Day 4 (The Simple Dollar's Day 4 Guide)
Finally today we get to math. I like math. So I fired up the Excel spreadsheet (saving a tree). It wasn't too tough to figure out my income. I don't get too many benefits. The only one I can think of is free lunches and dinners (dinners only when I stay late, which is probably about one day a week). Fortunately free lunches add up. Often times, I only need a small dinner after a big lunch, but I don't count this as a benefit. I put this benefit down for about $2,000 or $8 a work day for 250 work days.
The next step is to calculate expenses. As a software engineer at a start-up, there's no wardrobe requirement. I often overdress because that's what I happen to have in my closet. Without child care, meals, office supplies, or gift expenses, all I can come up with driving to work. It's about 22 miles to work, but it's all highway. I calculate that 2 gallons of gas a day (one to work and one home from it), so about $5.30 at current prices in California. That's $1,325 a year for 250 work days. Like Trent, I set the cost for maintenance as half of that gas total. That totals to $1,925 a year.
Next I subtract the two numbers. I'm not going to give the actual number, but I have to say that it's pretty good. Trent claims, "This will be sort of painful", but it's not for my situation. I think I'm just in a good spot in life with a good situation.
Day 5 (The Simple Dollar's Day 5 Guide)
"Yesterday, we calculated the actual cost of our employment over a given year - and were surprised to discover how little it actually is..." Since I'm not surprised to discover how little it is, I'm starting to wonder if I'm really the target audience for this series. I suspect that I'm not, but I'd still think I will learn a thing or two by the end of this series.
This day is pretty straight forward for me. I just need to add up my work days, and the hours I typically work (including commute). I work 240 days and about 10 hours a day for a total of 2400 hours.
Day 6 (The Simple Dollar's Day 6 Guide)
This is probably one of the simplest days from The Simple Dollar. You take Day 4 and divide it by Day 5 yielding how much you make per hour. This is the number that I can use to determine the value of something. If my number is $10 then going out to a nice dinner with my fiancÃ©e could cost me a whole day's work. That's very powerful information.Â I'll be judging my future purchasesÂ by this metric.
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