Pi of Life : What It Costs To Go To Work [Brokepreneurs]

The Catpreneur

A whole bunch of bootstrappers I know live pretty lean – and are fighting hard to make a fraction of what their last job made them. But before you sympathize, hey, they also save a bunch of money by the simple act of not having to “go to work”!!


Imagine a typical work week.

You drive to work. Perhaps in formals, with Friday dressing (remember those Allen Solly ads?), but always turned out smartly. You of course wear good branded shoes, good branded eyewear or sunglasses, and you recently upgraded to a more contemporary sedan/SUV more in line with the others in the office parking lot.

On Wednesday the team decides to not have lunch at the cafeteria and you obviously go along to a nice restaurant in the vicinity. You also sponsored a birthday treat last month, and contributed towards a gift last week.

Over coffee, a colleague shows off the new quad-core phone. Its faaast! Not that yours is slow, but you make mental notes to check out the newer models in the market and hunt for deals on them.

Friday is usually an evening out with folks from work – bonding over a couple of beer helps.

The much recommended daycare near home just upped their monthly fees, but you obviously want, and can afford the best. And the new maid is asking for 30% more than the last one. You obviously stopped driving to work yourself a while ago – the traffic’s too messy and stressful and you can finish a few calls on the way so a driver‘s a must!

Of course, you’ve been spending long hours at work, on conference calls and perhaps on business travel and try making it up to the wife and kids with a gift here, a movie there and maybe even that expensive cruise someone at office totally raved about.

You see how going to work can be quite expensive?

Let’s do some arithmetic. These are pulled-out-of-the-air and with-neighbourly-inputs monthly averages, and ymmv.

Nice pair of shoes, clothes, etc : Rs.3000/-
Driver : Rs.8000/-
Self-sponsored team lunches, bowling, beer : Rs.1500/-
Birthday bashes and gifts : Rs.500/-
Commute – fuel, maintenance, etc : Rs.7000/-

Toys for boys (“it makes sense!”) : Rs.4000/-
Day care : Rs.5000/-
Guilt! : An additional Rs.5000/- at least?
The extra maid : Rs.4000/-

There’s also the gym membership (hey, too little time to exercise), and the long term toll that the commute, stress and office politics take. But let’s ignore those.

That’s already a monthly average of Rs.38,000/- and I’m not even assuming you’re a spendthrift!! Sure, you’d have a few of these expenses irrespective – but a large portion of this can clearly be attributed to having to maintain a worklife!

So just perhaps, the Yahoo inspired “get back to work” has more implications than the productivity debates alone indicate.

Hey, some of us bootstrappers – aka brokepreneurs – are indeed struggling to make a fraction of our last drawn salary in revenue. But its quite likely we just need lesser 🙂

Recommended Read: Married and Running a Startup? It’s not THAT bad [Joy of Small things]

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