How much do you earn?

Did you enjoy the sunshine? Good. Now, though, it is time for some thinking. Let’s start from the following question: did you ever ask yourself how much you earn? Well, I know you know it. Nevertheless, we will think about it somewhat differently. Let’s do a simple calculation: we will suppose that you receive each month € 1700. This is also the answer you would give me to my question: “How much do you earn?”, “€ 1700”. Now consider this: your workday comprises 7 hours and 30 minutes (= 450 minutes) or 150 hours per month, so you earn € 11.33 per hour. You need to retain this, because it corresponds to how much they pay you, this is your worth for an hour work. Next question: how many extra hours could you work every month? An average of ten hours per week, not much more on a regular base. This means that you will have worked a total of 190 hours in a month. You will certainly see some more money in your pay-check at the end of the month. In fact, if at the end of the month you will receive more money, it will not be because you are paid more but because you have worked more

As a quick note: don’t forget that an increase in your income will soon trigger an augmentation of how much you pay in taxes. In your case your pay per hour will remain € 11.33, you will earn a maximum of € 2,152.7 in a month. Consequently, when I ask you the same question, “How much do you earn?”, you will give me this new figure.

Instead I am telling you that your pay has not changed, you are still earning € 11.33 per hour. In fact, you have not earned more, but you have worked more, so you have subtracted more time to your life to give it to your work: less time for your family, or for love or sex, or less time for reading, for your own education or personal improvement, less time for your evenings with your friends, and so on. Have you really earned more? Although, you will answer “Yes, I did”, my reply to you will be: “For how long do you think you could sustain so many extra hours of work? What is the price you will pay mentally and physically for those Euro more in your pay-check?” In fact, earning more means something different, which is: you keep or reduce your present number of work hours and, at the same time, you receive an increase in your hourly pay.

Finally, add to this that you have a job you took because you had to, a job that is not fulfilling your mental, psychological and physical potentialities. Think that you are neither realizing your dreams, your deepest aspirations. Now, what will your answer be to the same question: How much do you earn?

It is all very well to have a job and to fulfill your responsibilities, but does this mean that the “normal” way of life is to be delusional? Or in the perception that there isn’t an alternative?

See you with the next article in which we attempt a possible approach based on Stoicism.

Enjoy your Sunday!