Consumer Culture Editorials
From the pages of
Understanding money, debt and income. Deceptive advertising and marketing manipulation, how to get the best values, the Columbine tragedy, and even a little history of mass marketing. Editorials by Rick Doble, Editor.
Consumer guide to frugal living - from previous newsletters © Copyright 1995-2000 by - All Rights Reserved

This is a free service by the nation's #1 web site for smart consumer ideas
click here to find our more about
List of index of all topics with links Financial calculators - printer friendly Cut budget 5000 dollars a year Only $8 / month for all long distance? coupons, free samples, catalogs, close-outs Rebel Consumer Blog

Cheaper: Insiders' Tips for Saving on Everything by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin OUR NEW BOOK! Just published
Insiders' Tips for Saving on Everything

by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin
Save $5000 a year
with virtually no change in your lifestyle
Now available at your local bookstore
Click Now to Find Out More


Prev | Next | Contents


I heard a story about a wealthy man who spent time shopping for a Jaguar automobile. In two days he saved $10,000 (plus taxes & interest). Even though he had money, he felt it was worth his while to shop around. His hourly pay (16 hrs.) worked out to a tax free $625 per hour - not bad even for a professional.

Everyone wants a bargain. However, saving just a few bucks may not be worth the trouble. People need to have a rough idea of how much they should save for an hour's worth of effort spent bargain hunting.

== Lets take two examples:

A married career woman working over forty hours a week, making $30,000 a year with two children would need a good reason to spend her time saving money when she could be with her family.

A retired couple on a fixed income with lots of time but very little money, might find it rewarding to spend hours scanning the sales fliers and clipping coupons.

There are other things to consider as well. When you save money you are earning tax-free money, free of income tax, social security and sales tax. You may also be saving any interest you would have had to pay to borrow the money. According to my calculations ( Vol.1 # 2), $1 saved could equal $2 earned.

family budget calculators
Free Budget Calculators
Loans, Insurance, Cash Flow, Irregular Payments
Generic Vs. Name Brand Products
Brown Bagging Lunch

== Fancy Calculations

So how much is a hour of your time worth?

In order to get a rough figure you would need to make some fairly elaborate calculations. First, take your gross annual salary, add all your benefits (average = 17% of salary), then subtract all your yearly work related expenses such as commuting and the cost of buying and cleaning your work clothes. After that divide the above amount by the total number of hours you work per year, including commuting time and overtime. This gives you a realistic pre-tax hourly wage.

Finally to allow for all taxes and any interest you would have paid to borrow money, divide the pre-tax hourly wage by about 2 (since $1 saved can equal $2 earned - see above) to come up with a realistic wage. (If you never borrow on time and never carry a credit card balance, you might divide the hourly wage by about 1.4 to only factor in your taxes.) This is the minimum hourly wage you should be earning for your time spent saving money.

== A Simple Method

Instead of doing all the math computations mentioned above, I did some calculations and came up with this easy and very rough rule of thumb:

== Simply divide your annual salary in thousands by five. This equals a minimum that you should be getting per hour. For example, a worker making $30,000 per year would divide 30 by 5 to come up with $6.00 per hour.

A professional making $100,000 should save at least $20 per hour.

A minimum wage worker earning $10,000 should save at least $2.00 per hour for it to be worth his or her while.

I realize that this hourly wage seems very low. That's because it is a realistic figure. It includes all your work related time and expenses (not merely hours on the job) and then deducts sales tax, income tax, social security and borrowing costs.

Let me emphasize that this method is a very crude, but it is easy. If anyone has a simple and more accurate method, please let me know.

Prev | Next | Contents

| Impulse buying | Introduction; How To Cut Your Household Budget By $5000 A Year | Price comparison book -- how to compare prices. |

Check Our Annual Sales And Seasonal Discount Calendar
A Listing of Regular Month By Month Sales For:
Clothing, Automobiles, Furniture, Appliances, Computers, Televisions, Audio-Visual Equipment And More
Plus Fruits and Vegetables.

Read our quick guide to saving $5000 a year
with no extra work or change in your lifestyle:
How To Cut Your Household Budget

Introduction | Supermarket | Stockpile | Utilities | Car
Long Distance Phone | Credit Cards | Used Products | Clothing | Christmas
Refunds | Company Benefits | Travel | Insurance | Government Services | Time And Money tm
"Pay Less Everyday"
Save Money * Save Time * Take Control * Help the Environment
The nation's #1 web site for smart consumer ideas
---- 10 years ----

Search the Web Site
search web site

Main Links: Home | Blog | Articles | All Topics Index | Calculators | Annual Sales Calendar | Consumer Links | Newsletter Signup | Current Newsletter | Newsletter Archive | Personal Finance Section
Discount Products: Discount Telephone Services | Free Discount Drug Prescription Card | List Of Discount Products
More About Us: Media Info | Ad Info | About Us | Contact | Sitemap |