You’ve made it through a lot: graduation, a frantic flurry of job applications, and a battery of interviews. But you’re not through all the hurdles yet. You’re starting a new job, and it may come with some hidden job expenses you haven’t planned for. Here’s a heads-up on potential job expenses to look out for.
Some jobs, such as those in education and healthcare, require regular renewal of licenses and certifications. The fees for various licenses, tests, and certifications aren’t exactly cheap, but Erin Martin, a registered nurse for Community Hospice of Texas in Forth Worth, says they aren’t a huge burden if you have to pay for them yourself. Many employers will cover those costs, she said, but you should check with your employer to make sure. Otherwise, keep them in mind while budgeting.
While college professors don't have to scrounge for classroom supplies like an elementary schoolteacher might, that doesn't mean there won't be any unexpected job expenses.
If you’re starting a new job in healthcare, Martin says you may also want to look into personal liability insurance to protect you from the potential cost of lawsuits. Hers costs $150 a year, which she works into her family budget with the other insurance as a planned expense. Better safe than sorry.
Everyone’s heard about schoolteachers having to pay for their own classroom supplies, but Ananda Valenzuela, managing director of the nonprofit Rainier Valley Corps in Seattle, Washington, says workers at cash-strapped nonprofits are just as grateful for scavenged office supplies and second-hand equipment. Often, you might have to pay out-of-pocket.
Scrubs aren’t cheap, and neither are many essential tools of the healthcare trade. Unfortunately, Martin says your employer won’t always pitch in to help you pay for them. For example, a stethoscope can cost as little as $30 for a cheap model, but you could be paying as much as several hundred dollars if you want something more functional.
While college professors don’t have to scrounge for classroom supplies like an elementary schoolteacher might, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any unexpected job expenses. Steven Weimer, a music professor at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, says travel to conferences and associated fees aren’t always covered by your university.
“This can be difficult because such activities are essential when being considered for tenure and promotion,” he said.
If you’re starting a new job in a new city, Conor McLaughlin, a senior lecturer at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, says that moving costs can sneak up on you as well. While you may be lucky enough to find an employer who covers some of those expenses, that may not stretch far enough to restock your new home with food and other necessary items.
The cost of childcare can also be a surprise for working parents starting a new job, especially when both parents work full-time. It certainly created some difficulties for Martin. Employers who provide childcare or financial provisions for it are rare, so Martin cobbled together a network of babysitters and family members to take care of her daughter every week.
“Working three 12- to 14-hour shifts per week doesn’t sound that bad,” Martin said. “But, when you consider you have to be at work at 6:30 a.m., before many daycares open or babysitters are available, and you aren’t done until 7 p.m. at the earliest, it makes childcare trickier.”