Author Topic: Minor Dilemma  (Read 6738 times)

JordanOfGilead

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Minor Dilemma
« on: June 07, 2017, 09:35:18 AM »
I live about 8 miles from work, which is roughly a 15 minute drive. I often find myself debating whether to go home for lunch or to go out and get something quick.

If I go home, I get to spend time with the pets and enjoy the quiet for a few minutes, but I add 30 minutes to my lunch break and have to make it up at the end of the day. Our hours are not closely tracked but 40/week is expected. I make about $31/hour before tax, so this additional 30 minutes carries with it an implicit cost of about $15 and change.

The alternative is to take a shorter lunch break, get Subway or Chipotle or something of the like for about $8 and get to go home 30 minutes earlier.

The obvious financial solution is to pack my lunch and not go anywhere, but if I don't step out of the office for at least half an hour during the day I will lose my mind, so I'm contemplating which is the lesser of two evils at this point.

Debate, criticism, and face punches welcome.

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golden1

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2017, 09:42:26 AM »
I bring my lunch and then take a half hour walk.  That way I save money and still get some fresh air.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2017, 09:46:26 AM »
That's not a bad idea, weather permitting.

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Fishindude

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2017, 09:47:06 AM »
Driving home that far does seem pretty wasteful of both fuel and time considering how long you will actually be there.
I always liked to get away too, so would often just go eat nearby at someplace cheap, or bring a lunch and sit at the outdoor picnic table.  Also frequently drove over to nearby park and walked a mile or so.

mm1970

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2017, 09:48:57 AM »
I bring my lunch and then take a half hour walk.  That way I save money and still get some fresh air.

+1 - This is what I do also.  A few days a week anyway.  Alas, the little stretch of walk along the creek, which is the closest thing to "nature" (as opposed to cars and office buildings) is disappearing in a sea of new housing.  But at least it's sunlight.

Highbeam

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2017, 09:50:21 AM »
"I make about $31/hour before tax, so this additional 30 minutes carries with it an implicit cost of about $15 and change."

I think that this is a false statement and a poor way to think about it. Following this logic, when you go home for the other 16 hours of the day you are costing yourself twice as much as you made at work all day! You're losing money!

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2017, 09:53:44 AM »
I don't think it's a totally wrong way to look at it. I am valued at about $30/hr for 40 hours a week by y company, so that's the dollar amount I put on my personal time. If I could find a way to get paid overtime, or even hourly without overtime, I would definitely be at work more than 8 hours a day. That's why the loss is only implicit though. I don't have any money taken out of my wallet, but it's surrendering personal time, the dollar value of which I consider to be what the company pays me.

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AZDude

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2017, 10:35:02 AM »
+1 to the bring your lunch and take a walk idea. Or go to the onsite gym(if they have one) or go anywhere other than at your desk to eat lunch.

I'm not opposed to taking a longer lunch break and then lengthening your day by 30 minutes. Sometimes that break in the middle of the day is needed.

MilesTeg

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2017, 10:41:00 AM »
I live about 8 miles from work, which is roughly a 15 minute drive. I often find myself debating whether to go home for lunch or to go out and get something quick.

If I go home, I get to spend time with the pets and enjoy the quiet for a few minutes, but I add 30 minutes to my lunch break and have to make it up at the end of the day. Our hours are not closely tracked but 40/week is expected. I make about $31/hour before tax, so this additional 30 minutes carries with it an implicit cost of about $15 and change.

The alternative is to take a shorter lunch break, get Subway or Chipotle or something of the like for about $8 and get to go home 30 minutes earlier.

The obvious financial solution is to pack my lunch and not go anywhere, but if I don't step out of the office for at least half an hour during the day I will lose my mind, so I'm contemplating which is the lesser of two evils at this point.

Debate, criticism, and face punches welcome.

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I take a walk every day as my lunch break. Gets me out of the office to decompress + some extra exercise. Sometimes it's just a walk, or sometimes I walk over to the strip mall (~2mi round trip) with various eateries such as subway/etc. to get a "quick and easy" lunch.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2017, 10:42:59 AM »
I live about 8 miles from work, which is roughly a 15 minute drive. I often find myself debating whether to go home for lunch or to go out and get something quick.

If I go home, I get to spend time with the pets and enjoy the quiet for a few minutes, but I add 30 minutes to my lunch break and have to make it up at the end of the day. Our hours are not closely tracked but 40/week is expected. I make about $31/hour before tax, so this additional 30 minutes carries with it an implicit cost of about $15 and change.

The alternative is to take a shorter lunch break, get Subway or Chipotle or something of the like for about $8 and get to go home 30 minutes earlier.

The obvious financial solution is to pack my lunch and not go anywhere, but if I don't step out of the office for at least half an hour during the day I will lose my mind, so I'm contemplating which is the lesser of two evils at this point.

Debate, criticism, and face punches welcome.

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I take a walk every day as my lunch break. Gets me out of the office to decompress + some extra exercise. Sometimes it's just a walk, or sometimes I walk over to the strip mall (~2mi round trip) with various eateries such as subway/etc. to get a "quick and easy" lunch.
This reminded me that we have a Kroger with a deli less than half a mile away. I might consider walking to that some days. That would be decent exercise, provided it's not too hot (don't want sweat stains on my business attire).

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Noodle

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017, 11:04:34 AM »
Why not a little of everything? Go out and get lunch one day, go home one day, go for a walk, etc. Also, are there any closer places to go that are free or cheap? For instance, a library where you could go read magazines, an errand you need to do anyway that would satisfy the itch to get "out?" A museum or garden where you could get a quick break (this might require an annual membership, but they support a good cause!) Obviously some of these would require a quick desk lunch before or after, which may or may not work for you.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2017, 11:14:42 AM »
Why not a little of everything? Go out and get lunch one day, go home one day, go for a walk, etc. Also, are there any closer places to go that are free or cheap? For instance, a library where you could go read magazines, an errand you need to do anyway that would satisfy the itch to get "out?" A museum or garden where you could get a quick break (this might require an annual membership, but they support a good cause!) Obviously some of these would require a quick desk lunch before or after, which may or may not work for you.
Nah, our office is in an industrial park and I live in one of the closest neighborhoods, so there isn't a lot to do for free that's closer than just going home. Switching it up might work though. Thanks for the advice!

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stoaX

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2017, 11:22:37 AM »
"I make about $31/hour before tax, so this additional 30 minutes carries with it an implicit cost of about $15 and change."

I think that this is a false statement and a poor way to think about it. Following this logic, when you go home for the other 16 hours of the day you are costing yourself twice as much as you made at work all day! You're losing money!

My God - you're right!  I gotta quit my job now, I can't afford to work.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2017, 11:24:10 AM »
"I make about $31/hour before tax, so this additional 30 minutes carries with it an implicit cost of about $15 and change."

I think that this is a false statement and a poor way to think about it. Following this logic, when you go home for the other 16 hours of the day you are costing yourself twice as much as you made at work all day! You're losing money!

My God - you're right!  I gotta quit my job now, I can't afford to work.
That wouldn't provide explicit gain, only negate implicit loss. Microeconomics 101.

No need to be a smart ass.

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ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2017, 11:28:47 AM »
I have about the same exact commute as you, and I eat a quick lunch (10 minutes), walk for 30-40 minutes, then read for the remaining 10-20 minutes.

Since I started doing this (as well as other things, like eating better and working out 3-4x per week), I've lost 21 pounds. 

Don't let the weather stop you--take a walk every day. It's immeasurably good for you.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2017, 11:30:34 AM »
I have about the same exact commute as you, and I eat a quick lunch (10 minutes), walk for 30-40 minutes, then read for the remaining 10-20 minutes.

Since I started doing this (as well as other things, like eating better and working out 3-4x per week), I've lost 21 pounds. 

Don't let the weather stop you--take a walk every day. It's immeasurably good for you.
The weather doesn't bother me personally, I just need to maintain a professional appearance and don't feel like bringing a change of clothes for my lunch break. Rain and snow I can deal with, but heat is a tough one.

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scottish

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2017, 05:43:36 PM »
I do the same thing - either hit the gym or go for a walk.    I'm measured by my productivity though instead of my hours.    These activities usually boost my productivity.    Seriously, I come back with a clear head, fresh ideas and progress goes way up for a couple of hours.

I can't get any more time.    So I'll do all sorts of things to boost my productivity.       :-)

For example, I have zero tolerance for low productivity tools.   I remember in my first jobs, s/w build times could stretch for 10's of minutes out to an hour.    So my cycle time for a bug fix or other change was over an hour.   It's no wonder people had to hang out at the office for 12-16 hours every day.   

Once I became a manager, we fixed that.   From one hour down to a few minutes.    Now I expect cycle times to be less than a minute.   A minute for a build is almost intolerable.

sorry for the foam...


runewell

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2017, 11:09:57 AM »
I don't think it's a totally wrong way to look at it. I am valued at about $30/hr for 40 hours a week by y company, so that's the dollar amount I put on my personal time. If I could find a way to get paid overtime, or even hourly without overtime, I would definitely be at work more than 8 hours a day. That's why the loss is only implicit though. I don't have any money taken out of my wallet, but it's surrendering personal time, the dollar value of which I consider to be what the company pays me.

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I still disagree with this idea.  Just because your employer is willing to pay you $31/hr for 40 hours doesn't mean you should value additional hours of your personal time that way.  Maybe you should view it as an opportunity cost.  Given the fact that you could pick up some evening hours at McDonalds and make $9/hr but don't means you value your personal time higher than that.  Alternatively, the marginal additional dollar might not be worth it.  Once you make $65,000 in a given year, it doesn't make sense for you to work any harder unless you can get at least $X.

You have said you would work additional hours at your current pay if you could, so evidently you value your personal time at between $9-$31/hr.  Perhaps the correct question is: what is the cheapest amount someone could pay you for a side gig and you would accept?  Would you do overtime at your job for $20/hr?  How about $15? 

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2017, 11:14:30 AM »
I don't think it's a totally wrong way to look at it. I am valued at about $30/hr for 40 hours a week by y company, so that's the dollar amount I put on my personal time. If I could find a way to get paid overtime, or even hourly without overtime, I would definitely be at work more than 8 hours a day. That's why the loss is only implicit though. I don't have any money taken out of my wallet, but it's surrendering personal time, the dollar value of which I consider to be what the company pays me.

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I still disagree with this idea.  Just because your employer is willing to pay you $31/hr for 40 hours doesn't mean you should value additional hours of your personal time that way.  Maybe you should view it as an opportunity cost.  Given the fact that you could pick up some evening hours at McDonalds and make $9/hr but don't means you value your personal time higher than that.  Alternatively, the marginal additional dollar might not be worth it.  Once you make $65,000 in a given year, it doesn't make sense for you to work any harder unless you can get at least $X.

You have said you would work additional hours at your current pay if you could, so evidently you value your personal time at between $9-$31/hr.  Perhaps the correct question is: what is the cheapest amount someone could pay you for a side gig and you would accept?  Would you do overtime at your job for $20/hr?  How about $15?
Agree to disagree on the dollar value of my time.

Either way you look at it, a longer lunch requires me to stay in the office later and working late sucks if you are a wage slave (as I am currently).

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Rosy

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2017, 11:27:54 AM »
I vote for the deli once a week, then bring your lunch the rest of the week and take a walk to clear your head.
One of the companies I worked for gave us the 30 min or one hour option for lunch as well. I'd make use of that on tough days, but I always waffled back and forth as to whether staying an extra 30 minutes after a tough day was really worth it, when surely I could have toughened it out for a measly 30 min at lunch:)

PerpetualWanderlust

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2017, 07:42:46 PM »
Pack lunch.

1. You will save money.
2. You will be able to control your carbs/calories better, since you're packing it several hours before eating.
3. Flexibility with your lunch break (can work more if needed to catch up, can go run a quick errand, can take a short walk as others suggested).

lizzzi

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2017, 05:25:15 AM »
As long as the pets are OK without you going home for lunch, I echo what everybody else said about packing your lunch but going outside the office somewhere to eat it. I've worked with a lot of people who just go outside and eat in their cars, if nothing else. The best thing would be if you can walk somewhere where you can sit in a little bit of green space.

asauer

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2017, 05:45:31 AM »
I bring my lunch and eat it at a nearby park.  Saving $ AND getting out of my fluorescent box.

RocketSurgeon

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2017, 07:10:31 AM »
I live a <10 minute drive from work and don't like going home on my break. You just end up watching the clock so you're not late getting back and never really relax. My vote is for taking the shorter break and going home early.

lamil

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2017, 09:44:56 AM »
~5 mile commute, ~10-15 minutes depending on traffic / time.

I go home for lunch a few times a week.  Sometimes, I take a bit longer lunch, sometimes shorter and get things done.  Sometimes I even go home, make lunch, do some house work, and then bring my lunch back and eat it while I work.

Going home on lunch is wonderful most times, but also makes it hard to want to go back once you sit down and get settled or are working on something.

I would add a few trips into your routine and see how you like it, but +1 from me for stopping home sometimes.

I also would ride my bike in the morning and home for lunch, then shower, eat, and drive back.  That's nice, too.

GoConfidently

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2017, 10:11:11 AM »
My commute is roughly the same as yours and I go home almost every day (although I have to drive a lot for work and I try to combine it with a site visit when I can). I like seeing my dog, I like eating my food and putting dishes right in the dishwasher, I like being able to throw on a load of laundry or do little quick chores while I'm heating up food. It's a mental break that I value. So if it brings you joy and makes the rest of the day better, go home. I think spending money to eat a fast food sandwich would make my day significantly worse.

Dicey

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2017, 12:24:52 PM »
Scooter? Ebike? Electric Razor? Non-electric Razor?

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2017, 12:49:55 PM »
Scooter? Ebike? Electric Razor? Non-electric Razor?
Currently a 500cc that gets about 60mpg

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lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2017, 10:17:31 PM »
I either don't eat lunch or have some almonds out of a giant feedbag you can get at Walmart for a reasonable price (a $10 bag lasts me a week or two). Because I don't take a lunch break, I show up to work an hour later than everyone else. Also, during the lunch break, there is time to creep around people's cubes and photocopy the pictures of their families everyone has pinned up and put the copies in a giant album I keep hidden in my lower desk drawer. If I've ever laid off, I plan on leaving a creepy relic behind!

goose318

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2017, 12:12:49 PM »
I agree with everyone who said pack a lunch and go for a walk. I always go for a walk and listen to audible books over lunch and it really helps prevent the after lunch slump. Plus I get to listen to some fantastic books

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2017, 12:23:26 PM »
I think that's what I'll start doing. I might even pack a lunch I can eat on my walk.

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ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2017, 07:08:13 AM »
I have about the same exact commute as you, and I eat a quick lunch (10 minutes), walk for 30-40 minutes, then read for the remaining 10-20 minutes.

Since I started doing this (as well as other things, like eating better and working out 3-4x per week), I've lost 21 pounds. 

Don't let the weather stop you--take a walk every day. It's immeasurably good for you.
The weather doesn't bother me personally, I just need to maintain a professional appearance and don't feel like bringing a change of clothes for my lunch break. Rain and snow I can deal with, but heat is a tough one.

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I'm an attorney in a white collar firm and wear a shirt, tie, and dress pants every day. I've basically mastered the shadows and wind direction so I don't get too overheated. I also have a little fan in my office for those rare occasions that I get too hot.

This week's highs are 90, 87, 84, 85, and 88; and yes, I will still go on a walk every day.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2017, 07:10:49 AM »
I have about the same exact commute as you, and I eat a quick lunch (10 minutes), walk for 30-40 minutes, then read for the remaining 10-20 minutes.

Since I started doing this (as well as other things, like eating better and working out 3-4x per week), I've lost 21 pounds. 

Don't let the weather stop you--take a walk every day. It's immeasurably good for you.
The weather doesn't bother me personally, I just need to maintain a professional appearance and don't feel like bringing a change of clothes for my lunch break. Rain and snow I can deal with, but heat is a tough one.

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I'm an attorney in a white collar firm and wear a shirt, tie, and dress pants every day. I've basically mastered the shadows and wind direction so I don't get too overheated. I also have a little fan in my office for those rare occasions that I get too hot.

This week's highs are 90, 87, 84, 85, and 88; and yes, I will still go on a walk every day.
So what you're saying is I have no excuse.
Challenge accepted! Starting tomorrow I will begin packing lunch and going for walks. Thanks to everybody for the advice and motivation!

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stoaX

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Re: Minor Dilemma
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2017, 05:19:41 PM »
"I make about $31/hour before tax, so this additional 30 minutes carries with it an implicit cost of about $15 and change."

I think that this is a false statement and a poor way to think about it. Following this logic, when you go home for the other 16 hours of the day you are costing yourself twice as much as you made at work all day! You're losing money!

My God - you're right!  I gotta quit my job now, I can't afford to work.
That wouldn't provide explicit gain, only negate implicit loss. Microeconomics 101.

No need to be a smart ass.

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no intent on my part to be a smart ass - sorry if it came across that way.  You just cracked me up with your "following this logic..." comment and I couldn't resist joining in.