# 31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 5: How Much Did You Work Last Year?

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day.

Yesterday, we calculated the actual cost of our employment over a given year – and were surprised to discover how little it actually is. Once you remove all of the work-related expenses, such as the commute, the wardrobe, the extra meals, and the child care, the actual income you get from your job is ominously low.

Today, we’re going to look at our work from a different angle: time. We need to get an accurate picture of how much time you spend in a year chasing the money you make. At first glance, this seems almost automatic, but let’s look at it a bit more closely.

As usual, take out a sheet of paper. Along the top, make a list of each of your employments and, along the far right, write how many hours you actually spend at work (include your lunch break) in a given year. Don’t include vacation time. If you work overtime some of the time, just estimate what an average day looks like, then calculate how many days you work in a year (total days minus holidays and vacation), then multiply the two numbers together.

Now, underneath your time spent at work, list every other activity you do in relation to your work. The list you made yesterday might help, but give the question some thought. List everything that you do that you wouldn’t otherwise do if it wasn’t for your job. For example, if you travel, you can list almost all of your nonworking waking hours. You can list the time it takes to travel to and from work. You can list the time you have to deal with child care. You can list the time you spend shopping for work clothes, or time you spend going out for business dinners, or time you spend doing “optional” training.

For example, here’s my list:
Child care
Commute
Working outside the office