(Closed) Needing Pearls of Wisdom – Does Money = Happiness?

posted 10 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Needing Pearls of Wisdom
    Go for the new job, it will only be a few years & the money will help you with your future. : (15 votes)
    71 %
    Stay where you are & go get that credential. : (4 votes)
    19 %
    Stay where you are & try to find some other job where you could put that degree of yours to use. : (1 votes)
    5 %
    I thought of another option you might like, so I'll tell you about it below. : (1 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 3
    271 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I think you should take a better paying full time job and if another job that utlilizes your degree comes up in the meantime you should apply to that one. The job change or gap on your resume wont be a red flag because most people realize that other things come up- but I would continue to volunteer with kids and things like that so you can say that you have continued to be involved in that part of your life- like tutoring, guardian ad litem, even child care during church services.

    Good luck

    Post # 4
    208 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    Ugh, I’ve been there, isn’t it the pits?  My initial thought after reading your post is that one of your main reservations in leaving your current position is that you love the kids you work with.  I can SO appreciate that because I also have a degree in child and family development and have worked in similar places.  Other than that, it doesn’t sound like you LOVE your current job.  I know you want to go back to school and it may be more feasible (financially speaking) to do it with the new job.  Even though it will be full time, you could take night classes and may not need to take loans to cover the cost of school.  It might take a little longer, but you’ll get there and be financially stable in the meantime.   To answer your initial question, noone will tell you that money equals happiness.  It doesn’t.  Yet, ironically, finances are one of the major sources of conflict in many relationships.  Being in a comfortable place, financially, might lead to less stress.  I always say, money might not make me happy, but I’m sure willing to give it a shot! 

    Good luck! 

    Post # 5
    220 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2009

    I think you should at least go to the interviews.  You don’t want to cut off any options until you have more information or are sure about your decision.  Also, meeting people at the interview may help your decision.  You may love the people you meet and get excited about the prospect of working there, or you may realize that this is not the job path for you at this time. 

    Also, it is considerate of you to think about others who may be applying for the job, but the company probably won’t turn down their second and third choices until they have a commitment from their first choice.

    No one will fault you for taking a better paying job outside your college major.  Times are tight right now and everyone must do what is best for himself or herself.  If the job will help you reach your goals (nicer house, financial security) and it will make you happy, I say go for it.

    Good luck!

    Post # 6
    6009 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    Personally, I would go for the new job.  If I was planning on having kids in only a few years, I would want a better paying job so we could buy a house and be more settled before getting pregnant.  Plus, if I was planning on being a stay-at-home mom, I wouldn’t want to spend more money and time on a degree that I wouldn’t even be using anytime soon. 

    If you want to go back to work fairly soon after having kids (like within the next 10 years) it might make more sense to get your certification right  away.  But if you want to stay out of the job market for any serious length of time, it might make more sense to wait to go back to school/get your certification.  Things change so quickly (especially in your career field).  I wouldn’t want to spend time and money on a degree/certification that is outdated by the time you are actually able to put it to use. 

    All this is my only my opinion, though.  I’m in a job that I don’t necessarily love, but we have to pay for a wedding, buy a house, buy a new car, and pay for my Fi’s graduate degree before I can go back to school for my Master’s.  It might not be my dream job, but I figure it’s worth sacrificing a few years so that we’re better set up for the future.

    Post # 8
    200 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2008

    Have you thought about applying to be a substitue teacher during the day? Sounds like your position right now is for afterschool so this would be a feasable thing to do. You may love working with children afterschool, but hate teaching. I know you do not have to be a certified teacher to substitute in districts around where I am (you don’t get paid as much as certified teachers though). This way you would get to test out the being a teacher part before committing to going to school. You may love it, but you may decide that maybe it’s not for you. In any event, it would help you get your name out there and perhaps a foot in the door if you do decide to go the teaching route. 🙂

    And, no, money doesn’t bring happiness. You should do something you truly love. The finances will come in time. 




    Post # 10
    1205 posts
    Bumble bee

    Lillindy – I completely feel your pain!  I left the (sounds like, exact same) job you do now to get a job in the professional world.  I had no choice (for financial reasons) and thought I would hate it.  I didn’t realize how much i missed the day-to-day adult world until I was here.  I found other ways to fill my need to be creative and be with children and that helped.  I do miss my kids and my classroom, but I’ve made friends and connections here I wouldn’t trade.  Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can certainly make things easier.

    Post # 11
    1276 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    Have you looked into emergency credentials since you’re in CA?  I don’t know if they are still common, but they were a few years ago. 

    I think that going to the interviews to keep options open and find more about the companies is good advice.  Even if the job isn’t the one you would choose, it might give you great exposure.  But if that does not turn out to be the case, I personally don’t think you should choose a job you hate just for the money.  I also think that it’s a bit of a trap to think that a few years of extra income will really allow you to buy a nicer house.  There are still decades of mortgage payments that you will need to consider while paying for an extra family member and living on a single income.  If you think the difference is enough to save up a substantial nest egg you can use for your kids that might be different, but if it’s only enough to make a bigger downpayment on a more expensive house I’d say don’t do it b/c you’ll likely regret it later.

    Also, since you say you’d like to be a Stay-At-Home Mom, but I get the impression you’d want to work when the kids are older, you should consider what will be best for your career in the long run.  I think that education and early childhood development are probably fields that are not as difficult to get back into after a break of a few years, but having a substantial background on your resume beforehand will help immensely.  You might talk to people and find out what things they look for, but I woud guess a teaching job would be more helpful than an office job for your longterm economic outlook.  I think for anyone who chooses to be a Stay-At-Home Mom it’s worthwhile talking to women who have reentered the job market afterward…even if you think it’s unlikely, you really never know (I know so many who were certain they did or didn’t want to be a Stay-At-Home Mom who completely changed after the baby came, I don’t think you can predict until you are in the situation).

    And my final opinion, since I’m so full of ’em today :), is that you can never really predict exactly how life will turn out.  My sister and my Future Sister-In-Law both tried for years (like 3 and 5) before they finally carried a pregnancy to term.  I really don’t wish that kind of turmoil on anyone, but I’m just saying that it’s worth considering that life might not always go as planned.  If you experience anything like the heartbreak they both went through, continuing to work at a job you dislike and feeling you’ve wasted your education to boot will be much, much more difficult.

    I guess I’m saying that money is important, but so is your happiness and I wouldn’t trade the latter for a bit more of the former.   I also think that it can be tempting to take a higher paying job now, but that doesn’t mean it will lead you to where you want to be in the long term. 

    Post # 12
    2640 posts
    Sugar bee

    Well I’ve more than been there.  I’ve had the job I loved.  I’ve had the job I hated that paid more.  I am the stay at home mom, that you want to be.

    A few things. You want to stay at home, but you want to go to school.  Can you explain that?  If you stay at your current job, any likelihood they will give some compensation for the tuition?  Is there an option to just go to school right away? 

    My personal experience is that I would rather have the job I love for less money than the job I don’t for more.  With that said, your current job, isn’t super with the aggravating supervisors.  And the job with more money might be great.  So I would at least go on the interviews.  I agree with Jenny Bee.  If you go, it might help you decide.  But if you don’t go, you might always wonder.  Also, when I was in those positions, I really wasn’t in a situation that my income was of huge importance.

    Like I said, I stay at home.  To be honest if I were to do it over again, I would make sure I went to grad school first, so that I could be set in my career.  I feel a bit defeated now, like if I should even bother going to school anymore.  (I admit sometimes I’m jealous of the gals on here who are all set with their careers and doing big things…  (Sigh) There I said it.) So if you are thinking of grad school, I would try to swing it before kids.  Also, I would have considered a career that was conducive to kids.  A job that could be done at home, or works with school schedule (like teaching school counseling etc.)  I think if you want to be a teacher, maintaining your career while you have kids would be workable.  You have off when they have off, your work day is around the same time as their school day,  And if you really want to take a few years off, you can be a sub teacher, after school tutor etc.  And to address the issue of not feeling like the pay will be that grea even as a teacher, maybe not the greatest, but teacher have great benefits and retirement…  You could also do something over summers for money.  I don’t know if that helps.

    To some degree, if you really want to work with kids, I’d recommend staying with your position until something else in your field came along.   Sometimes when you stray from your goals, it’s hard to get back on track. 

    However, if you have a concrete plan about needing the money from this new job to pay for grad school, then that is probably the better choice.   I also, understand that housing is more affordable right now.  Perhaps if you wait a couple of years, prices might go back up.  Also, be sure to really think finances through.  Like if quitting this job in three years, like you plan, will be OK, financially for you to maintain the home.  If you need that money to buy the home in the first place.

    Good luck.

    Post # 14
    2292 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2008

    Money does not equal happiness.  However, it is generally true that a serious lack of money equals worry and need, which does pretty much equal unhappiness.  I think you have to ask yourself a few things.  First of all, is the better paying job just something that you might be less happy doing, or actually something that you would be unhappy doing?  Second, is the difference in happiness worth having kids while you’re still living in an apartment, or putting off having kids because it takes you longer to get to the financial stability you want?  You also might want to consider that taking the higher paying job doesn’t preclude you from eventually getting your teaching credential.  And working on that credential might be a good way to get back into the workforce once you’re ready.  Getting it now, using it for a short period of time, and then being out of the workforce for several years may not be as useful long-term getting it later and as using it as leverage to come back to work. I know that in my field, we would rather have someone with less experience and up-to-date training than someone with a little more experience who has just taken several years off.  Teaching may be different, but it’s something to consider.

    Post # 15
    7 posts

    my one other concern is you don’t want to buy a house based on having a better paying job now, when you want to be a Stay-At-Home Mom later. Unless it is to save up for a bigger downpayment now to get the house. Just another thought.

    Post # 16
    1276 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    I have to chime in again and agree with Tanya on going back to school before having kids.  I know my field is really different, but grad school is hard and time-consuming.  My niece is 2 1/2 and my sister went to the bookstore to buy a book this weekend for probably the first time since she arrived.  I can’t imagine trying to go to school and nurse, chase a toddler etc.  This isn’t to say work isn’t demanding, but b/c grad school requires so much self-discipline and setting your own structured day, I think it can be a lot more difficult to do with young kids…

    You didn’t mention the CARES program before.  I’m now waaaaaay more on board with the idea of keeping your job and going back to school.  You sound really motivated about a career in education, and I just don’t see you not regretting giving that up.  And I think it will be infinitely harder to pursue grad school after having kids.  And $3K – $5K is no small amount of money.  If you go back later, then you’ll have to pay for that out of pocket…which in CA means earning more like $5K – $10K to get the same amount (depending on your federal tax bracket…can’t wait until we’re filing jointly!).  I’m assuming the CARES money is after tax?

    My bottom line is that you seem really devoted to teaching.  And I know from friends who are teachers with kids that especially if you have some advanced credentials/degrees you can really forge a flexible career path (one friend was SAH for 6 mos, subbing for the next 1 1/2 years, then working in the District Office designed curriculum part time…a lot of this was made easier b/c she has a MA in education).  I really wouldn’t give up something that is clearly so important to you for some extra money in the short term…as I said, full of strong opinions today:)

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