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  #1  
Old 05-10-2014, 06:23 PM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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Taking a Job for Less Money

So that's where I am at. I am thinking of applying for a job that I have a pretty good shot at, but it makes less than I make now. It's a large difference but I would be able to live on the income. Obviously not taking vacations or living extravagantly...but I'd be okay. The cost of living is really cheap in the area where the job is located.

There aren't really any raises or opportunities for a second job. It's a very depressed area.

The upside is it is something I've ALWAYS wanted to do, and you just cannot be in a place where the need for people to make a difference is any greater. I'm all about wanting to really make a difference in the world every single day, and I'm just not doing that here or now.

So...is this a terrible idea? Has anyone else done this? How did it work out??
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:22 PM
ree-Xi ree-Xi is offline
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So the area has a lower cost of living. What about the commute - will it take more or less time? What about parking - paid, free, or subsidized? Will you have to change how/what you eat for lunch? For example, are you going from somewhere that has an affordable cafeteria to a place where there's no cafe or local restaurants and you'd have to brown-bag it?

Ask for more vacation time, bonuses (they come out of different budgets), flex-time, work-from-home option, commuting assistance (if there's public transit) or parking assistance (if it costs $$ to park, like in Boston it's $30 a day if you don't know where to look), better benefits in general, or other things that can help make up for the lower pay. You never know until you ask!

If you can live on the salary, and it's in your dream industry/dream job, then go for it. If there's a big chance that the sacrifices you have to make will make you resentful or regretful, make sure that you will be able to live with those feelings.

Good luck!!
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:15 PM
*winter* *winter* is offline
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I'm going from government job to government job so there's no negotiating.

Parking is free. I have no idea what the commute will be like, because it depends on where I find a place to live. Hopefully it will be shorter than the one I have now.

I'm totally fine with bag lunches. I have to eat out several times a week now because I travel for work and I could do without that expense.

I don't think I would regret going there, but it still scares me.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:48 PM
ree-Xi ree-Xi is offline
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It is scary to make moves that are changes in money, location, etc.

In that case, I would make a pro/con list, read it over a few times, then crumple it up and go with my gut. You can never be 100% sure about anything, but if your gut is usually right, you should pay attention to it. Good luck. I am sending out positive vibes to you!
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:11 PM
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pbear19 pbear19 is offline
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I did that once a few years ago when I was considering a career change. I left a comfortable corporate position for a very different entry level type position so that I could try it on for size. I took a huge pay cut. It worked out well in the end, as I discovered I liked that field, but I won't lie and say the money issue didn't arise.

The problem for me was that I ended up not liking my boss, and the fact that I was making (relatively) little money made me a bit resentful. I think I got annoyed by things more than I would have if it hadn't been for the pay. I definitely got annoyed when my boss expected me to do work outside of normal hours. I guess she asked that of people in the position previously, but all I could ever think about in those situations was how little money I was getting and how I was worth more than she was willing to pay me.

(All that being said, I really don't think I would have had an issue with the money if I hadn't had an awful boss. Or had she not failed to tell me until after I was already working for her that she considered me a "salaried" employee (even though I definitely wasn't) and so refused to pay me overtime. With a normal boss or a non-cheapskate boss, I would have been fine.)

Good luck, whatever you decide! As I said, although that particular job wasn't great, it did work out well in the end.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:54 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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Are you young, single, no kids? Then why not? I can tell you that every "dream" job I've ever gone after turned out to be a nightmare, but I don't regret having done them - learning experiences and all that. But I also didn't have kids or anyone who relied on my income. As long as it's enough to live on and you're ok with it being a possible nightmare, then go for it. But one thing to be aware of: I think you probably mean cost of HOUSING, not cost of living. Food costs, restaurants, gasoline, movies, cell phones, transportation generally all cost the same (or pretty close) no matter where you live unless where you're moving is outside the country.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:29 AM
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LAblondeGPhi LAblondeGPhi is offline
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I think cost of living can vary quite a bit by location - there are so many variables. Gas, car use/public transit options, parking, entertainment, taxes and grocery options can be pretty different.

A friend of mine moved from Los Angeles to Austin, TX a couple of years after graduation. She obviously saved a lot on housing (rent was about 40-60% what she was paying in LA), but she noted that she spent a TON less on entertainment (bars, mostly) and taxes.

When I moved from LA to DC, hubs and I were able to go from two cars to one, and even drove a lot less on the one car we did have, which meant lower insurance.


*Winter* - depending on the government job, there still may be some leeway within a range - different "steps" within a level, etc. I think you should go through the application process, and if offered the position, negotiate. My philosophy is that women always talk ourselves out of negotiating better for our salaries (I'm completely guilty), and if you're at the position where they offer you the job, you have nothing to lose by asking.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:39 AM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAblondeGPhi View Post
I think cost of living can vary quite a bit by location - there are so many variables. Gas, car use/public transit options, parking, entertainment, taxes and grocery options can be pretty different.

A friend of mine moved from Los Angeles to Austin, TX a couple of years after graduation. She obviously saved a lot on housing (rent was about 40-60% what she was paying in LA), but she noted that she spent a TON less on entertainment (bars, mostly) and taxes.

When I moved from LA to DC, hubs and I were able to go from two cars to one, and even drove a lot less on the one car we did have, which meant lower insurance.


*Winter* - depending on the government job, there still may be some leeway within a range - different "steps" within a level, etc. I think you should go through the application process, and if offered the position, negotiate. My philosophy is that women always talk ourselves out of negotiating better for our salaries (I'm completely guilty), and if you're at the position where they offer you the job, you have nothing to lose by asking.
The big three are housing, transportation, and food, so those are the things to look at when comparing cost of living. The other stuff, like movies, bars, etc. probably doesn't make up nearly enough of your budget to make a difference. I guess if you go out a ton, you could consider that stuff, but this is why most financial advisers think the "give up your daily latte to save a bundle" is pretty much nonsense.

Anyway, even if the cost of living and the new salary mean a net loss, you have a very long career ahead of you. If you think you'd be happier in the new role, do it. The worst case is you hate it and end up going back to your old field.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:42 AM
amanda6035 amanda6035 is offline
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Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
Are you young, single, no kids? Then why not? I can tell you that every "dream" job I've ever gone after turned out to be a nightmare, but I don't regret having done them - learning experiences and all that. But I also didn't have kids or anyone who relied on my income. As long as it's enough to live on and you're ok with it being a possible nightmare, then go for it. But one thing to be aware of: I think you probably mean cost of HOUSING, not cost of living. Food costs, restaurants, gasoline, movies, cell phones, transportation generally all cost the same (or pretty close) no matter where you live unless where you're moving is outside the country.
http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/

Maybe. Unless you're going from one extreme to another. I live in between Columbus GA and Auburn AL, and I have friends in San Diego. Everytime I visit, my wallet cries. Groceries, gas, conversations about housing expenses, etc....According to this calculator, groceries are only 6% more expensive, but transportation costs is 22% higher and housing is 152% more expensive. Holy goodness.
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