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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

What to Do When Your Job Costs Too Much

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

The following is an article “What to Do When Your Job Costs Too Much” by Marc Primo.

The word ‘adulting’ has become a favorite among twenty-something professionals these days. As they get introduced to the challenges of real life such as paying rent, learning to cook, or simply preparing a grocery list, they also face the fact that the very essence of being an adult is to be able to hold a steady job and manage their income properly. For some, even bigger challenges can arise when work demands they spend more money just to keep their jobs.

Depending on which one you take, you have to accept that work can sometimes cost you money in order to get a particular task done. Frequently doing so can take a huge chunk off your pay check and make you wonder if your remaining take home pay is worth all the effort.

Being an adult means that you can manage your money in a way that you get to enjoy the finer things in life and save up for the future. You may be surprised that some people who earn $1,000 each month can also spend the same amount for daily transportation. If your monthly salary is on the brink of taking a nosedive due to work expenses, here are a few tips on how to manage money matters as a real adult.

Cut back on buying clothes. Most companies require their employees to adhere to dress codes which forces employees to allot a portion of their salary for clothing. Whether you’re required to buy corporate suits or can get by with smart casual getups, the fact is that you have to spend money on work clothes. The average professional spends $600 a year on clothes, so you may want to reinforce some creativity in what you wear to lessen that amount. You don’t have to buy clothes often. Instead, buy combinations of tops and bottoms in neutral colors so you can pair them randomly and not seem like you wear work clothes over and over. On the other hand, some professionals choose to buy same-styled clothes and still rock them. Take, for example, how Steve Jobs wore turtlenecks, or how Mark Zuckerberg sticks to his trademark grey shirts and hoodies. What matters is that you are comfortable in what you wear and don’t find the need to spend too much just to impress.

Pick your food. Everybody has to eat and there will be times when you’ll have to dine with your bosses and colleagues in fancy restaurants. Try to save for such unexpected lunches and night outs as these may open up opportunities for you at work. Be wary, instead, of your usual spending for food. By cooking your work meals at home instead of buying ready-to-eat á la cartes, you can limit your monthly food allowance to not more than $200 a month. If you belong to the average employee category who takes home roughly $3,700 per month, this strategy will work wonders for you. While you’re at it, try to lessen those coffee runs and pass up on those payday binges if its not really work-related.

Try commuting. Owning a car is another thing that will cost you quite a sum. You’ll have to consider allotting a slice of your salary for monthly payments, fuel, insurance, and maintenance which really adds up. The average professional spends between $7,000 to $11,000 annually just for car costs. If the office is just a few miles away and public transport is available, opt to commute instead of buying a car. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the average employee travels daily to and from the office for around 50 minutes. If you are patient enough to sit that time out on a bus or train, then imagine how much money you can save per year. If you think about it, riding public transport also has its own upsides. You can do your daily preparations for work while on the bus as opposed to being behind the wheel, and on your way home, you can sit back and relax rather than be stressed out navigating the rush hour traffic.


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