June 3, 2023

The hidden costs of employment

What’s the first thing you think of when you get a job? Maybe it’s a landmark on the path to your career goals, maybe it’s the paycheck, or maybe it’s how great it will look on your resume. While all of these thoughts are important, there are some things that many newly employed people tend to overlook – the hidden costs of employment.

In such a competitive job market, it’s exciting to be offered a position. However, whether you just landed a summer job, internship, or are preparing for your first full-time job after college, it is important that you take some time to consider the ways that this may impact your finances outside of just receiving a paycheck.

One big thing to consider is any changes you’ll need to make to your living situation. If you’re used to living in a small college town in Pennsylvania, your cost of living will definitely rise if you’re relocating (temporarily or permanently) to a larger city. Not only will your rent be higher, but daily expenses like groceries will hit your wallet a bit harder.

Transportation is another way that employment can cost you. If you can’t walk to your job, you’ll have to figure out how you’ll get to work each day. If you already own a car, you may have increased gas and maintenance costs. If you don’t already own a car, but need one, you’ll have to consider a down payment for a car loan and monthly loan payments, in addition to the costs of insurance, gas and maintenance. If you’re lucky, you may live in an area with access to public transportation. The cost of commuting via bus or subway to work is oftentimes much cheaper than owning your own vehicle.

Outside of the more obvious factors such as living situation and transportation, there are other smaller costs that can add up when you get a new job. You may need to purchase clothing specific to your job, especially if you’re working in a field such as nursing or medical assisting, where you may wear scrubs to work. If you’re working in a professional office setting, you may need to increase your wardrobe to include not just one or two interview outfits, but enough business clothing for daily wear.

In addition, you may want to look for relevant professional organizations to join so that you can enjoy increased networking within your field. There are often fees for these types of organizations, but the benefits can be tremendous.

Sure, getting a new job can bring many hidden expenses with it. But there are certainly many things that may outweigh these costs. Outside of your monetary compensation, inquire what benefits your employer offers. You may enjoy subsidized health insurance, as well as other benefits, like access to the company cafeteria and gym, or tuition assistance. Investigating and making use of these company perks can soften the blow of any upfront costs you may face when starting a new job.

The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal or other professional, if you have questions.

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