Many of us have the dream of going to college, getting a degree, and then heading out into the world to make lots of money.
However, there is more to the world than just earning big bucks, and if your only goal in life is to make more, then you might end up sacrificing your family and your health. Even worse, you could end up losing money in the long run.
Certain jobs pay more for a reason.
They are often more stressful, require long hours, and can have an extended commute that could take up your entire day and destroy any chance of a healthy work/life balance.
If you have been offered a higher-paying job but are on the fence about whether you should accept, the tips below should help you decide.
Impact On Your Family and Your Future
If you find a job that pays more than you are used to seeing for similar positions, then you need to actively research the reason why. You should ask all the questions you can during the interview stage so you can make the best, most well-informed decision.
Ask them about:
- The working hours
- Is overtime required?
- Will you be expected to come in on nights and weekends?
You need to know how involved the job will be and how often it will keep you from your family because that is what is most important.
While we will talk about the financial impact, losing those you love could cost you emotionally and tear you down. Spend enough time away from your family, and it could end in a pricey divorce.
Plus, if you have young children, this extended time away could result in more money spent on babysitters and other child care services.
In addition to your family, you also need to think about your future.
Did you take this job as an investment in yourself and your future career, or was it only about the money?
If this job was just for the cash and it is not in line with where you want to be years down the road, then you are not building the proper stepping stones, and a future employer may pass on your resume because you don’t have the experience they desire.
If this happens and you are without a job, the lack of funds could impact your family and how you provide for them.
Costs to Physical and Mental Health
You also need to think about how your job is affecting your body and mind. Many jobs that pay more are also more taxing physically or mentally.
It is essential that you find a job that doesn’t cause physical pain and result in medical bills or future health issues down the road that could impact your opportunity to provide for your family.
There are a ton of dangerous jobs out there, ranging from construction work to many healthcare positions, including flight nurses and psychiatric care professionals.
These jobs may be rewarding, but if they are beating you down day after day, then it may not be worth it. If an injury does occur, you can get financial help via worker’s compensation through your employer, but some injuries could be too much to overcome, and the cost could follow you the rest of your life.
You also need to consider your mental health.
If your job is so stressful and draining that it is impacting your relationship with your family, then you could face additional medical issues and expenses.
Work stress can manifest itself in many ways, from the pressures of an overbearing boss to the intensity of the lighting or the temperature in the office. If you feel uncomfortable walking into work every day, then you need to express your concerns to your manager.
If they won’t listen, request a meeting with your HR department.
Stress and poor mental health can lead to many additional costs down the road.
Those who do not get their stress under control can see an incline in headaches, upset stomach, and an increased chance of getting the cold or flu.
This means spending money on medication and doctor visits. Stress can also lead to insomnia which will cause you to lose sleep and could impact your work the next day.
Poor performance could result in job loss sooner than you intended. If you are not able to get your mental health in a good place, then you may also have to see a psychiatrist, which may or may not be covered under your health insurance.
Upgrading to a better office chair or a standing desk can reduce your sedentary lifestyle and prevent health risks from sitting too long. If you sit too long, you may need to take visits to your doctor for back problems, sciatica, and other related problems.
The Commute Alone Could Be Trouble
Even if the daily requirements of your job are manageable, if you have an overly long commute, you could be spending more money than it is worth.
Just the cost of gas alone can take a major chunk out of your paycheck, which effectively reduces how much you are taking home in profit per year.
You can check the true cost by using a commute calculator online, but in essence, at the current average cost of gas at $2.70 a gallon and a 60-mile round trip drive, you could be looking at several hundred dollars per month.
Then there are the costs you don’t think about until they hit your bank account. These begin with the price of maintenance, from oil changes to engine replacements, which any car owner knows can add up quickly.
On top of that, your insurance costs could also increase since the more you are on the road, the higher the odds of an accident.
Perhaps the most significant issue a long commute creates is one that we seldom think about, and that is the impact on your health.
You have probably heard that “sitting is the new smoking,” and that is not an exaggeration.
When we sit at a desk or in a car for longer periods of time, we all but eliminate the opportunity for exercise, and a lack of activity can lead to an increased chance of diabetes and poor heart health, which you may have to pay for later in life.
When you are on the road longer, there is also the increased chance that you will stop for fast food more often, which is typically more expensive than eating at home and can increase your chance of obesity.
In the end, we all have to work to provide a life for ourselves and the ones we love. However, there has to be a balance. Take the time to research a new job ahead of time and make sure it fits properly into your life plans, both now and in the future.
Dan Matthews is a freelance writer with a penchant for financial wisdom and solid research. You can find him on Twitter @danielmatthews0 and LinkedIn.
Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.