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Using your own money to buy things for work

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#1 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

Do you use your own money to buy things for work?

Where I currently work, I often have to buy bits and pieces for workshops that I run, for which we have a (pitifully small) budget, so I am in the habit of buying things and claiming them back. Or getting cash in advance and putting in the change and receipts. Sometimes I use my own car to go to events and claim reimbursement for travel.
I'm working with some people from another organisation on something, and when we met we were talking about some things that it would be nice to buy for the event but didn't have the budget for. Both the other people said they would be happy to 'pick up' certain items, indicating they would buy it from their own pocket.

I've had previous jobs where I did buy things out of my own pocket but I realised that in this job I have no expectation of ever buying stuff for work without being reimbursed.

What about you?

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:23 PM

All the time. I cannot do my job the way I want to without spending my own money.

#3 Dionysus

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:35 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 18/04/2012, 05:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All the time. I cannot do my job the way I want to without spending my own money.

Similar to Howdo, but we do have a bit more in our budget at our level.  Though, am forever picking stuff up at Big W and the like to use at work.

I claim it back at tax time.  And any use of my car whilst travelling to meetings/workshops etc.

#4 ajo

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:40 PM

Sure I don't mind at all for the little things, really annoys me when the manager gets milk because we need it and then reminds me to get her petty cash for it all $2 especially as it's a bit of a process, lots of paperwork and checking float is ok, just for $2 when she uses the milk everyday wouldn't hurt to pay once in a blue moon! Also if I felt by buying some extra stuff that wasn't in the budget would make the event more pleasant I definitely would provide tue extra $$

#5 LynnyP

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:44 PM

Reasonably often.  Depends on how wide you draw the net.  Some people think that work should pay for their tissues etc.  If you stretch it that far, all the time.

#6 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

Yes, we don't get tea/coffee/milk etc provided, we have to contribute to the tea fund for it.
I used to have a job where I bought a lot of things out of my own pocket. Pondering, I think perhaps the difference is that I took a big pay cut to work in the community sector, so I feel like I'm already 'giving' by working for peanuts. Plus because I'm often claiming money back anyway, it's automatic to add any receipts into my next claim.

#7 secret~sammy

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

Not for true work expenses like stationary or taxi fares, but I spend a lot more than I'd like on birthday cakes and work lunches etc. Things that are technically optional but wouldn't be a good look (in my office) to kick up a stink about.  huh.gif

#8 Dionysus

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:51 PM

work pays for my tissues...I think. Maybe it comes out of staff fees?  Hmmm, no idea   lol

Staff fees certainly pay for tea/coffee/milk

#9 lisacat

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:59 PM

In my current job I do as I can't be bothered claiming such a little amount e.g dish washing liquid for the school, bigger things we are reimbursed for. Our manager is really good at us not having to purchase things e.g tea, coffee etc is bought with the stationary and claimed that way.

My last employer I spent so much of my own money as money was cut from our budget to prop up corporate services. DH used to complain about how much I used to spend on work over the course of a year it was in the thousands.

#10 Expelliarmus

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:00 PM

My tissues come out of my class budget. So yes, work does pay for them, but at the cost of other art supplies. Tea/coffee/milo/milk/sugar come from social club fees payable per term. Or if you are not a regular drinker, you put money in the jar.

#11 Mitis angelam

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:25 PM

It's such a slippery slope, isn't it?  I don't mind buying little things here or there, and will do so without issue.

But I'm mindful that work life and private life need to have a clear boundary (and more so in jobs where work money and personal money can be less distinct, like when you have a corporate card), and if I felt that it was tipping over into that boundary becoming blurred I'd pull back.

#12 EsmeLennox

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:27 PM

I'm a teacher... does that answer the question?

#13 Beanbag Warrior

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 18/04/2012, 06:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All the time. I cannot do my job the way I want to without spending my own money.

QUOTE (Jemstar @ 18/04/2012, 07:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm a teacher... does that answer the question?

What they said.  My school doesn't even supply coloured paper, I just recently found out.  Granted, it's an enormous school, but surely there's not THAT much cost differential between coloured sheets of paper and white when buying in bulk lots?  I also have to supply all my own laminating sheets.  When you're teaching my kind of subject, you need indestructible resources.

#14 jojonbeanie

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:32 PM


#15 lizzzard

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:33 PM

I tend to every now and then - mainly because I can't be bothered with the paperwork of claiming for them (my husband gets very irate if he ever realises!)

#16 Princess Bubblegum

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:34 PM

I spend squillions of dollars on my classroom and my students... well maybe not squillions, but a lot. And a great deal of it is not tax-deductible. Stationery stuff is, and I can claim some cooking things back, but only as much as my class budget allows, after that I'm on my own.

Some things I've bought I will take when I leave, but really what use do I have for 30 little plates and bowls and 30 sets of cutlery?

I also purchase things like prizes for my prize box, science resources, like plants, seeds, MEALWORMS!, stuff for mealworms to live in, resources that I make, games for the kids, etc, etc.

#17 Wahwah

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:40 PM

Wow, teachers are a generous lot, the things you do for your students! Last year our prep teachers spent a fair bit out of their own pockets and bought every kid a present at end of term 4.

I've never had to pay for anything out of my own pocket. However, a friend told me today that they had to recently pay for their own business trip to Sydney because they had forgot to get it approved before booking and that this broke protocol so the money came out of his own pocket!

One thing that annoys me is that DH has to pay his expenses and gets reimbursed monthly. And his expenses can be often $3k if he makes a lot of interstate trips. So we have to manage our money to make sure he can pay his Amex bill, then wait to get the money back.

#18 LynnyP

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:43 PM

Does he get to keep the points Wahwah?

#19 Expelliarmus

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:47 PM

I am not even going to tell you all what I have spent so far this year.

Even I fell over when I recently put it into the Excel spreadsheet.

A book here, a magazine there, a bunch of cooking gear you forgot to submit within a month , some laminating pouches for the printable games from the internet ... it all adds up very quickly.

#20 It's Me

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:50 PM

I quite often purchase items for work - I don't bother getting reimbursed, I'm happy to claim it at tax time.  I wouldn't do it if I didn't get the money back eventually.

#21 Lees75

Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

We don't pay for anything and get tea, coffee, biscuits, tissues and fruit etc provided. We also each have a company credit card for work expenses as we drive a lot so are always buying petrol.

#22 Goggie

Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:14 PM

I used to at an old job a few years ago. I had to run staff inductions each week and the company wouldn't only not supply lunch but wouldn't buy lollies or biscuits for morning tea either. I always felt like a tight wad just offering them water, tea and coffee so used to buy lollies and biscuits out of my own pocket all the time. It wasnt a well paid job either! But I didn't feel like a tight wad  wink.gif

Edited by tauruspregnant!, 18 April 2012 - 08:16 PM.

#23 kadoodle

Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:23 PM

Yes, every job I've had has involved some degree of chipping in.  

My cheeky MIL used to get her grade 6 art class to sew the art smocks for the preps as it was cheaper for her to buy the material, pattern, needles, pins, thread, etc, than to buy or make 25 art smocks.  

She'd got sick of parents not buying them for their kid then complaining about paint etc on uniforms.

This was in the 60's and 70's though, not sure if a teacher would get away with it these days.

#24 Mumto1feral

Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:24 PM

QUOTE (It's Me @ 18/04/2012, 07:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I quite often purchase items for work - I don't bother getting reimbursed, I'm happy to claim it at tax time.  I wouldn't do it if I didn't get the money back eventually.

But you won't get the whole amount back.

I used to have buy my own stationary at one job and i am not a teacher. I wasn't happy about it. Honestly, i think employers should be supplying things you need to do your job.

#25 #YKG

Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:30 PM

I do all the time, folders, pens, sticky notes, tabs, note pads. As long as you keep the receipt you can claim it back on tax. I keep all my receipts when I need to buy something for work.

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