The Cost of Working

Since I started my first full-time job after graduation about 5 months ago, I have spent a LOT of money on my career.
Between getting the certification I need, dressing the part and just getting to work..It hasn’t been cheap.
 The certification
In my field of work I need to get licensed by my state. To get the license, you need to pass 4 exams. I have passed two. I took the third exam but unfortunately did not pass. While my work will provide me with a nice BONUS when I pass the exams and will reimburse me for some of my expenses, I currently have more than $1,500 tied up in this exam. The earliest I could pass is mid February. After all the different fees, I expect that with the bonus, I will break even.
 The Look
I get it..dressing the part is everything…But to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to be working with such stylish bean counters! While I don’t mind dressing up-it has been a struggle to do this every single day. Since starting work, I have spent approximately $400 on clothes and shoes. That doesn’t get you a lot of clothes either-especially when you are looking for high-quality work staples (hello nice heels, sweaters, and blazers). I took advantage of the Black Friday promotions and added a few items for a little less.
I also went from getting a haircut from every 3 months to every 2 months. That’s an extra 2 haircuts a year at about $50 a visit, or a total of about $300 a year.
 The Transportation
I live about 19 miles away from my place of employment (yup living in the suburbs!) I commute most days using public transportation. $3 each way, $6 a day. 53(?) weeks a year for a total of about $1,590. Yikes. But it beats driving, with the cost of gas, wear and tear on the car and the cost of parking (at least $10 a day).
Other Stuff
I also expect to occasionally grab lunch with coworkers or go out for happy hour. While I hate spending the money on lunch it is a crucial way to build relationships at my work and have fun. I think this will cost me about $100 per year.
 So there you have it: working full-time will cost me about $3,890 this year. Hopefully the exam fees will be finished by February and now that I have established a basic work wardrobe, those costs will also decrease after this year.  How much are you spending on working? What is your biggest “work” expense?
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