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Here’s a possible reason why Malaysians today are dissatisfied with their salary levels – the expenses they’ve got to bear while working.

The simple act of going to work — waking up, getting dressed, travelling to the office, grabbing coffee — takes a significant bite out of their paychecks.

In fact, according to a new CareerBuilder survey, the average amount of money people spend to go to work each month is US$276, or around US$3,300 (RM13,418) per year.

“The cost of work is often what the rest of your budget is centered around,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder.

“Knowing how much it amounts to can help you trim costs and make different lifestyle choices if need be. You can vow to carry lunch to work every day, stop buying coffee out, look for cheaper business clothes. Managing those costs can help account for others, like commuting and childcare, which won’t subside.”

The survey broke down the expenses borne by professionals by various categories, and delved into the exact amounts they cough out for those expenses (all figures in US$):


The majority of workers (84%) typically commute to work by driving. 37% of these employees spend $25 or more a week on gas, while the majority (63%) spend less than $25 on gas a week:

Less than $10: 17%

$10 to less than $25: 47%

$25 to less than $50: 30%

$50 or more: 7%

Public transportation

Of those that take public transportation (7%), nearly half (47%) spend $25 or more on fare per week:

Less than $10: 19%

$10 to less than $25:34 %

$25 to less than $50:33 %

$50 or more: 14%


While most workers (72%) say they bring their lunch to work, half of employees that buy their lunch (50%) spend $25 or more on it a week:

Less than $10: 19%

$10 to less than $25: 31%

$25 to less than $50: 37%

$50 or more: 13%


Half of workers (49%) buy coffee during a typical work week. Of these workers, the spend is:

Less than $10: 71%

$10 to less than $25: 25%

$25 or more: 3%

Clothing, shoes and accessories

When asked how much they spend on clothing, shoes and accessories for work in a given year, nearly half (47%) spend $250 or more; nearly 1 in 4 (24%) spend $500 or more; and more than 1 in 10 employees (13%) spend $750 or more:

Less than $250: 53%

$250 to $499: 24%

$500 to $749: 11%

$750 to $999: 5%

$1,000 to $1,499: 4%

$1,500 to $1,999: 1%

$2,000 or more: 2%

 Image: 123rf

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