Budgeting While Working Crazy Hours

I am currently working about 45 to 50 hours a week and spending 10 hours a week in the car commuting back and forth to work. It’s hard to find time to coupon, time to grocery shop, time to be organized. All of these things end up costing me money. When I can’t make it to the grocery store or cook I end up eating out a lot more. When I run out of something and don’t have time to make it to the cheapest store I sometimes end up buying it at the closest store for a higher price. I have no idea how women with children can work this many hours.

Work itself comes with many expenses. I spend at least $180 a month on gas just for work and that will probably go up this summer. My choice to buy a fuel efficient car (no not a hybrid, just a small car) has saved me thousands. I bought my car with cash so I have no car payment. I also spend much more than I should buying work lunches. At my former job location I spent $100 a month on toll roads getting to work. I need new work dress shoes and more dress clothes. Sometimes I wonder how much working costs me?

Reading the book The Tightwad Gazette taught me that a lack of time to do things for yourself will cost you a lot of money. When I worked waiting tables at a restaurant the number of hours I worked was directly proportional to the amount of money I needed. I didn’t like working there so I spent my free time figuring out how to save money so I could work even less. I stopped buying paper products (minus toilet paper). I combined trips to save gas. I went to the library to check out DVDs and books instead of renting and buying. I tried to cook more and eat out less. I tried to make sure that I used any perishable food items before they went bad because I hate throwing food away. I wore clothes that I already owned. I shopped at thrift shops. I couponed my heart out. We went to free movie screenings and the $2 theatre for entertainment. Yes, at times it bothered me not to have any money to spare.

Now I feel that I have traded having little money for having little time. Was this a good trade? Sometimes I wonder. I do know that I waste more money now, but I also have more in my savings. I have dental insurance, eye insurance, and life insurance now. I recently spent over $350 on theme park annual passes for a special occasion and I could afford them. Some days I feel like all I do is work. Some days I love working. There is definitely a trade off and I’m not sure which is better.

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  1. Just thought I would comment – I am a working mom of two kids. My children are ages 8 and 10. I work a full time job as well as run a small home based business that keeps me busy almost every night. So I easily put in 60 hours a week working. It can be very challenging at times to be the money saver I try to be. I do the best I can and though I’m sure we could save even more money if I could focus more time to it – I take what I can get at this time. My goals are to put in the extra work now in hopes for a payoff in the future that I can cut back on my working life. When my husband and I got married 3 years ago we both came into the marriage with a small amount of debt. I have just now been able to start focusing on paying it off so that I can cut back on my full time job in the near future and focus on my home based business more.

    With that said – I understand your frustrations! There are many times I end up wasting a little more money than i would like in order to get things done. I tend to feel guilty about it at first but then I realize that overall I’m doing the best I can and any attempt I make is better than giving it up all together. So don’t feel guilty when you spend a little extra to save your sanity. Your sanity is much more important!

    • Thank you for your comment! I agree with you entirely. I have no idea how you do it! I wish you luck. I would love to own my own business someday. What do you do?

      • Sorry for the extremely delay response – however my side business is decorating cakes and designer sugar cookeis. It started as a hobby but within a short period of time i have been getting many requests to do new cakes and it has kept me extrememly busy – but it has been a nice supplement to our income to help purchase all the items that come with buying a new house (lawn equip, shelving for the garage etc etc) – we just bought our house in April. I see a potential to do this full time in the very near future however it is extremely exhausting at times!

    • Thanks for shiarng. What a pleasure to read!

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