Julian Spector is a former editorial fellow at CityLab, where he covers climate change, energy, and clean tech.
In the time it takes you to read about this new income tracker, Oprah will earn a new TV.
Talking about salaries in terms of dollars per year has little bearing on how often people typically earn money—in increments of hours or weeks. A new income tool takes care of that problem, tracking your earnings in real-time.
The Salaries in Real Time infographic comes to us from Retale, a group that otherwise puts together digital coupon booklets. Enter your annual wage and the clock starts ticking, and with each passing second some degree of wealth accumulates. Making money in a vacuum is no fun, so you can chart your progress against a range of comparisons, from construction workers and teachers on up to LeBron James and Oprah, and even see how long each needs to work before being able to buy things like a burger or a car.
Retale pulled income data for the various professions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources, then divided them by the 144,000 seconds in a 40-hour work week. In that sense, the tool doesn’t factor in the portion of your salary withheld for taxes, and it ignores weekends, nights, or other time spent outside of the office. So you might not want to use it for financial planning, but the tool lets you better appreciate the outcome of your hard work. For instance, I earned myself a burger in the course of writing this post.
And while I head off to lunch, Oprah can enjoy the new car she’s earned over the same duration.