Job Switch: more money or closer to home?

Many of us have been faced with this work dilemma: you already have a job that is close to home and pays OK. In other words, it is a job that may not make you very wealthy any time soon but it also gives you a stress-free comfortable life, where you can spend more quality time with family and friends. Then you come across another job opportunity that pays much better than your current job (say 10-30% more) but it is far from where you live and you would have to sacrifice up to an extra 2 hours in commute daily, time that you would otherwise spend with your family.

Assuming all other things are equal, should you take the new job? Ia it all about money or should other things come into play in making your decision? Here are some things to consider to help you make a decision on which job to take or keep:

Single person vs. Family

It make a big difference  whether you are single and with no family commitments, or have a family (spouse and kids).  Here is the tricky part: while a single person is more capable of taking the new more distant job, at the same time, he or she is probably less in need of money compared to the person with a family.  At the same time, the person with a family needs to spend more time with their family, something the single person probably doesn’t need to worry about a lot.

So, you can either take the extra money and end up spending less time with family or keep the current job, with less money, but have much more time with family.

Money spent on gas, commuting back and fourth

There are other things to consider: money spent on commuting back and fourth.  This could take a big chunk out of your budget. In fact, it could be so substantial-given the current high gas prices-that any extra income you make from the new job, will not be very significant after all. Not to mention, as you drive your car to work more and put extra mileage on it, it will need more maintenance (more frequent oil changes, wear-and-tear parts that need replacing etc.) and that will cost even more money.

Tax considerations

You also have to take into consideration that making more money could put you in a higher tax bracket and as a result, end up paying more.



Therefore, after accounting for these extra factors, you will realize that getting the new job-pays more but is a long commute from home-is not really worth it at the end of the day. In

One thing you can consider, if the new job is really worth the future investment, is to try to relocate somewhere that is closer to it. But even then, given the high prices for real estate (in Canada at least) this may not be an easy option.

Suffice it to say, when presented with such a situation, weigh all the factors and don’t just focus on the difference in salary. In our materialistic world today, it may nice to have a lot of money, but at the same time, let us not lose sight of things that matter the most to us: our families, friends and having a good time, away from work.