How much personal money have you spent for job supplies?

I had to make a couple key copies yesterday for a supply closet at the office. As I was leaving, the lady who gave me the original yelled “make sure you get a receipt so you can get your money back!” I did a doubletake and almost laughed out loud.

Would you even bother to ask for your $2 back? Maybe 25 years ago when I was a teenager washing dishes on minimum wage I guess $2 might be the difference between walking home and being able to take the bus. But I’m one of those overpaid IT contractors that you always hear taxpayers bitching about*. And she wants to make sure I get my $2 back?

I’ve actually spent much more than that in recent months. $20 for a couple dozen legal pads so my engineers could have something to write on, other office supplies here & there. It was either that or put in a requisition and wait two weeks for procurement to approve and place the order which will get here some time next month.

The biggest purchase was six fiber cables (they go for about $45 each) that I needed to install a LAN sniffer. I had to meet a deadline and just got fed up with waiting for the proper approvals and filling out of various forms and so on.

When I told my director that I bought the cables out of my own money, he felt guilty as hell for dragging his feet on the procurement paperwork, so it wasn’t all for nothing :smiley:

*Yes I’m a taxpayer, and yes I bitch about those goddamned overpaid contractors.

About $500 spread over 4 years. Mostly on box cutter blades, and those little pocket multi tools.

I spent a couple dollars on a pack of yellow highlighters once.

I have no idea. Probably a few hundred dollars over the span of years. I spent more at my last job when I’d buy AA/AAA batteries with my own money because all of a sudden, poof, all of the pager/dictaphone batteries were gone and the doctors acted dumb about where they could have all gone so quickly (when I knew they’d take “spares” when they replaced batteries, and then promptly lose them) but by god, they needed more now. I also spent a fair amount at this job on copy paper as for a while it was classified as something I was unable to order for our office, which I only found out many weeks after finding my orders mysteriously cancelled with no one able to explain why the computer was doing this.

I had one med student, at the previous job, come to me and asked me to fill out the paperwork so he could get reimbursed for a ~$10 copy job that he paid out for our department. I thought about that for maybe 10 seconds, then opened my wallet and gave him the cash. He balked when I said I wasn’t going to fill out the paperwork as well, until I explained that seriously, it was not worth the time and effort. I wanted him to have the money but it was worth more to me to not have to deal with the bureaucratic BS that would have resulted.

I’m in IT, too, though I work for a private company, so vendor provided lunches make up for it somewhat (note to vendurrrrs: I’m getting really sick of that chain hamburger place - think Applebees’ - down the street from the office. Can we PLEASE go get some sushi or something?)

I’m a systems guy, so I generally have to do shit like buy my own screwdrivers and socket sets, so maybe $40. I think I spent about ten bucks on my multimeter. Another $15 on a stack of blank CD-Rs.

They provide pads and pens, but they’re cheap and a pain to write with, so I sprang for a half dozen Office Depot-brand ultra-fine retractables, and I buy a Moleskine every year in lieu of the usual padfolio. Maybe $25.

I’ve been trying to wangle a USB disk enclosure for a development box out of our desktop VAR for a couple of months now, so I may end up just grabbing one at Microcenter. Hope you don’t mind me taking it with me when I leave, suckas.

The real test will be whether the department secretary approves my request for a new whiteboard for my cube. I inherited the one I’ve got right now, and it’s toast. No amount of reconditioner will resurrect it. Since they just blew a couple of ten grand on fancy electronic whiteboards for some execs, I doubt they’ve got twenty bucks in the budget for little old me.

Over my lifetime I’ve probably spend about $200 or so. Much of it on books to get better acquainted with software I was using in the office and on my own, so that kind of blurs the line between ‘office supply’ and ‘personal improvement’.

I spend a lot. I tend not to worry about anything less than $10. I have to fly a lot between cities and everytime I do, I have to pay $5 airport tax. I never claim those, because I forget about them as well as other small expenses. It probably adds up to about $50 a month.

About ten thousand in the last couple of months.

But that’s just because I’ve just recently expanded my business to full-time. It’s all deductible. :smiley:

Before that, I’d fill out an expense report every month anyway for mileage, and they didn’t insist on receipts if an expense was under $25. I still rarely bothered for a couple of bucks. Not worth the time.

None that I can think of. My manager all but insists that we submit a request for reimbursement for everything.

I do not spend that much on work. Most of what I spend I expense and the rest is too little to actually worry about. However, if I were to add together all that I feel is too little to matter I might have a large sum of money spent on work supplies. I don’t think I’m going to take the time to figure it out… it might just annoy me.

I guess I can only count the $30 or so it cost me for Roxio Easy CD Creator. They could buy six amplifiers @ $400 and two recording studio boards @ $20,000 and 8 DAT recorders and 12 Minidisc recorders, using only one at a time, so they’d have spares if one broke (none ever have). But they wouldn’t buy any software to write CDs! So I brought my own to work and installed it on my computer regardless of the rules. After six years, I am the only person who has CD authoring software on my computer.

Thousands. I teach, and when I need something for the classroom, I buy it. The District usually doen’t have what I need, and takes forever to get to me what they do have. I get to deduct $200 from my taxes each year because of this, but it doesn’t come close to matching what I spend.

Thousands, like **silenus ** said. I can get up to $500 a year reimbursed for specific categories of expense, though I tend to use that toward professional conferences. I spend enough that I can fill out a Schedule A, and those $2 receipts add up fast. I was just at a meeting in another country and one of my students joined me there. I paid for her food at every meal we ate together, and that’s just money gone toward karma.

Addendum: We used to be able to file a form and get reimbursed for most job-related expenditures, but in the last few years the District has been required prior approval before they will do that. A few of us can get away with spur-of-the-moment purchases, but most teachers can’t. So you have to weigh the costs/benefits carefully if you don’t plan ahead.

I don’t usually spend personal money on job supplies. It’s fairly easy to get reimbursed.

I would never buy so much as a pen. No way.

Near as I can recall, maybe felt markers, to get the right effect for a display. Maybe pads. Some pens, pencils … but obtaining stationery on the firm’s account never was a major chore when I was waged. If anything, I probably paid more for the odd cab trip because I couldn’t be bothered asking for the receipt then doing the accounts paperwork on it. Maybe a couple of hundred before 2005 over a couple of years, if that.

Uhm… I normally use my own mouse. I’ve also been known to bring a Spanish keyboard to the US (what? part of that job was the translations and that keyboard was comfy for my tiny hands) and occasionally provide pens, notepads or network cables.

But well, I also sometimes use the office’s Post-Its for one personal note or two (I don’t take pads home… at home I write my notes on scraps of paper, but most office people seem to find that unprofessional).

For the first month of this job I used my own laptop to be able to read the documents my office mates passed me, and the pendrives were also our own. But if the company wants to keep the Red Box of Doom, there will be much noise and broken skulls. This is frequent at the start of a job; what’s not normal is having it last a month.

Forgot about my keyboard. $70.

I spend my own money on items like pens and legal pads. I don’t like the ones my employer supplies. Anything else ( keys, photocopies, cab rides-) I put on my expense voucher. Since I have about $200 in mileage reimbursements each month , I’m doing it anyway. Not a problem to add $2 worth of photocopies.