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
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
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.
to calculate your current real take home wage.
Pat Katepoo is the founder of WorkOptions.com and developer of the e-workbook, Flex Success Proposal Blueprint.