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Columns | Go Far With Kovar

Should I Take
the Higher Paying Job?

by Taylor Kovar

Hi Taylor - I've got two job offers on the table, and I'm leaning toward taking the one that pays about $10,000 less. I'll save money on commuting and I have more PTO with the smaller salaried position, but I'm worried I'll regret not taking the extra money. Thoughts and advice? - Kerry

Hi Kerry - I don't have all the details, but I appreciate you weighing your opportunities and leaning toward the job that might make you happiest. At the end of the day, you need to consider all the variables and settle on the position that will have you feeling good when you wake up in the morning.

If you're saving money on mileage, that could make a bigger difference than you realize. Let's say you drive 10 miles less each day for the lower-paying position. Using the $.53/mile deduction rate from 2017, that's over $5 a day in savings. That ends up being over $1,000 at the end of the year, and that's just for 10 round-trip miles. It doesn't equal the full $10,000, but it's still a significant amount.

You mentioned paid time off, which is a very big deal. Not only do extra paid days equate to a bigger salary, but that directly impacts your quality of life. You should be able to enjoy personal and family time no matter where you work, so I wouldn't fault you at all if you decided vacation days were more important than dollars earned.

What you haven't mentioned is your own expenses. I want to make sure you're thinking about short- and long-term goals before you pick your next employer. As much as you need to be happy with your position, you should think about what's going to make you happiest in 5-10 years, and how that might influence your daily peace of mind.

If you have a mortgage or student loan or credit card debt, does it make more sense to increase your earnings so you can become financially free more quickly? If the work you'll be doing is relatively similar at either company, which one will provide stronger opportunity for upward mobility while meeting your spending and saving needs?

Picking the job you'll enjoy most is the top priority, but sometimes a higher salary can be the deciding factor. There are plenty of things more important than money, but when it comes to your day job, there's no shame in letting earnings dictate which job you accept.

As long as your bills are covered and your retirement is getting funded, I see nothing wrong with taking a job that pays less but meets other needs of yours. As long as you're being realistic about how much money you need, go with the job that will make you happiest. Best of luck in the new position, Kerry!

Taylor Kovar August 17, 2018
More "Go Far With Kovar"

Disclosure: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@TaylorKovar.com, or via regular mail to Lessons on Wealth, 106 E Lufkin Ave., Lufkin, TX 75901.

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