6 Ways Workaholism Is Costing You Money

Putting in long hours on the job doesn't have to be a bad thing. If you truly love what you do for a living, working at it passionately can help advance your career, build an important business, help others succeed, and even make you happy.

But there's a line every worker can cross when burning the midnight oil starts to wreak havoc on their finances. These are some of the ways working too much can be a problem for your money.

1. You probably overpay for last-minute meals

When you work nonstop, eating is often an afterthought — which is why you end up shelling out extra money for things that you don't have time to fix for yourself, like takeout food and drinks. These quick bites add up fast. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spent $3,008 on restaurant and takeout meals in 2015. If you had more time in your schedule to pack a lunch from home, imagine how much money you could be keeping in your pocket. (See also: How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save)

2. Your medical costs can increase

Patients with one or more chronic conditions account for 86 percent of health care spending by American citizens, their insurance companies, and government programs. As of 2017, U.S. total annual health care costs topped $3.4 trillion.

You're wondering what this has to do with you? Well, if you're putting in too many hours behind a desk, chances are you're also guilty of some seriously unhealthy habits: not sleeping enough, drinking too much coffee, eating irregularly, and not exercising, just to name a few. When these habits are compounded over time, it can set you up for any number of chronic health issues that aren't cheap to manage.

From obesity, to diabetes, to heart disease, sacrificing your health for your job is almost guaranteed to empty your wallet. According to eHealthInsurance.com, in 2016 the average annual deductible for unsubsidized individual health insurance plans was $4,358, and the average deductible for family plans was $7,983. Once you've managed to develop a chronic condition, you're more likely to have to hit that deductible earlier in the year. (See also: How to Handle a Massive Medical Bill)

3. Your family life can crumble

It seems obvious that people who work too much have less time to spend with their families. But if your job is ruining your marriage and affecting your relationship with your kids, I'll let you in on a secret — divorce isn't cheap.

Don't believe me? Sure, it's possible to have an amicable, uncontested divorce where both parties agree on everything. But the average divorce in the United States costs between $15,000 and $20,000. Most divorce spending is attributed to attorney's fees, but you'll also encounter court fees, costs related to real estate divisions, education fees (parental education is required in some states), and costs of neutral evaluations.

That's not even counting the additional cost of housing that you'll face once split, or child care. Child care can be a significant expense, although costs vary greatly depending on where you live.

4. You eat unreimbursed business costs

From travel expenses to at-home office costs, anything that isn't reimbursed by your employer, or written off on your taxes, is a loss.

Did you upgrade to business-level internet services at home to ensure that you're never without high-speed connectivity? That's a business cost. Do you need an expensive mobile data and voice plan to keep pace with work demands? That's a loss unless your business is covering it. How much of your driving is related to business (outside of a regular daily commute)? Documents? Website costs? These expenses aren't cheap, and they add up quickly.

5. Your career may stall if you can't delegate (or finish anything)

What's the point of working your butt off if you aren't making any career advancement? Some people have a tendency to tackle all the work themselves, partly because they don't know how to say no, and partly because working is in some ways an addiction.

The problems arise when you hope to climb the corporate ladder. A good manager knows how and when to delegate, how to support a team, and how much pressure is enough to get the best work from underlings. A manager who can't properly delegate tasks and manage time can alienate coworkers (who don't get a chance to pitch in on important projects) and people who report to them (who feel the need to suffer under mountains of work in order to keep up appearances).

Even though it may seem like doing everything yourself is better for your career, it's often the opposite. If your insistence on being The One prevents you from getting promoted and moving into a higher-paying position, your tendencies to overwork are hurting your earning potential, not helping it. (See also: 12 Ways to Finally Get That Promotion This Year)

6. You have to outsource everything else

Delegating tasks at work is one thing — that's part of ensuring that all work is done on time and ensures even distribution of labor. But what about your unpaid work — the work of maintaining everything else around you? Are you paying someone else to:

  • Do your laundry?

  • Clean your house?

  • Mow your lawn?

  • Care for your children?

  • Vacuum your car?

  • Run errands?

If so, this is costing you big-time. There are some home-related tasks that should be done by professionals (electrical work comes to mind), and if you really hate mowing the lawn or vacuuming, it's fine to pay someone else to do it if you can afford it. But if you're outsourcing every single task around the house because you're never home or free to do them yourself, you're throwing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars away per year.

Evaluate your work-life balance

Every few months, take a good hard look at the hours you spend and whether you are devoting enough time to the nonwork parts of your life. There's no magic number that fits for everyone. You have to decide what works for you and your loved ones. But do check in regularly, to evaluate your goals and consider your priorities. (See also: 9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off)

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