The following is a post by staff writer Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Her blog covers living expenses, saving for your future, and the fun stuff along the way.
I have been job hunting for the past few weeks to find something more enjoyable than my current cubicle position. The main problem seems to be that I enjoy jobs that don’t pay very well. Specifically, I’m looking at customer service positions that only seem to pay $10-$12 an hour, which would entail taking a significant pay cut.
A pay cut makes me cringe for two main reasons. First, a cut in salary would hamper the 35-45% we’ve been socking away for early retirement. Secondly, we would have to cut back on our monthly entertainment expenses. My husband is fine with both of those consequences as long as I find something that makes me happy, but I wonder how much I am willing to cut back on in order to wake up with a little less dread every day.
Since I have already crunched the numbers for a past post, I know my husband and I would be just fine even if we had to live on just his salary. We would have to give up almost all unnecessary spending, but we could pay all of our bills and wouldn’t have to eat Ramen every day, lol.
If I do take a position that pays $10 an hour, we wouldn’t even have to cut back quite that much. We would “simply” have to find a way to deal with the approximate $750 difference every month. Here’s some ideas I’ve come up with so far:
1) Find another part-time job. If it only pays $7.50, I’d just need to work an additional 100 hours a month. This sounds like a plausible option but I don’t know if I can regularly give up that much time with my family and friends.
2) Grow my blogs faster. I’ve brought in a little more than $4,200 in a total of 8 months via BFS. I need to concentrate on bringing in a consistent $1,000 or more a month. My husband thinks that using my blogs to supplement the difference is a perfect idea. I agree and am trying to grow all 3 of my blogs as fast as possible simply to hit my goal to blog full time by 2012.
3) Cut back on our expenses by $750 a month. This would be difficult since we currently “only” spend about $3,250 a month including our mortgage. We could pretty easily cut back $150 from our food budget but the other $600 would require some major thought and prioritization. Anyone got some special money saving ideas I don’t know about?
4) Cut back on our savings by $750 a month. We currently put away $1,000-$1,500 in additional cash on top of the monthly contributions we make towards his pension, my 401(k), and our Roth IRA. We could cut back on our fun money, vacation account, emergency account, and home and auto account if the need pops up.
Currently, I am trying very hard to enjoy my job more while I submit resumes so I don’t have to make any tough decisions. I’m truly hoping I can find something I really enjoy that wouldn’t cause me to take a pay cut at all. At a whopping $35,000 a year, it shouldn’t be so hard to find a new job to fit the bill…
How low would you go to find a job that is better for you? What could you cut back on if it meant waking up a little happier every day?