10 Hidden Costs of Getting a New Job That Nobody Really Talks About

A new job can bump up your salary or benefits, but it also might cut into your budget.
Updated Feb. 8, 2023
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A strong employment market continues to boost employees who are trying to land a new job or even switch careers.

Changing jobs might be a good thing to consider. Getting a higher-paying gig can help you stop living paycheck to paycheck.

But there can also be downsides to a job change. One of the biggest cons might be the additional costs you take on as part of a new position.

So, before you start looking for new work, here are a few hidden costs you might want to consider.

Higher health costs

Azeemud-Deen Jacobs/peopleimages.com/Adobe doctor talking about health insurance at clinic

Health insurance in the U.S. is something most of us get through an employer. But health care plans differ in cost from employer to employer.

Be sure to review health insurance expenses when you’re looking over an offer for a new position. These costs should clearly be included in an offer letter. Ask the employer’s human resources department for more information if you’re worried about your options.

A new work wardrobe

Angelov/Adobe woman standing in front of hanger rack choosing outfit

You want to look fresh and put together for a new position, so you might need to update your professional wardrobe. That will cost some extra cash.

Some jobs might require you to purchase a uniform. Factor in these additional costs, as well as the time you'll have to spend shopping for new clothes.

More expensive lunch options

Viktoriia/Adobe businesspeople having business lunch at restaurant

Perhaps it's simple to find a quick-and-easy lunch option at your current job. But a new job in a different location might not offer such cheap options. Check the area around your new office and plan accordingly.

Pro tip: If you decide to pack your lunch to cut back on spending, try these ways to save money on groceries so you can keep even more money in your wallet.

Changes in your hours

Prostock-studio/Adobe guy with fastened seat belt turning on music

Changing your hours can cost you money. For example, commuting during the height of rush hour can lead to higher costs for gas.

Working different hours also might require you to take more time off for appointments, which can lead to lost income or vacation time.

Longer commute

Monkey Business/Adobe business passengers sitting in train commuting to work

A longer commute can cause you to spend more on gas and car maintenance, including more frequent oil changes and replacing tires that wear faster.

If your current car isn't in great shape and can’t handle a long commute, you might even have to buy a new car just to get to work.

Pro tip: If a longer commute is causing you to spend more on gas and repairs, compare car insurance policies to find one that will lower your overall costs.

Upgrading your home office

Jelena/Adobe man working remotely from home

The pandemic created more remote and hybrid positions. Perhaps you cobbled together a workspace in your home on short notice to adjust to the changing workplace.

But a new job might require you to spend extra cash to upgrade your space and bring it into line with the expected standards at your new job. Check with your new employer about the requirements for your home office.

Relocation costs

Leika production/Adobe workers wearing uniforms are unloading the van full of boxes

Maybe the best offer you receive will be from a company that isn’t close to where you live now. If so, ask yourself whether it makes sense to move for a new job. Factor in relocation costs, including things like moving expenses.

You might also have to make cost-of-living adjustments. If you’re moving to an area with a higher cost of living, make sure your salary is high enough to cover the change.

And don't forget to factor in the cost of housing, utilities, groceries, and other typical expenses in the new area.

Training and certifications

NicoElNino/Adobe auditor looking at certificate on computer screen

Your new position might require you to step up your knowledge base. Ask if the company requires additional training and whether the employer will cover the costs.

See if the position requires certain costly certifications. Again, this may be something the company either covers or that you can ask it to cover as part of your negotiations.

Company benefits

Travis/Adobe set of dumbbells' in a gym

Perhaps your current company offers perks on phone service or a discounted gym membership. If you switch jobs, you'll lose those perks, which could hit you in the wallet.

So check out any new perks at the company you are interviewing with to see if the switch still makes sense.

Higher parking costs and tolls

Алексей Закиров/Adobe underground parking

Commuting to the new job might require you to drive on toll roads. Or you might work in an office that requires you to pay parking lot fees.

These costs can really add up over time. If possible, check to see if you can get expenses such as parking fees covered as part of your salary and benefits.

Bottom line

bnenin/Adobe woman doing job hunting

Looking for a new job can boost your career or get you better pay and benefits. But before you make the switch, make sure it won’t actually cost you money.

If you're diligent and patient, you should be able to find a job that enhances your career prospects and boosts your bank account.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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