You’ve heard the saying, You have to spend money to make money. We usually think that spending money to make it involves a business, but it applies to folks working for a paycheck, too. Today we’ll talk about what it really costs to earn that paycheck. Working, especially working outside the home, has hidden costs and some not so hidden. Almost all of us have to work, so what’s the point of knowing how much it costs us? Knowing how much you’re spending to bring home that paycheck is information you need to make wise decisions. By subtracting those costs from your paycheck, you discover your actual take-home pay. Depending on your situation, that could make all the difference. For example: if you’re a parent deciding whether to enter into the workforce or stay home with your child. Let’s start with some of the obvious costs of venturing out into the working world. First, how will you get there? You may need to consider the cost of gas and maintaining a vehicle. Don’t forget about the cost of registering the vehicle and insurance. Now, in many cases, you’ll still need a second car if you’re a stay-at-home parent, but in that case, many of your vehicle related costs will be lower. For example, you won’t spend as much on fuel and insurance if you’re not commuting. In most cases you’ll need to buy clothing that’s appropriate for your job. A paralegal working in a law office may spend more on clothes than someone working in retail. But the biggest obvious expense with working outside the home is childcare. According to the career site Zippia, the average cost of daycare in the U. S. is $340 per child, per week or $17, 680 a year. That will take a huge bite out of your paycheck. And there are many other, smaller costs of working. Unless you’re very disciplined, you may spend money on coffee and lunches out. You may also have dry cleaning costs for that professional wardrobe. Or maybe you need a very nice looking, late model vehicle if you’re meeting with clients. Okay, let’s look at some of the less obvious costs to working outside the home. It’ll make you a much busier person. You might get take out meals more often or buy more expensive pre-packaged foods. You also won’t have time to shop for deals or clip coupons and you may end up going to stores that are convenient, but more expensive. Some of these costs might seem trivial, but small things add up. If you treat yourself to a $9 lunch once a week, that’s about $470 a year. And that’s just a small expense compared to almost $18, 000 a year for childcare. When you total up all of these expenses, you get a much clearer picture of how much you’re actually making. If you take home $35, 000 a year after taxes, but your costs are $20, 000, you’re actually bringing home $15, 000. That comes to a little more than $7 an hour. And you have to ask, is it worth it? We’re certainly not trying to convince you not to work. But it’s important to think about the true cost of working so that you can make an informed decision. In some cases, those who can live without that second paycheck may decide it’s not worth it, especially if doing without means you can stay home with your children. Not surprisingly, there’s been a 13% decline in the number of working mothers over the past two decades, due to the high cost of childcare and other factors. On the other hand, if you really need to work, knowing how much it’s costing you could motivate you to look for a better paying job or to finally ask for that raise you deserve. In 1 Timothy 5: 18, Paul says, You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain, and, The laborer deserves his wages. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How do you determine where to give your charitable gifts? ● Would it be wise to take out a collateral loan for investment purposes?