There are two types of people in this world:
The people who take their lunch to work.
And the people who are wrong…
While I was working minimum wage in retail I would always take my lunch to work with me.
*Occasionally some circumstance would arise, be it mouldy bread or forgetting to buy sandwich filling that would mean I had to buy my lunch, begrudgingly going to Sainsbury’s and overpaying £2.20 for some cheese sandwiches.*
The meal deal was always tempting but I knew the more I spent the more time I was committing to working for free.
I was getting about £7 an hour so if I spent £3.50 on my lunch that was half an hour spent working for free. It would get to half six and I’d spend the next half an hour essentially not getting paid because I’d already spent the money.
This is how I look at most expenses that would occur around work, the actual costs you pay to be able to go work, so travel and your meal while you’re there.
But know what the most annoying thing was?
Everyone thought it was weird I brought lunch with me! Add on reading to my lunch break and I might/may as well have been a 2 headed alien.
They’d always look at my pack lunch and maybe wonder “I should really start doing that” and then go out and buy lunch.
It was even common for one of my co-workers to spend £11 on lunch! They were only making about £8.50 an hour!
£11 a day 5 days a week is £2860 a year on your god damn lunch. Insanity! An extra three grand a year you need to earn to survive because you can’t find 15mins to make some sandwiches the evening before.
Now that £11 lunch is a rare occurrence (I hope…) more likely you would probably buy a supermarket meal deal and maybe an extra couple of snacks. Let’s call it a £5 lunch.
Even £5 a day is £1,300 extra a year.
Just think about how many extra hours you need to work to fund these lunches.
It depends how much you make but to get that after tax (20% income, 9% national insurance) you need £1,830 in your pay packet. At minimum wage that’s an extra 250 hours of work. That’s over 6 weeks of work to pay for your lunches.
Even at a nice £25,000 a year (assuming 40 hours a week) that’s an extra 155 hours. Almost a month of work just to pay to get a sandwich and some cakes every day.
That means once it hits December you’re essentially working for free.
And if you were to invest that £1,300 in the stock market every year, after 10 years you’d have £26,162!!
All that could be yours for 15 minutes of an evening spent making a couple of sandwiches, some pasta or whatever you fancy.
So start bringing your own lunch. Even Announce it down in the comments so you have some accountability! Take up a nickname and shout at me how pumped you are to bring your own lunch to work on Monday.
P.S A big thanks to the lovely reader Roddy for helping proofread some of these articles!