Semi-NAR ? About Big Paycut — The Bump

Semi-NAR ? About Big Paycut

This isn't completely adoption/fostering related, but I need opinions and I trust you ladies, so here it goes.

I'm looking to make the next step in my career.  My current job is fine, but I am hoping for some more challenging work, flexible schedule, and work for a company I am passionate about (this is my stretch goal).

An amazing position opened up in one of my favorite local companies!  It would be a great step professionally (more responsibility, challenging projects, etc.) and has an amazing schedule (no more than 40 hours a week with 3 months of part-time hours which is SUPER unexpected in the accounting field).  Sounds perfect!  I had a initial phone interview that went great until I find out they were hoping to pay HALF of my current salary.  Both the CEO and I were disappointed because it seemed like a "perfect match" (her words) up until that point.  I told her that this really was my dream job and that I could consider things if they could bring the salary up to where I'd be taking a $20k salary cut.  She wants me to come in for an in-person interview in January, and will know more about what wiggle room they will have for the salary then.

DH and I have been doing some major number crunching to figure out how much a $20k cut would "hurt".  It would put us on a pretty strict budget, but would still definitely be do-able.  Our current lifestyle is pretty spendy on stupid things (eating out, Target trips, random splurges) that are not high dollar but add up to significant budget items.  So basically all of this would be cut out and we'd have to deliberately save for vacations and gifts, which we'd just wing previously.  If I even get the offer, we know we'll need to evaluate the entire "package"- benefits, 401k, and future raises to see how quickly I could expect to get back to my current salary.

Here's the kid-related part.  I want more flexible schedule since I really missed having one this year when I needed to attend so many foster related meetings and because I just wanted to spend more time with the boys.  But we are currently undecided on if/when/how we are going to have kids in our life.  We were planning on taking 2-3 months off of trying to decide to give us some time to re-acclimate after our foster sons were reunified with their family.  It is most probable that we will have kids in our lives in some form (bio or fostering), but both avenues are definitely still on the table.  While this job would be a great for fostering (able to attend meetings, have lots of quality time during part-time months), I feel like the pay cut would really "hurt" if we would need to pay for daycare for a bio kid.  FYI- daycare is covered approx 90% for foster kids.  But then I feel like that financial "hurt" could be offset with the added flexibility which would translate into more time with the kid.  Ugh!

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to decide on this job (if I even get an offer) when our future is so unknown right now?  Or can someone tell me that living on a tight budget isn't so bad if you can see your kid more?  Do you think I'm crazy for considering a $20k paycut?

Any advice/thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated since my head is just spinning right now. 

Re: Semi-NAR ? About Big Paycut

  • I'm working my way into the accounting field. I want more flexible hours or to be a stay at home mom I'm not sure. 



    If your comfortable taking the paycut go for it. It does sound a little crazy to take a $20,000 pay it, BUT I've always said money isn't everything, and if I were to stop working we'd be taking a bigger paycut than that. Good luck!!! 

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  •  I did take a big pay cut, along with relocating to an area that I didn't really want to relocate to, in order to have more time and flexibility with DS. It wasn't as large as the pay cut you're talking about, but it will be in the long run as I won't advance nearly as quickly.

     It's not the ideal situation (I would rather not have to work full time), but it allowed us to avoid daycare/after care 100%, which was very important to us. Honestly, there are days when I regret it--but it was the best thing for DS at the time, so we manage. 

  • image elissaann26:

    Or can someone tell me that living on a tight budget isn't so bad if you can see your kid more?  Do you think I'm crazy for considering a $20k paycut?

    Any advice/thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated since my head is just spinning right now. 

    I can tell you that living on a tight budget is not so bad if you get to spend more time with your kids, *IF you are the kind of person who REALLY values family time. And it sounds like all of the extra spending you guys would be cutting out is pretty superficial stuff, so I would think you would be alright. If it were an issue of "how are we going to pay this bill or buy this necessity," that would be another story. 

    That being said, there are a lot of factors to consider. Money being one. Happiness being another. For example, would you be happier on a tight budget with no cable/target splurges/vacations if you absolutely loved your job and could be with your child/children more? Or would you be happier at your current job, with all of the extras and less free time?

    Also, how long will it take you to work back up to that same level? That was our situation, and at 3 years we made it back to the income level we had been at when we were both working. However, we now also have DS living with us and had to save for an adoption, so those things count for strikes against our original budget as well. The first year was a huge adjustment, but we are now back to where we were financially, give or take. Saving is also another big question. Would you still be able to save for rainy day expenses with the new job? Those seem to always pop up often, and that is something important to consider. 

    I took well over $20,000 pay cut when I went from teaching full time, to tutoring 5 days a week from home, and it was a BIG adjustment at first. For our family, it ended up being totally worth it. However, we are really plain, non-frilly people and eventually we got comfortable enough in our new lifestyle that I cut out the tutoring also. It wasn't bringing in enough to justify the family time expense. Now I get to spend the afternoons with DS as well, and we plant a garden and make coffee at home to compensate for my old target shopping shenanigans, where I bought ridiculous amounts of organic produce and stopped at the starbucks on the way in...and out. LOL 

    If you asked me today wether I would prefer to shop and vacation the way we used to, or wear ratty clothes and garden with my kid, I would definitely say wear old stained clothes and play with DS. Hands down. But as PP said, maybe while you are making these other big decisions, you guys might want to start deciding through which route you are going to build your forever family. OR hold off on the actual decision and just plan for the more expensive one. 

    Good luck. I know this must be such a tough choice for you. My head would be spinning too. It isn't very often that your dream job comes along. 


    <a href=""><img src="" width="400" height="80" border="0" alt="Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers" /></a>
  • You couldn't pay me (ha!) to take a 20K salary cut.  It's too much.  It's not just a few Target splurges, it's $1600 a month.  That said, both MH and I went into the arts knowing there would be little money in it...    

    I would do a big ol' pros/cons list and highlight the most important items to me.  That's how I decide most everything.  GL and I wish you the best! 

    My feet and Miss Heidi the rescue mutt!


    15 treatment cycles: four early m/c
    Moving forward with domestic infant adoption!

    Home study approved 5/13, now just waiting...

  • I'm also contemplating a job change that could potentially mean a pay cut. Right now I work three 12 hour shifts a week, including some weekends. I love having the days off with our little foster son, but it's becoming very hard for me to work until 7pm with dh's call schedule. We don't have any immediate family or babysitters available whenever needed and our daycare closes at 6pm. That being said, a position has come open that would be shorter day time hours, but 5 days a week. And it's in a department I have always been interested in. When kids are involved, every decision seems so much more important! Good luck with whatever choice you make!
    Foster to adopt process started 8/2012:)
  • Thank you so much for all of these replies!  I knew you ladies would be awesome as usual.  These are the kind of perspectives and questions I was hoping to get.  I'm still sorting through everything, but really appreciate your feedback!  Thanks so much!

    (And if anyone else has any perspective/opinions/feedback, I'd love to hear from you too!) 

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