I Left My $20 per hour On-site Job for a $12 per hour Remote One


My friend recently confessed to me her decision of leaving her $20 per hour onsite paying job for a $12 per hour remote one. I was one to tell her she was making a mistake until she broke it down and convinced me. I thought it would be a wonderful story to share to which she agreed. Here’s her story.

I was working for a company that pays $20 per hour. It was a 55-mile drive to and from work daily, and about one hour and fifteen minutes drive each way. The company is wonderful and my coworkers are all polite professionals. We wore business attire since we were meeting with clients and often went out to lunch together. But other than work, I had no life.

The job began at 8:00 a.m. and with the long commute; I had to add an extra 15 minutes to account for any unforeseen traffic. Plus, I needed time to shower, dress, feed, take my dog out, and eat breakfast. Therefore, I could not wake up any later than 5:00 a.m. Then there was the evening commute. I worked until 5:00 p.m. every day and arrived home by 6:30 p.m. Once at home, I had to feed my dog and take him out again, which meant I’d be eating dinner between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. I was always too tired to practice yoga or exercise, so I’d take a shower and sit to watch TV or check my emails until about 10:00 p.m. when I was ready to go to sleep. See? No life.

It took a toll on me. I was not happy. I fell into a daily routine and hated my job. That’s when I researched for other job opportunities, possibly closer to home, when I came across the $12 per hour remote (work at home) position. At first, I thought, how could anyone support themselves with such a low pay rate and all their expenses? Then it hit me. Wait, a remote job means no commuting, less fuel consumption, no traffic, no need to dress up, and no need to eat out on an almost daily basis. Therefore, I did a breakdown of my earnings and expenses and I was stunned.

Here’s what I learned. At my onsite job, I was making $20 per hour for a 40-hour workweek, which meant I earned $800 weekly. But there were fifteen hours of commuting which were not accounted for. Since I am traveling to and from work, let’s add that to my work week, which is now 55 hours. After dividing my $800 weekly paycheck by 55 hours, my per-hour rate dropped to $14.55; which means I earn $116.40 per day based on 8 hours and $582 weekly.

I pay for parking which is $17 per day. I’ll subtract the $17 daily parking rate from my daily pay of $116.40; which will leave me with $99.40 and convert to $12.42 per hour. Now I’m down to $496.82 per week.

But there’s still more. Fuel consumption also affects my pay. I fuel my car twice a week with $30 each time (I’m being modest because it’s normally about $36 each time). So fueling my car twice a week runs me about $60. When I subtract this amount from my weekly paycheck I am left with $436.82 which converts to $10.92 per hour. Wow! How did I not realize this before? And, this is not accounting for any tolls if I take another route!

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Meanwhile, when I do the same calculations for a $12 per hour job, here are the numbers. At $12 per hour for a 40-hour job, my weekly earning would be $480. If I subtract commuting… oh wait, there are no commuting hours, so I am still at $12 per hour and $480 weekly. Therefore, let’s subtract the daily parking, which is zero dollars — still at $12 per hour and $480 weekly. I need to fuel my car though not as often. Perhaps once a week will do so let’s subtract $30 from my weekly earnings, which leaves me with a $450 per week and an $11.25 per hour pay rate.

That’s fantastic! Not to mention eating out almost daily for lunch, having to buy decent attire for work, and the extra time for myself. Work still begins at 8:00 a.m. but I get to sleep in until 6:30 a.m. and still have time to shower, dress, feed, take the dog out, and feed myself. I work until 5:00 p.m. and have time and energy to go to yoga classes or the gym — whatever my body wants to do. Therefore, I realized that working remotely for lower pay is more suitable for me. Not everyone enjoys working from home, but I’m the opposite. I still communicate with my new co-workers through phone, chats, or video. Therefore, I am not missing out on socialization.

If you are not happy with your onsite job. Make sure you research any other options available to you, even if the pay is less. Just do the math and go for what makes you happy. Life is too short to be spent working, working, and working. Remember, we are on this planet to work to live, not to live to work.

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