Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 308 total)
  • More money vs quality of life.
  • Kramer
    Free Member

    I was chatting to an old friend on the phone last night and he dropped into conversation that he was spending a ridiculous amount of money on a holiday next year. Not far off my total take home pay for a year.

    This friend is a doctor like me, but works in a different area. We trained together.

    He is miserable in his job. Counting the weeks until he can retire.

    I quite enjoy my job, but a large part of that is because of decisions I’ve taken in the past to limit my workload so that it’s sustainable. I’m lucky in that I don’t actually want to retire.

    I’ve always been aware that he makes more money than me, but yesterday really got me questioning my decision. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in any way struggling, in fact I’m really quite comfortable.

    I’ve always thought that the best way to be rich is to reduce my outgoings rather than increase the amount of time I spend at work.

    What do others think?

    airvent
    Free Member

    More money gives more flexibility to a point. You can make more secure long term financial decisions which can sometimes be more cost efficient in the long run, you’re given access to more and cheaper credit, can contribute to a better pension and/or retire earlier, can afford more durable long lasting goods etc.

    It’s expensive being poor is an often used phrase.

    That being said of course there is a balance and working 25 hours a day and spending it all on coping purchases is pointless.

    thepodge
    Free Member

    I took 5 years of 3 days a week and 3 years of 2 days a week, wasn’t the easiest time financially but totally worth it for the extra time with family etc, just gone back to 5 days for significantly more pay and I’m already doing the sums on when I can drop my hours again.

    Yak
    Full Member

    I would agree with your view on this. Being comfortable and enjoying your job is a pretty good position imo.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    I had the option more than once to go IT contracting with mates, earning 3X my current salary. However, they never got to see their kids.

    I can count on 2 hands the number of mornings/nights i’ve not put my lad to bed or seen him get up for school. It’s priceless to me… i don’t have a value for that…

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    I’ve always thought that the best way to be rich is to reduce my outgoings rather than increase the amount of time I spend at work.

    pros & cons of work/life balance aside, no, if you look at people who have become very wealthy (through working) they are generally very driven and I’m sure work a lot more hours than I do!!

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    With this

    He is miserable in his job. Counting the weeks until he can retire.

    this

    I quite enjoy my job

    and this

    I’m not in any way struggling, in fact I’m really quite comfortable.

    You are still thinking this!

    yesterday really got me questioning my decision

    Why?? Seems to me you have made some wise choices and are in a far happier, healthier and more sustainable situation as a result.

    soundninjauk
    Full Member

    I’ve always thought that the best way to be rich is to reduce my outgoings rather than increase the amount of time I spend at work.

    This all really depends on how you define ‘rich’ doesn’t it? If it’s the pure accumulation of money then yeah you’re doing it wrong, but as others have pointed out it’s not all about the money. Sounds like you have it sorted to be honest.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I sacrificed some career opportunities to enable us to be arpund for our kids rather than earning more and spending most of the money on childcare.

    Short to mediym term, it’s been great. Might have not had as much money but lots of time and opportunities with the kids.

    Looking back now, i wonder if some of the problems I’ve had with work are because I’m being “ruled” by idiots with less experience, rather than being the idiot doing the ruling.

    Now I’m about to turn 55, i can see how that lower salary and 4 day week have reduced my pensions value, so I’ll be working for longer in a job I now hate.

    Still think I got the balance right for me though.

    ton
    Full Member

    less money more time is the way i try to live my life.   and for the best part it works.

    poly
    Free Member

    Many years ago my wife complained (in Jan) that we hadn’t booked a holiday (for the summer).  This made no sense to me – but it transpired that she wanted to book a holiday in order to have something to look forward to.  This was a behaviour which her parents had* instilled into her.   I don’t think I “solved” it but she did come to understand my way of thinking that if the only thing you have to look forward to in January is a fortnight in the summer – there is something very wrong in life and you want to fix the other 48 weeks of the year when you are not on holiday (be it job, husband, weather, etc – working your pan in to afford a fancy holiday to mask how shit working your pan in is, is IMHO just stupid).

    But your OP is particularly surprising.  Lets just pluck some numbers – spending say £20K on a holiday but counting the weeks to retirement doesn’t add up.  Dr’s pension arrangements are a bit unusual, but generally if you were desperate to retire you’d be better keeping the cash (or majority of it) and investing it in some way so you can retire sooner.  But of course, you are a Dr so you are used to people telling you a version of events they want you to believe but which might not actually be the whole truth.

    * her parents – both now long retired seem to still live life by this mantra, and live and judge their retirement by their holidays – which are much more frequent now, but still don’t make up the majority of their time.

    stanley
    Full Member

    Time is more important than money.

    Most people can always earn/get more money. Nobody can have more time.

    Time… use it wisely.

    Aidy
    Free Member

    Most people can always earn/get more money. Nobody can have more time.

    I don’t think that’s quite true. Money can certainly buy life saving operations, and rich people do live longer because they can afford better quality care.

    But yes, there is a balance to be struck.

    MSP
    Full Member

    It is my intention to try and negotiate a big pat rise this year, however I don’t think I will get it, it is however my secondary offer of staying on the same money for reduced hours that I am more hopeful of obtaining. The extra money would certainly be welcome, but I think a reduced working week would be better for my happiness over the longer term.

    sobriety
    Free Member

    No one ever said “I wish I’d spent more time at work” on their deathbed.

    finbar
    Free Member

    ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ innit. It’s well-known that comparing yourself to people wealthier than you is a fools’ game (Instagram anyone?).

    So it’s crazy but understandable a doctor can feel insecure/inadequate about how much they earn, think about the rest of us plebs 😉

    kerley
    Free Member

    No one ever said “I wish I’d spent more time at work” on their deathbed.

    And not many probably said they wish they had no money. All a balance which only you can decide.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Five years ago I gave up about £30K a year to change jobs because the hours and work was killing me. QoL was off the scale, Poly hit the nail on the head – we had a fabulous 2 weeks in the summer but at the expense of 50 others.

    I don’t regret it for a minute – I still earn decent money and work hard for it, but QoL wins all the time.

    Two other points

    I don’t know where 30K (minus tax, etc.) went. Sure, we spent £6-8K on a family holiday one year, but that’s still only half the extra I had. I wish I’d put it in pension though so i could reduce hours or retire sooner

    Obvs inflation and (Gov owned) pay restraint has eaten away further at the difference, coupled to some private medical stuff as well we’re now a bit tighter than I’d like some months. But I still wouldn’t go back.

    Sounds to me like the OP has it about right, and maybe his colleague does as well – it’s OK to have different priorities.

    thebunk
    Full Member

    Find this stuff fascinating. Having just got back from a shoestring skiing holiday that was still mind bogglingly expensive I am also very torn over this stuff. I am fortunate to like my job and get paid pretty well for it (especially for someone with no qualifications at all) but I know that I could move and get paid more.

    I’d probably have to travel more or do more hours but neither would be the end of the world as long as I could mostly wfh. In return potentially I’d be able to afford better holidays, a nicer car and hopefully be a bit more relaxed about money. Possibly it would mean retiring at a younger age as well. And as much as I like my job…I’d still rather not be doing it for another x years.

    Lastly, and this is just a theory of mine – but I’m not totally sure if the OP and his friend switched jobs there would be much change in either of their attitude towards their work. For many people (ok mostly men) our identity is so wrapped in our work, ability and status, it can be hard to work out the underlying issue when something in that mix between work, life and money starts to cause issues. Kramer you just seem to have a healthier outlook than your mate, and not all of that is going to be related to work.

    gobuchul
    Free Member

    What holiday costs a professionals annual take home pay???????

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    I worked 2 (well paid IMO, but not in the “top ….%” scheme of things” jobs for a bit.

    It was fun because I enjoyed it, and I didn’t have to take on the stress of the other job which was mostly worrying about where the next paycheck would come from which wasn’t an issue for me as I had my other steady job to go back to. And the extra money was very nice.

    However, I’ve already told my manager I won’t be doing as much overtime this year as last year in my main job because even without the 2nd job last year was mental, and it came with stress unlike the 2nd job.

    I envy people who enjoy their jobs to the point they almost appear to be coasting through life already. They don’t seem any more stressed than my parents are about whether the daffodils have come up too early and will get hit by the frost. If that’s you, then you’ve probably got the balance better than most people already.

    Could you just do a few weekends private work during a quiet part of the year if you wanted a nice bonus paycheck without dealing with the long term impact of working too much.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Define professional? A junior doctor or a teacher? Might get you a week at Centreparks……

    A crewed yacht, all drinks and meals included, around the Bahamas for two weeks – quick google puts you into the £30K per week for 4 without any difficulty.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    Everyone I’ve ever met who was very work driven and missed time with their kids regrets it later on in life.

    Work life balance is important, and if I was a very work driven person then I’d be working for myself as I’d definitely not be doing it for someone elses benefit.

    Just remember, no regerts.

    no-regrets-tattoo-i-regert-nothing_orig

    gobuchul
    Free Member

    A teacher will still take home about £20k a year.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    Yeah it’s interesting when he’s desperate to retire why he’s not putting this money towards it.

    It’s a once in a lifetime thing for him, so not something that he does every year, and he’s been saving up for it for ages, but it was an amount of money that it made me stop and think that there would be no way that I could do it on my current income, which is comfortable but by no means excessive.

    I was just a bit gobsmacked is all.

    As others have mentioned, I’ve also done a job when I was earning more, and it made me very unhappy, which is why I’ve chosen to work in the way I have. But something like this just makes me question myself is all.

    reluctantlondoner
    Full Member

    I am lucky that I earn well in FS – but I work awful hours and deal with morons all day long.

    I am doing it for a very particular set of reasons – to support the Mrs in building a business, and it’s a gamble, but if it pays off it will have been entirely worth it.

    The thing being, I heard a proper wealthy dude say once: Most people are too busy working to make any money. And the more I see of the world, the more I think he was right. Trading money for time has diminishing returns. Building assets that return value – that’s what I wish I had understood better 30 years ago.

    Temporal prostitution is temporal prostitution whether your time is sold at £1ph, £10ph or £100ph. And the challenge I see is that the more you are at the £100ph end of the scale, the more likely your rate is actually going to drop to £80ph because of “expectations”, whether extrinsic or intrinsic.

    I dunno, But I guess there is a sweet spot figure somewhere that allows for a decent income and QoL.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    What holiday costs a professionals annual take home pay???????

    I don’t want to give specifics, because I want to preserve the anonymity of the person involved.

    Also I think you’d be surprised what the lower end of a professional’s take home pay is? I’m not badly off, but I’m by no means rolling in it.

    Aidy
    Free Member

    No one ever said “I wish I’d spent more time at work” on their deathbed.

    Someone always trots this out, but I bet there’s more than a few people who wish they could have provided better for their children, or wished they could have had a more luxurious retirement.

    steve-g
    Free Member

    What holiday costs a professionals annual take home pay???????

    My bet is disneyworld

    northernmatt
    Full Member

    What holiday costs a professionals annual take home pay???????

    Walt Disney World with all the added billy big bollocks option boxes ticked.

    I live by the mantra ‘you work to live you don’t live to work’. I used it in a job interview once. Didn’t get it, and to be honest I wasn’t disappointed about it one bit. I knew other people in the same role and none of them actually liked it.

    kerley
    Free Member

    I envy people who enjoy their jobs to the point they almost appear to be coasting through life already. They don’t seem any more stressed than my parents are about whether the daffodils have come up too early and will get hit by the frost. If that’s you, then you’ve probably got the balance better than most people already.

    That’s me. I have always had low expectations as far as jobs and left school with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do so just took the first job offered (shift work compute operator which I got because of IQ test rather than the appalling interview – autistic people are not great at interviews!) and then pretty much lucked out as seems I had what it takes to do okay in IT related jobs with little stress for most of that time.

    I do at least realise it is total luck though and nothing to do with working hard, loads of effort, loads of stress etc,.

    alpin
    Free Member

    I’ve chosen to live now rather than living the life we were living.

    We were living in Munich and didn’t want to stay there long term.

    Finding that we had less time to do the things we wanted to do. Despite neither of us earning bad money we had the feeling that each year we were running faster just to standstill. Increasing rents, with no realistic option of buying a place of our own unless we wanted to be tied into a 20 year mortgage (and me despising living in town, in a flat where you have to deal with people above and below you as well as next door, amongst so many other people without any space to breathe).

    Looked at our parents and despite them being cash rich none of them are in a physical state to do the things they want to do. Figured as things go we’ll be having to work into our 70s anyway…. I would rather be pottering about in a workshop when I’m old and go ride or walk through the mountains now.

    We sold everything we didn’t need or want. Sold the old van and built a new one that better fits our needs.

    Have been living the #vanlife since September ’22.

    GF has a few clients and I have a few jobs lined up for summer which more than covers our current outgoings. If I were so inclined to take on more work we would be in a position that we could save a fair chunk each year…. Certainly more than whilst each working 40+ hours a week back in Munich.

    As it stands we have ~400k in various savings. She is set to inherit ~400k when her folks pop their clogs.

    Mentally I’m in a much better place for having made the decision and neither of us pine for our old life…. Last summer a mate gave us the keys to his place in Munich, just around the corner from where we used to live. Was really happy to give them the keys back after a week and go find a nice park up on the edge of town.

    Currently sitting in the sun, half naked, watching the clouds roll in over the Ligurian coast.

    I would rather regret the things we’ve done than those that we haven’t.

    Don’t think anyone lays on their death bed wishing they spent more time in the office.

    I should add… We’re not planning on doing this forever. Maybe the next five years, maybe ten.

    We’re using the time to find somewhere we want to be rather than dreaming about being elsewhere whilst trapped in the cycle of work, commuting, weekends and all the other crap society sucks you into.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    @steve-g it’s the matching t-shirts that are costing a fortune. 😉

    freeagent
    Free Member

    I’ve just accepted a job which is in real terms around an £8k p/a pay cut – most of which is due to losing my company car.

    Reason for the change is i’ve been unhappy in my current role for far too long, the department has descended into a total sh*tshow and i can’t do it anymore. No point having a nice car to drive to a job you hate…

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    A teacher will still take home about £20k a year.

    That’ll get you 4 days on a yacht, which is the kind of thing that I’d consider a once in a lifetime thing (asking for a friend, if in international waters are C&H legal? Are they part of the all-inclusive package, even?)

    Obviously, the sorts that do book 2 weeks on an all-inclusive fully crewed by staff from the Bunny Ranch motor yacht around the Bahamas probably don’t have to save up to do it.

    BigJohn
    Full Member

    It depends on the individual. I’ve got a super-wealthy friend who absolutely loves doing the things I do, mostly we do them together. Cycling (all varieties) windsurfing, guitars and singing. He’s somebody who really gets the most out of life. But I sense that he envies my life more than I envy his.

    On the other hand, I need to be conscious that it’s possible to get carried away into wanting to do more things than my budget allows, which mostly wouldn’t enhance my life.

    But I also know there are some wealthy people who just seem to find more expensive ways of making themselves miserable.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Currently sitting in the sun, half naked, watching the clouds roll in over the Ligurian coast.

    Pics not needed, but please tell me you aren’t Winnie-the-Pooh’ing it.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    As far as I’m aware the evidence is that if you’re generally a happy person, then more money does make you happier, if you’re not then it doesn’t.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    A phrase I heard once is that money is like oxygen: it’s only important when you don’t have any.

    poly
    Free Member

    It’s a once in a lifetime thing for him, so not something that he does every year, and he’s been saving up for it for ages, but it was an amount of money that it made me stop and think that there would be no way that I could do it on my current income, which is comfortable but by no means excessive.

    Do you both have similar lifes? e.g. are you both married to other doctors, have kids, have similar houses, get on the property ladder at same time, etc? Then there’s the spending – is he wasting money on shiny new bikes, have a wife buying new stuff etc?  It is pointless to compare those things for those who don’t.

    Is it possible that some of his money wasn’t even earned – inheritance makes a massive difference to available cash – if not directly by splashing it all – then indirectly by giving you the option to pay off mortgage, invest differently etc.

    As others have mentioned, I’ve also done a job when I was earning more, and it made me very unhappy, which is why I’ve chosen to work in the way I have. But something like this just makes me question myself is all.

    This is the most interesting thing – you are questioning your own judgement because he’s doing something you think is unnecessarily extravagant? or are you wishing you could do the same as him – e.g. if you won a chunk on the lottery, inheritance, etc would you consider spending it on something like this?

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