Money versus happiness?????

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-19-2004
Money versus happiness?????
Mon, 05-20-2013 - 10:30pm

I am single, and have always worked hard, and been self sufficient.  But, this has come at a sacrifice.  I make VERY good money, but I work 12 hours a day with no real life. I also have a very stressful job and deal with a somebody who bullies on a regular basis.  There is no where to turn and he has a created a place that is so stressful.  Im stressed from the moment I get there until I leave, fearful of the next over reaction.  He holds others to this standard that nobody (not even himself) can meet.  If I take a vacation day or call in sick, he sends such horrible emails that its almost not even worth it.

But, i have job stability, and have the capability of making a lot of money.  And so for the last 12 years, I have struggled with, just put it up with it for a few more years, until he retired, make as much as I can, retire young, and do something else.  It also affords me a lifestyle, where I can shop, travel, buy what I want, and i don't have to wonder where the next pay check is coming from (trust me...i have been there too).

However, I am at my breaking point, in tears on a regular basis and generally frozen.

the job market is so terrible, and i have sent out about 30 resumes.  I have had 1 interview.  I have another interview this week, and its a job that Im pretty sure I can land.  Its 7.5 hours a day, great benefits, more than 30 days off work.  No job is perfect, but this one is pretty close to it.  But, I would be taking a $50,000 to $60,000 if not more of a paycut.  I may have to move b/c Im not sure i can afford where I live, id have to cut out majorly (which is ok).   

Im 40 years old and would be going back about 7 years.  But, at what point is it worth it?  trading happiness for money, or vice versa?  Im so frozen and stuck in this horrible job, and scared of moving, scared to work, scared to stay, scared to leave.  My mind is so tiwsted with this. I have no idea what to do.  

Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
Tue, 05-21-2013 - 11:14am

Just make sure you think things through before leaping into a new job that pay so much less. If you need to move to be happy, don't make more stress for yourself by doing it in the spur of the moment with way less income.

It's ok to choose to lessen your stress for a paycut. That's not ridiculous or crazy. If you've gotten to the point where you can no longer justify holding this position with the coworker and feel you can't wait it out, then by all means, do what you feel is best for you overall.

Just make sure that you take into consideration all of the other changes that will come about, too. In between sending out resumes and interviewing, while still working, you likely will need to look for a new home, too. Start shifting your focus to the new job search and home search, and hopefully knowing that you're making a way to get out of the stress will help you face each day at your current job, too. 

It honestly sounds like you're in a decent position because you've been responsible and hardworking for so long. 


Clinical Research Associate


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Thu, 05-23-2013 - 8:55am

My heart goes out to you.

 I am 42 and although not single, have worked for living my entire adult life and you could have literally described my last boss and how I felt in my last job - minus the money and the actual work  stress; the stress came from the opposite kind of nightmare. I had absolutely NOTHING to do, and by nothing I mean not a single tiny little thing, there was no job there for me at all yet I couldn't just leave because it was the beginning of recession here in England and I was  terrified of being left without a job.

 '...It also affords me a lifestyle, where I can shop, travel, buy what I want, and i don't have to wonder where the next pay check is coming from (trust me...i have been there too).'

The thing is.. if this is how this job makes you feel 24/7 how on earth do you get to enjoy the shopping and the travelling, not to mention when? When you buy those things you  they ease the depression, anxiety and frozen fear which rule your life..which are your life?  Next pay cheque... yes, it's vitally important to know where your next cheque is coming from but at this kind of price..?? I'd rather go to social security. Yes, I totally mean it. In this country, they will pay your rent and give you some money to live on every week, for at least a year. You get time to breathe and look around for a job. 

 The price you are paying for the lifestyle and things you can buy is your health, your youth, your life. It's absolutely NOT worth it in the slightest.

I would put in the notice next week and accept the other offer NOW. You have no dependants, you only have yourself to answer for, correct? Then why keep killing yourself like this when you can 'loose' all this ^&%$ in the space of a couple of weeks and begin living and breathing again?  Rent a much smaller flat, buy a lot less things, don't go out to restaurants. It will absolutely 100% be worth it.

At the end of the day.. imho, work's just something that we do in order to live, to eat, to have a roof above our heads and to finance weekends and holidays. It absolutely SHOULD NOT make you a candidate for a nervous breakdown and it should not take over and ruin your life like this, not at all, for no money in the world.

Please don't waste anymore time. At our age... we can't really afford to....