Monday, April 2, 2007

The Cost of Working 9-5

Maintaining a two-income family may increase you annual income, but getting to work each day for a traditional workweek may be costing you money. Consider your weekly budget for:
  • childcare (daycare, preschool, before and after care, etc.)
  • transportation (gas for commuting to and from work, maintenance on your car, etc.)
  • convenience spending (frozen entrĂ©es or meals from the drive-through, dry cleaning, etc.)
  • self-indulgences (extended vacations or occasional treats...because you work so hard)
The cost of childcare can be remedied by an alternative schedule that works around your children's schedule. Could you work a condensed work week, alternating days with your spouse so that someone is always at home with your kids? Or could you work in your home office before and after school hours?

The cost of transportation can be reduced or eliminated by telecommuting or working a contract position that requires less hours and time between assignments.

The stress of a traditional schedule fosters convenience spending and self-indulgences when we feel like there just are not enough hours in a day to eat breakfast, make lunch, or sit down to a healthy dinner. We begin to feel like we work so hard and see so little of our families, that we deserve a longer vacation, that membership to the family gym, or a few trips to the ice cream parlor.

What a tired workforce needs, is not more hours in the day but a flexible, more family friendly schedule.

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State College, PA