How the 9 to 5 Grind Could Be Costing You More Than You Earn

    July 10, 2003

This article is directed to all you parents out there with pre-school children who would prefer to quit your jobs and stay at home with the kids but think you can’t because you think you “need” a second income. Don’t be so sure. That 9 to 5 grind may be costing you more than it’s paying you.

Let’s say you’re a parent of two pre-school children and you’re earning $25,000 a year ($500 a week) in your full- time job. Let’s see where the money goes.

First of all, you don’t have family nearby to care for your children while you’re working so you put them in daycare. That takes care of $150 a week, leaving $350.

You need a car to get to work and your kids to daycare. Let’s be optimistic and say you have only a modest car payment of $50 a week. Your other expenses are fuel, insurance and general maintenance. Fuel is $25 a week, insurance $10. Allow another $10 a week for new tires, servicing and repairs. So $95 a week goes towards your car. That leaves $255 out of your weekly paycheck.

You work in a professional office so you must dress accordingly and be well-groomed. Allow $10 a week for clothes and accessories, another $5 if you’re female for cosmetics and haircare. There’s another $15 a week leaving you $240 out of your weekly paycheck.

With so much to do to get the kids organized in the morning, you don’t have time to make your lunch so you buy it every day. At $5 a day that’s $25 a week. You’re down to $215 a week now.

And after putting in a full day at work you don’t always have the time or energy to cook a family dinner from scratch each night and so once a week you pick up take-out on the way home ($20 for four people) and spend more on prepackaged foods at the grocery store each week. Let’s put this at another $20 a week. This additional $40 a week for convenience foods leaves you $175 out of your weekly paycheck.

Still worth it, you say? Oops forgot about taxes, social security and health insurance! Better deduct another $100 a week for that little lot. Now you’re at $75.

Now, you tell me, is $75 worth working a 40 hour week for? Is your time really worth as little as $1.80 an hour? And that’s not even taking into account what your income does to your partner’s tax bracket! Without being able to claim you as a dependant it may put it over the top and the increased tax paid on your family’s primary source of income could well mean that the net contribution of that second income is a deficit! If that’s the case, it’s actually COSTING you to work outside the home.

If you find yourself in this situation, there is an answer a home-based business. You can forget about daycare costs, you’re there! How difficult do you think it would be to make $75 a week working from home? Easy! In fact, it would not be difficult to generate the same level of income from your home business as you were generating from your full-time job. But because you don’t need to incur the unnecessary expenses such as daycare, vehicle expenses, clothing and food, you can be MUCH better off. Not only that, you can now claim home office tax deductions! And all of that’s just focusing on economics. Factor in lifestyle and family issues and a home- based business can literally take your life back and give you back to your family.

2000-2002 Elena Fawkner

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online … practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur.