It’s been more than three months since I changed jobs and freed myself from a highly unpleasant LA commute. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at my past spending in the categories of gas and food to see the financial impact of this life change. Not only did I gain back hours of my time, but some cold hard cash as well.
With the help of my handy dandy YNAB budget, it was super easy to pull a couple of spending reports and see a clear picture of my last 12-ish months.
Groceries & Restaurants
It’s fun to see those bars going up and down, following the path of my year. Food spending begins fairly steady while unemployed, then bumps up as I start my job in April. Over the summer when the shit hit the fan on my project, I was eating most lunches and dinners catered by work, so spending drops (August is a total blur). When the dust settled, September spending gets really high as I once again have to fend for myself. My Christmas gift arrives early in December in the form of a new job with an employer who supplies free daily breakfast and lunch. There’s a difference of $300 between the October high and February. Wow!
This category is much more obvious than above. Pre-commute spending is super low as I job hunt from home through March. It then jumps up over summer as I travel 40 miles per day in stop-and-go traffic and work many weekends. December rolls around and spending is back down with my current commute of 9 miles per day (plus occasional cycling). There’s a difference of $120 between the July high and February.
I’ll admit that this review didn’t give me much surprise or revelation. It did confirm my assumptions that the job change isn’t just great for my state of mind and free time, but also my pocketbook!