Is it worth while?

James Patterson
James Patterson Trusted RegularRegistered Posts: 281
Hi All,

I'm curious if anyone is in a similar position to me. I'm currently completely level 4 AAT, i have 2 years working in finance teams' as an apprenticeship and have a new role (3months and a bit) as an accounts assistant.

I enjoy my job and work with great people (Big tick) but i've found that since i've been working here, i've actually lost money rather than gained any. I work in a city so i have to drive to get a train and there's a lot of expenses (not covered) which go into my working life.

As i'm starting out I can't expect anything more, but going to work week in week out and knowing you aren't making any money is rather depressing.

Simply wondering if anyone else is experiencing this?

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Nps
    Nps Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 782
    Wait till you have children and their childcare costs pretty much wipe out your wage.......... It's just short term and won't be forever though. And it could be worse, at least you're being paid whilst gaining experience, some people have to work voluntarily to get their foot in the door. But yes, it's depressing!
  • dizzyhorse
    dizzyhorse Feels At Home Registered Posts: 49
    I worked full time in admin, had a mortgage, child and bills to pay, I had to drop a days pay to complete un paid work for 6mths (one day day a week) around my paid job. This was the only way I could gain experience to get the job I am in now. I have no study support and have had to pay for everything.
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281
    Oh how you both make me look forward to the future, glad I'm not alone though. Cheers both :)
  • Rachetman
    Rachetman Feels At Home Registered Posts: 57
    I personally think you are in a fantastic position. By any chance, have you discussed with your boss/es about what expenses that they can cover? If you passed any of the tax units, that might come in handy.
  • amurray
    amurray Feels At Home Registered, MAAT, AATQB Posts: 304
    Would say deffo worth while! as you are gaining experience - keep in there and by working hard, hopefully it will pay off with bonus/annual review on salary increase.

    MAAT, AATQB, FIAB, MICB PM.Dip.
    Completed AAT in March 2020
    Currently Studying: CIMA 'Operational Level'
  • Rachetman
    Rachetman Feels At Home Registered Posts: 57
    I know this is a silly question, but do they provide parking?
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281
    Hey Rachetman,

    Well free parking at the station and I get a train into the Manchester so no need, but they don't cover travel expenses which would help ALOT. I was going to ask in my 3 month review but I think its too soon to start asking for more money, but it will be a good show of confidence if they do eventually.

    I don't want to sound like I'm whinging, just curious if its a common thing. Seems like it is, guess I'm just being impatient.
  • Rachetman
    Rachetman Feels At Home Registered Posts: 57
    I have come across this, James. It seems very beneficial. Have a look.

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/life/tax/benefits_in_kind.htm
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281
    Just had a brief look through, I'm aware of all these benefits in kind but none really apply to me to the point that I could claim them.
  • Folander
    Folander Feels At Home Registered Posts: 50
    Sorry James, it must be tough right now but think of this as a life lesson. You can use this experience in the next career steps you take and take all aspects of a job in to consideration before making a decision, like travel costs and distance etc. Maybe being safe in the knowledge that you won't make the same mistake again will turn this negative point into a positive?
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281
    Thanks its not that bad, I do enjoy the work I'm doing, and its valuable experience. I didn't technically apply for this job haha I applied for one job through an agency and they put me forward for this one instead, but I wasn't going to turn down the work.

    I am curious as to what accounts assistants get paid in cities elsewhere for the sake of comparison mainly, see if I am below the mark wage wise or its just my outgoings which is doing the damage.
  • Folander
    Folander Feels At Home Registered Posts: 50
    In 2008 I was an accounts assistant in London during level 4. I was on 23k plus study support in industry. While at that job I asked for and successfully got a payrise. I asked my manager for a meeting and in that meeting I went through all of the things I was doing that was not on my original job description to show how much I had developed and taken on willingly because I was willing to learn first and foremost yadda yadda yadda. Then I said I thought it would be fair and reasonable to ask that my salary be reviewed. Gently gently catch the monkey and viola, payrise. Good luck. Do it on a Friday afternoon if possible, everyone is in a good mood then!
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281
    Folander,

    Thanks for the reply. I'm sure London wages are better than Manchester but that's 10k more than me haha

    How much experience did you have at that point? Or your age? (If you don't mind me asking)

    Good to see there's a possibility of it. I'm not doing much above my role at the moment, although I am learning both management accountants jobs for when they're away and they are offering me study support which I can't undertake as of yet.
  • Folander
    Folander Feels At Home Registered Posts: 50
    I had no experience at that point. Barely knew what a debit and a credit was. I need to make a correction, I was about to start level 3 when I started that job. I already worked with the company and it was an internal transfer due to me being made redundant in my data entry job. I used to go out drinking with the FC and talk football. That's what swung it for me I think. It was an entry level job and people kept leaving it. They saw that I would stay there quite long term as I had no experience and they could tie me into a study contract. It worked, I stayed there 7 years and am now AAT & CIMA qualified. I was 25 when I got that job. Sorry for no paragraphs, it crashes when I try to do it, annoying. Keep going with your studies and getting the experience. Once you progress through your studies your earning potential will shoot up!
  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 Experienced Mentor DevonFMAAT Posts: 1,022
    Hey James,

    I started at 18 on £14k entry level trainee position in Devon in 2008. No experience, no relevant quals past basic GCSE Math.

    Now I am in the same job 5 years later, they have paid for all my study, I am MAAT and nearly finished ATT (one exam left). Salary has increased a little- nowhere near Folander :) But London is different to down here in the country! :) I think I'm on about average for my quals and experience. Is that what you wanted to hear? Feel any better? :) I am planning on walking to work this summer as I have recently moved house, so I won't have petrol costs anymore.

    My wages go out as soon as they come in on the mortgage and household bills, so I'm not really making anything yet. But I can't complain, I have a job at least!! :) And one that I love!

    Can you move closer to work? Or car share maybe? Is the train station within walking distance. I agree that travel costs are by far the biggest work related cost that isn't always considered when applying or getting a new job.

    Stick at it, you're obviously doing something right! Good luck! :)

    B xx
  • BeccaLouJ9
    BeccaLouJ9 Experienced Mentor DevonFMAAT Posts: 1,022
    I realise now reading back that I have a bad habit of smiley-over-use! Apologies everyone! :)

    B xxx
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281
    Its okay smiley faces are always welcome.

    Well I entered my current job, 19, 2 years working in finance teams in an apprenticeship, Majority of Level 4 completed. I think its the fact that its an almost trainee position but I'm learning quickly.

    I think I may have to move to London, regardless of cost of living.

    Thanks for the input Becca, I guess I kind of hoped that the 2 year apprenticeship and studying would have cleared the entry stage for me but I guess not.

    I will start looking at cutting costs if I need to save up urgently, but I want more adding on, not me taking off :P
  • Diddy Mau
    Diddy Mau Well-Known Registered Posts: 238
    Hi James, personally I would complete level 4 first. Then negotiate.
    They might offer a small pay rise, but could be more incentivized to offer additional study support. This will keep you with them and you get an increase (not in physical money), but cheaper than doing it yourself.
    Another one, again not a massive difference in take home pay. Can you take a salary sacrifice in return for them paying train fair? you save Tax & NI and so do they. (I may be wrong, as its not a bus. Previous Link)

    Keep going, you must be doing something right:thumbup1:
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281
    Hi Diddy,

    I am being offered CIMA study support but I obviously need to finish AAT first.

    I may take the salary sacrifice, that's not a bad idea
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