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Part-time work- “How can I afford it?”

by Pat Katepoo

For many, the first reaction to working less than full time is, “How would we be able to afford it?”

Take the time to explore whether “We can't afford it” is an objective conclusion, as opposed to an emotional response based on fear of the unknown.

First, determine the approximate reduction in take-home pay that corresponds with your planned reduction in hours.

For example, if you are planning a four-day workweek, (80% of full time), figure approximately 20% reduction in take-home pay; a three-day workweek (60% of full time), about a 40% reduction in take-home pay; and so forth.

Figure out what that dollar amount reduction would be on a monthly basis. With that figure—call it your Monthly Savings Target—you can start to look at where you can trim your household budget.

Begin with the expenses that may by reduced when you cut your working hours: meals out, wardrobe and/or dry cleaning, commuting costs, child/elder care, and so on. 

Financial adjustments are not a quick and easy step, but a critical planning component beyond the scope of this web site. If budget planning and ways to reduce expenses are new topics for you, turn to the extensive resources at your library and bookstore to walk you through the process.

In the end, you will likely find yourself making material tradeoffs in order to yield intangible, emotional benefits that cost mainly time and energy–exactly what you are negotiating for with your new flexible work arrangement.

See also Wage Comparisons to calculate your current real take home wage.

Pat Katepoo is the founder of and developer of the e-workbook, Flex Success Proposal Blueprint. Click here for details.




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