Putting Money First

Posted by Mrs Money on May 7th, 2010

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I’ve been going back and forth on a decision regarding my job for a few months now. It’s no secret I’m not loving it, and I feel like a sell out for sticking with it. I use the economy as an excuse, and I don’t know if that’s right. I just need to make a decision and be happy with it.

Here’s the truth: I’ve been considering going part time and stepping down from my position.  It would (hopefully) be less stress, and I’d have more time to do the things I love.  I recently picked up a copy of Your Money or Your Life, which has been recommended to me many times. I’m hoping that will help me make a decision.

Here are the pros to going part time:
-Less stress
-Change of scenery
-More time to do things I love

Here are some of the cons to going part time:
-Pay cut (maybe $6? an hour)
-A lot less money that we could be saving

Ultimately, when I do have a baby, I’d like to stay at home for at least a year. To do that, we’ll have to have some savings to live off of. We’re saving towards that goal, and I feel like if I went part time that I’d be giving up on that.

I feel like I should work while I am able to, and make money while the opportunity is there. But then I wonder at what cost? If it’s costing me happiness, is it worth it? At what point do I decide that money isn’t everything and decide to choose happiness and freedom over money? I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do that. That’s why sometimes I feel like I’m putting money first.  I need to make a decision, but it’s such a tough one.

What would you do?  Do you ever feel like you are putting money first above everything else?

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25 Responses to “Putting Money First”


  1. Wow – what a decision. Yet the fact that you’re contemplating this suggests that you have a high level of awareness and intention about your life – that’s good. I think a lot of people would just cruise with the job they didn’t like, without stopping to think ‘is this the right thing to do?”

    I used to work in financial services too – got paid a nice salary and great benefits. I loved the job to start, tho’ I worked a LOT and had a lot of stress. But after having kids, I started asking the same Qs you’re asking. My position was eliminated a while back and I’ve had a couple opportunities to jump back into the fray. I’ve declined. We’re having to live on a lot less money, but it feels right – for us, for now.

    I’d suggest you continue to do the analysis you’re already doing. Identify all the VALUES that you want to follow and what about staying or leaving supports those values. Having money (security) is a value, too, so don’t feel you have to discount having money as a reason to stay! But other values may rank higher for your family. ALSO – sometimes we set up problems as ‘Either A or B’ problems – when there might be an option C or D if we sit down and think hard about it. So that might be another way to ponder the question.

    Good luck!

    [Reply]

    ISA Reply:

    I really think this is the best advice :)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    ami & Isa- Thanks so much for the support. I am getting to the point where my mental health is worth more than the salary and I’m thinking about stepping down to another position and just taking a pay cut but working full time. Then I’d be making more money than just part time, but having less stress. I hope!

    Thanks again.
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  2. Evan says:

    Why does this equate to less net money for your family? What are you going to do with your time off (before you have a child anyway)? Just sit home? Lunch with gfs?

    Maybe an ‘extra’ 10 or 20 hours a week will provide you with the time to pursue other monetary interests.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Evan- I’m thinking of just stepping down and taking another position but remaining full time. I’m going to work on my side hustles to get them more profitable. I would love for them to support me one day!

    [Reply]

  3. This is tough.

    If I were you, I’d stick it out until I have a baby, especially if that may be happening in the next few years. BUT, this is coming from someone who really couldn’t care less about the job she has except that it allows me to read blogs for at least an hour or two a day and pays $35k a year, 6% to my 401k, and has free healthcare, dental, and vision insurance. And I’m really good at it…but honestly, anyone could do the actual job, I just excel at the customer service part.

    If you rather find a different job, I’d start looking while I still had this one. I’m big on security nets.

    But, you may value following your heart more than me, so that has to be taken into account. Everybody knows their own lines better than anyone else.

    Good luck.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    BITFS- Thanks for the support! I need to really think about it and hopefully make a good decision. I figure the money is not worth me being a mess every day :(

    [Reply]

  4. Kacie says:

    Is selling your house and moving closer to family still on the table? I think that might play into it.

    It sounds like you want to save up money so you can be a SAHM. If that’s the case, then it’s probably better to stick with the job for the time being (or switch tos omething else) and save as much money as you can.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Kacie- It’s still on the table, but Michigan scares me still. I guess I’m reluctant to make a bad decision and then regret it.

    I think saving is a great idea, and hopefully I can tough it out and just stick with it for awhile! :)

    [Reply]

  5. Craig/FFB says:

    Tough decision. Moving on may open up a ton of opportunities but you don’t know for sure. OTOH, if your goal is to save up so you can spend time off after having a child then maybe its worth gutting it out, knowing that the money will be well worth it in the long run?

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Craig- It’s to the point now where I’m so stressed that it may not be worth it. I’m tired of crying every day and being a wreck at work. I am doing my hardest to come up with a good solution! In the meantime, I’ll hang in there. :) Thanks so much for the support! xoxo

    [Reply]

  6. I just went through this same process of Q&A in June 2009. I had a job I was miserable in; I mean, I hated waking up in the morning – horrific boss, dangerous working conditions, unpaid overtime…it was just nasty. Knowing how unhappy I was with the job, my spouse really wanted me to quit – I wanted me to quit, too.

    So, we sat down at the kitchen table, and figured out the financial budget (how much would be coming in, how much we’d be saving in gas, etc.), the decision became crystal clear. It felt like a *huge* weight had been lifted, and I went in to work the next morning to give my 2 weeks notice. It was the first time I had a ginormous grin on my face all day at work! :)

    Anyway, turns out it was a major blessing in disguise. A few weeks after I quit, I was taking care of our home, happy, relaxed, and wound up picking up about 15 hours of freelance work every week (and financially, it came close to what I had made at my old job). One of the best decisions I ever made!

    Seems like when you go with your heart, the money will follow. :)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Retro_Housewife- I love that! I am so happy that everything worked out well for you! I’d love for some of my side projects to take off and start making me more money. That would be fabulous! I dream of the day I can work for myself. :)

    Thanks for sharing your success story!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  7. Jen says:

    I would try to stick it out until you go on maternity. Instead of thinking of “doing it for the money,” rephrase it to “doing it for my family.” Having a set time line might help. I recently took a job that I’m not crazy about in order to reach the goal of paying off my second mortgage in 12-18 mos. In my mind it is my 2 year plan (of course I won’t tell my boss that). It’s more tolerable when you know that it’s a means to an end. At the end of 2 yrs I’ll have my 2nd paid off & a fat emergency fund & then I’ll go back to working less hrs is a less stressful role.

    One more thing to consider is that if you stay full time, you may be eligible for a paid maternity leave. If your company offers that, it would be best to work until your maternity leave & wait to announce that you’re not coming back at the end of your maternity. Good luck to you!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Jen- Great points! I need to see it as a finite thing. I think that will help.

    I feel like I’ve been working my butt off over the past few years to save and pay off debt and now that I’m in a comfortable position, I feel like it’s time for me to do something for myself. I am hoping I’ll come to a good conclusion soon!

    Thanks for your support!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  8. Jenna says:

    I believe that you should do what makes you happy and if you do it well, you’ll make money off of it. However, with that being said you need to weigh out short term set backs (miserable jobs) for long term goals (getting your foot in the door for X). Keep me posted on what you decide.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Jenna- Thanks! I appreciate that. I need to work on developing some of my “side hustles” so that I can get those profitable. I would love to be able to work for myself! I am hoping that I’ll figure something out pretty quickly. Thanks so much for the support!

    [Reply]

  9. I’ve always been a total disliker of being an employee. The disadvantages to this sort of thing over being creative with your income is seemingly limitless. To devoid passive income, to taxes, to deductions, to garnishing, to reducing benefits, and I didn’t even mention all the problems in higher grade fields, where the hard working and talented middle class suffer!

    Freeing up your time like this should give you not only more time to enjoy yourself and your life (as well as your blog!) But maybe even show you a couple windows of opportunity in life.

    I’d love to see how this turns out!

    [Reply]


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