just like a business you always need to keep your monthly expensive as low as possible.

4- Our choices affects our life therefore we must think and plan before we act

We need to be smart about the decisions we take, each decision will affect us and it’s crucial to think about every possible outcome.

I hope this helps to put your life and work in perspective. I hope you will make the right choices in your life & not to live the same situation as my friend. Seriously, when you could technically save more money and have less stress and more time on your hands by working a general job in your neighborhood than by working in a prestigious firm downtown, we need to assess our situation with a lot more scrutiny.

Published by @INeedMotivation

20 Comments

  1. Hi Thomas,

    Very valid points.I stay at Mumbai & have been wanting to go back to my home town where i might earn less but quality of life would be better.mumbai is like a nightmare,going to office takes 2 hrs

    Reply
  2. Hi Thomas,

    Very valid points.I stay at Mumbai & have been wanting to go back to my home town where i might earn less but quality of life would be better.mumbai is like a nightmare,going to office takes 2 hrs

    Reply
  3. I think his current job is probably an investment that will pay off 1000x more than spending less and working in Home Depot. Working in Home Depot qualifies you to work in Home Depot. As your friend gains more experience in the accounting world – a whole new world of business opportunity will open up. Think big picture. It’s an investment. So is paying for a house over the apartment.

    Reply
  4. I think his current job is probably an investment that will pay off 1000x more than spending less and working in Home Depot. Working in Home Depot qualifies you to work in Home Depot. As your friend gains more experience in the accounting world – a whole new world of business opportunity will open up. Think big picture. It’s an investment. So is paying for a house over the apartment.

    Reply
  5. People in the social order we are familiar with have learned to think of themselves and their attendant life style in grandiose
    terms. That and wanting what it seems everyone else has
    has mislead us into a very inefficient life style. In the first place, yes others have these fancy homes and new cars and
    beautiful kitchens and A general opulence about them but how much do they have left after their budget crunch? What is missing from most self images is humility. Along with their sense
    of self importance, people burden themselves with an arrogant
    sense of what they deserve in life. Common sense is not welcome when one has such an attitude. And where common sense is missing, so is efficiency and real quality of life. When you are doing all you can to violate common sense, happiness is a dim reality. This then is what it is like when you dwell in a deep illusion and fantasy rules.——Doug Rosbury

    Reply
  6. People in the social order we are familiar with have learned to think of themselves and their attendant life style in grandiose
    terms. That and wanting what it seems everyone else has
    has mislead us into a very inefficient life style. In the first place, yes others have these fancy homes and new cars and
    beautiful kitchens and A general opulence about them but how much do they have left after their budget crunch? What is missing from most self images is humility. Along with their sense
    of self importance, people burden themselves with an arrogant
    sense of what they deserve in life. Common sense is not welcome when one has such an attitude. And where common sense is missing, so is efficiency and real quality of life. When you are doing all you can to violate common sense, happiness is a dim reality. This then is what it is like when you dwell in a deep illusion and fantasy rules.——Doug Rosbury

    Reply
  7. Hi Hal,
    I totally agree with you about the house aspect. People think owning a home will only gain in value and it’s all about building equity but they are wrong. He has a wife and I believe he wants to start a family and he wanted a yard and garden for his future kids. The prices closer to downtown are just out of reality right now.

    In this article I don’t agree with my friends choices I am merely trying to open up his eyes.

    Thank you for the comments I appreciate them.

    Reply
  8. Hi Hal,
    I totally agree with you about the house aspect. People think owning a home will only gain in value and it’s all about building equity but they are wrong. He has a wife and I believe he wants to start a family and he wanted a yard and garden for his future kids. The prices closer to downtown are just out of reality right now.

    In this article I don’t agree with my friends choices I am merely trying to open up his eyes.

    Thank you for the comments I appreciate them.

    Reply
  9. Home Depot doesnt pay CLOSE to $12 an hour, at least where I live.

    Reply
  10. Home Depot doesnt pay CLOSE to $12 an hour, at least where I live.

    Reply
  11. My only question is; why does you buddy own a house? He could rent an apartment in town for less than his mortgage and not need a car. It also solves the problem of changing jobs. It’s a lot easier to move to a new apartment than it is to sell and buy a new house. Maybe it’s just me but I have no desire to own a home right now. I’m 28 years old, single and really don’t need to be bothered with maintenance. People claim they’re building equity, but at what cost? I’d rather build an IRA and savings account.

    Reply
  12. My only question is; why does you buddy own a house? He could rent an apartment in town for less than his mortgage and not need a car. It also solves the problem of changing jobs. It’s a lot easier to move to a new apartment than it is to sell and buy a new house. Maybe it’s just me but I have no desire to own a home right now. I’m 28 years old, single and really don’t need to be bothered with maintenance. People claim they’re building equity, but at what cost? I’d rather build an IRA and savings account.

    Reply
  13. Hi Alex,
    Thanks for your comment. I guess you are right we have really good mass transit here in Canada and especially Montreal, it’s really sad your municipality/city council is not capable of providing better transit for their citizen. Hopefully with the cost of petrol going up it will create a bigger demand and improve your current situation. Remember you could always carpool to work, is there any co-workers you can pick up along the way. Charge them 10$ per week for the service. Who knows with three people you can even make a profit!

    Reply
  14. Hi Alex,
    Thanks for your comment. I guess you are right we have really good mass transit here in Canada and especially Montreal, it’s really sad your municipality/city council is not capable of providing better transit for their citizen. Hopefully with the cost of petrol going up it will create a bigger demand and improve your current situation. Remember you could always carpool to work, is there any co-workers you can pick up along the way. Charge them 10$ per week for the service. Who knows with three people you can even make a profit!

    Reply
  15. Perhaps where you live you can get by without a car, but here unless you walk a long way you need a car. I live near most of the things that we need, but 18 miles from work. I drive as little as possible, and there is very little mass transit (and none out to work)!!

    Reply
  16. Perhaps where you live you can get by without a car, but here unless you walk a long way you need a car. I live near most of the things that we need, but 18 miles from work. I drive as little as possible, and there is very little mass transit (and none out to work)!!

    Reply
  17. Hi Ron,
    Funny you point that out. What I meant by that is the simple fact that you do not need to wear expensive clothe. You can easily put the same pants each day, it’s not the same accessories than working in an office where people tend to wear brand name clothing.

    Thanks for the comments, it’s always appreciated to get feedback.

    Reply
  18. Hi Ron,
    Funny you point that out. What I meant by that is the simple fact that you do not need to wear expensive clothe. You can easily put the same pants each day, it’s not the same accessories than working in an office where people tend to wear brand name clothing.

    Thanks for the comments, it’s always appreciated to get feedback.

    Reply
  19. At Home Depot, the uniform is an apron…and it only goes around halfway. Wearing only the uniform could result in some legal fees for getting arrested on indecent exposure. That would eliminate your savings on clothing… 😳

    Great points otherwise!

    Reply
  20. At Home Depot, the uniform is an apron…and it only goes around halfway. Wearing only the uniform could result in some legal fees for getting arrested on indecent exposure. That would eliminate your savings on clothing… 😳

    Great points otherwise!

    Reply

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