More Money More Problems?

Is it ever a good idea to except a new job ONLY because it pays more?

Today my boss pulled my aside to tell me about a possible job opening in another department that she thought I would be good for. The job description wasn’t that exciting until she said it would be an increase in salary. (specific numbers weren’t discussed) Before I get into the money aspect, I should give you some background. I started working for my current employer (an insurance company) as an escape out of retail. It was a steady position with a stable company and it meant I wouldn’t have to work weekends ever again. All very practical reasons but nothing to do with a love of the field or a long term career goal. The company was also big enough that it allowed me to move across the country and stay employed. My current position is designed to be a place where people get their feet wet before moving up into more advanced careers. Therefore there is a constant push to promote people from within. That’s wonderful except that I am totally uninterested in most of those advanced positions that they want to promote me to. Most of these position are ones that primarily deal customers. Basically I would  be spending my day returning phone calls. One of the things I love most about my job now is that it has little to no customer contact. The only calls I make are usually to hospitals to track down a missing medical bills. My job is comfortable and low stress. I have no doubt in my abilities and I’m sure if promoted I could preform well in the position. But is more stress and aggravation worth it just for a couple more bucks on payday?

All of this swirls in my head whenever a promotion is mentioned. If I were to keep it simple and ask myself “Do I want this promotion?” The answer would probably be no. My instinct is to play it safe and stick with what the familiar and safe route. Although it’s that way of thinking that will keep me poor for years to come. I’d consider my salary to be in the low to average category.  Yes, I’ll admit I live above my means and there is always room to make cutbacks. For example, I love my apt, but I’ll probably have to move when my lease is up because I sense a major increase coming now that new owners have taken over. As much as I love the independence, living alone doesn’t help my budget either. A higher paying job would help pay off bills much quicker and hopefully give my savings account a much needed breath of air.

My current Visa bill is it’s own motivation but I also need to start thinking about long term goals and realities. I don’t want to be 45 and still living paycheck to paycheck with $60 in my savings account. Winning the lottery is never a good retirement plan. My goal is to someday buy a condo and having enough money for a respectable down payment is a daunting task. All I can picture is Suze Orman in my head wagging her disapproving finger. Is being a grown up defined as making choices you don’t want to make? Doing things you don’t want to do? Doesn’t low stress and comfortable count for anything?

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