Tuesday, 6 February 2018

How much does your lifestyle really cost?

There must be somewhere online that has calculated this for the UK, but I can only find ones for the USA. Anyhow, Rhonda mentions this on one of her posts (Down to Earth) and I thought it might be interesting to see how many 'life' hours things cost.

I reckon if you use your net income as a guide, whether weekly or monthly that should be a good starting place. Simply divide that net total by hours worked and that will give you a sum of money that is one life hour. To make things easier, say your net income for a week was £400, divided by 40 hours worked, that equates to £10 per life hour. You may be earning well below/above this net figure.

I am not talking about buying things on credit as that eats even more of your life hours away. Simply everyday things and items that you may/may not really need and which could be costing you dearly.

Your fridge breaks down so a new one is needed, costing a minimum of £300, divide that by your £10 a life hour = 30 life hours, almost a whole week of work.

Are you really sure you need that new every so expensive designer handbag costing £2500? That will cost you 250 hours, about 6 and a bit weeks of work.

What about food. If like some on tv are to be believed, your weekly food bill for 2 adults is the shocking amount of say £200, that is 20 life hours, 1/2 of a working week etc. Obviously theese people must be earning considerably more but it is still amazing to calculate it. If your weekly shopping is closer to £30, that is 3 hours.

What about calculating your bills, the cost of your pets/holidays/mortgage etc. Could you cut any of these down, change supplier, take holidays at a different time of the year or look for offers etc. Any small changes will save you life hours for things you really would like to do.

Obviously, these calculations are very simplistic intended to look at those who are still working. If however you are on a pension and divide that smaller amount by approximate working hours, the life hour spenditure rises dramically.

If you are not yet retired and fritter money away, maybe you could look at what you are doing and get yourself in check before retiring.

It is thought that most younger people now, would be expected to work well past 70 or even 75, doesn't bear thinking about.

Whilst you are young and fit, overworking for little reward, it is easy to ignore the cost to your health and life hours. Maybe you could make some adjustments now, such as reducing your outgoings, maybe overpaying your mortgage, reduce some or all your debt?

That would open up the possibility for you to reduce working hours, thus opening up the possibility of retiring earlier.






26 comments:

  1. I think looking at things this way puts a whole new spin on waste too. I used to have have loads of open bottles of shampoo and things like that but keep buying more. Even if they only cost £1 each (which they didn't), opening a new one before finishing the last adds up. Then there's food waste, clothes that are bought and never worn etc, lots of money spent for no positive purpose.

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    1. I’m sure we have done that in the past and even today when I don’t remember to check.

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  2. Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, published in the early nineties, put things in perspective for me...

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    1. That sounds like an interesting book. Will look it up.
      I'm going to have a go at working out our life hours, tho' I'm not exactly a spendthrift.

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  3. We are working hard to reduce the cost of our living. We have chopped it down by 2/3rds in 4 years. Impressive even if I say so myself.

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    1. Very well done to you all and what a great foundation to life for your daughters.

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  4. I used to bulk buy if something was a bargain until I realised that I'd spent a weeks worth of money on stuff for the future. I might buy 2 now but there will always be offers and it's easy to forget what you have in stock.

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    1. When I have some spare food money at the end of the month, I will buy a few extras to top up my pantry.

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  5. Being introduced to thinking like this was a light bulb moment for me. Within a very short time I had control of my expenditure and could balance want and need. X

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    1. I have spent quite a bit of my life needing things so on the odd occasion I actually want something, it takes me a while to have an internal discussion with myself.

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  6. I look at things like that now - in terms of how many hours it would take me to earn to buy whatever. It deters me that's for sure.
    (looking out of the window as I type this at nearly 3pm, we have what looks like heavy snow coming down fast here in the East Midlands).

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    1. We had a good dusting of snow but it is cold.

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  7. It really helps to do this doesn't it.

    A variant on this was when I was working away from home each day with my sons at school, I sat and worked out which was better value for me, working and paying for all the things that that entailed ... easier meals, clothes for work, car parking, fuel and all the other bills for a second car etc etc. It actually turned out that I would be better off at home spending more time with my sons, working from home while they were at school and cooking from scratch and growing lots of our own vegetables. Nothing was ever wasted and that's when I started to learn all about economising.

    So basically it was costing me more than one life hour each hour to actually go out to work and by staying at home I drastically reduced the money we needed to get by on.

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    1. Same here when I gave up nursing and DB retired early. Lots of calculating but in the end health and happiness outweighed the low funds.

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  8. Looking at things this way makes me want to get every cent possible from what I have used our hard earned cash on.

    God bless.

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    1. I find this way of looking at things quite interesting.

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  9. This is something I use with KL. She sometimes needs a gentle reminder of how many hours she has to work to pay for something she sees. It's an attitude that has stood us in good stead over the years and has helped us to be in the position we are now.

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    1. Same here, especially when we thought my pension would kick in but now have to wait an extra 7 years:(

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  10. Well, I'm 53 and I'm not expecting to ever retire. Yes, I have a work pension and I will get the state pension at 67 but in fourteen years time who knows how much that will be worth. Sadly, I think, gone are the days of leisurely retirement. :(

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    1. I am afraid you are right. The model was wrong. It benefitted the baby boomers who will, on average, get out more from the system than they paid in. Government won’t tackle it for fear of offending the grey vote.

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    2. Also, I was fully paid up on stamps, only to then be told that my pension would be delayed by 7 years. I now want the new rate, I have to hand over 5 years of savings to buy 5 more years of stamps!

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  11. This is a very good post. I remember years ago when my then to be husband was an apprentice and when spending on leisure would always work out how many hours it had taken him to earn it and was it worth it.

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    1. We find it difficult at times to allow ourselves to spend money on something, using our savings. Its a bit of a balancing act isn’t it?

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  12. This is such a good idea! At living gentler we are trying to follow a green path that is cost neutral. But working out the life hours for it is cool.

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