Employment is a fact of life. You need to work to have money. However, there are bills and costs that come with having a full-time job that you wouldn't necessarily pay if you were unemployed. The average employee spends about $3,000 a year on costs associated with their job. But what are these expenses?

1. Transportation

First up, you have to get to the office. In 2015, the average American spends 26.4 minutes getting to work. About thirty minutes on the road both ways. Usually, this means owning a car and paying for gas to cover the distance. Sometimes, employees pay for parking too. Car payments, vehicle maintenance and insurance are other bills associated with car ownership. In a big city or more populated area, you have the option of public transit. This can be cheaper, but can also result in longer commute times.

2. Child or pet care

So what happens at the house while you're at work all day? If you have children and/or pets, covering daycare and pet care will be another expense. And child care is a big expense for many families. About one-third of American parents say that the cost of child care has caused a financial problem for their household. It can get quite pricey. But unless you have other arrangements with family or helpful neighbors, this cost pretty much unavoidable.

3. Food

Meal times are often a social hour. Lunch is no exception. Americans on average eat out for lunch twice a week, paying about $10 each time. That's $936 annually. You can pack your own lunch and bring it to the office. But sitting alone at your desk or elsewhere isn't quite the same as eating out with coworkers. Additionally, working or networking lunches can't always be avoided.

4. Clothing

A professional environment requires professional clothing. You certainly can't walk into work in jeans and a t-shirt — unless your office has a relaxed dress code. This means you'll have to buy a work wardrobe. The average family spends $1,700 on clothes each year. Additionally, you'll probably need to buy new outfits as fashion trends change to maintain your professional image. You can often buy more affordable clothing over luxury brands. But this is pretty much an unavoidable expense.

5. Pay-in benefits

With full-time employment often comes benefits — health insurance, retirement accounts, the works. These are perks of the job, but also come with their own costs. Insurance premiums are often worth it for the coverage provided. And paying into a 401k will set up your financial future, especially if your employer matches your contributions.

6. Travel or relocation

If your job requires travel, you'll probably get paid back for any expenses incurred. But waiting for that money to be returned can often be a hassle. Any personal expenses (usually food) incurred while traveling are often not reimbursed at all. Another hefty expense could be relocation. Let's say you're switching branches to work in a new city or starting a new job entirely. Not many employers these days will cover the cost of relocation. All those moving expenses have to come out of your pocket.

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Airbnb offers an affordable option for people looking to be more comfortable as they travel.

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Long gone are the days when the majority of Americans dreamed about owning a home with a white picket fence.

The traditional American Dream may be on its deathbed, but that doesn't mean a core component of the vision can't survive. It simply takes a diverse perspective. People can still believe they can attain their own vision of success in society with hard work, knowledge, and risk-taking. Investing in today's American Dream may literally mean investing money in our modern economy, starting with our infrastructure.

Real estate investing in particular is a lucrative method that can boost income and secure a better financial future for many. There's always risk involved, but the payoffs can far outweigh the uncertainty. Selecting solid financial investments is about confidence and competence. If you're looking for some advice on this kind of investment, here are a few savvy tips for new real estate investors.

Stick To a Specific Strategy or Niche

Real estate is a challenging sphere of the business world, one that requires several key skills: groundwork knowledge, networking, perseverance, and organization. True knowledge of the real estate market will come with time and experience, but it's a smart idea to select one area of the market and stick to it. This is the best way to attain in-depth familiarity with your specific niche.

First, choose a geographical area close by and then a niche strategy within it, such as house flips, rental rehabs, or residential or commercial properties. By doing so, you can become aware of current inner working conditions in the market and you'll have a better idea of how these trends may change in the future.

Be Vigilant About Viable Financing Options

While it takes money to make money, you don't have to use all your own money. A common misconception about real estate investing is that you must be wealthy to start off. This isn't straight fact, however. A majority of people can test the waters of real estate investing without a lot of initial cash in their pocket.

Aside from traditional financing options from banks and institutions, private lending options can be worthy solutions. Hard money lenders are popular, reasonable choices, and they tend to have fewer qualification requirements upfront. However, be sure to strategically choose a hard money lender to find the best possible fit.

Master the Art of Finding Good Deals

There may be hundreds of thousands of available properties for sale on the current market, but the bulk of them will never amount to the final money-making result you desire. Another great tip for new real estate investors is to use good math to estimate profit. Taking risks is part of the process, but you have the ability to analyze properties and use networking sources to find the greatest deal. You can't win every deal, but you can steadily work towards a thriving financial future.