How many times has a pay restriction kept you from making a desired career move?
Our society really pushes pursuing your passions and following your dreams. For most, this mantra is probably not great advice in the real world. Many “dream jobs” are is short supply and high demand. If this is a path that you are committed to, then I have some very simple advice; live well within your means.
Living well within your means simply allows you to say yes to an opportunity that may pay less than your current position. In many situations you may want to pivot industries or roles so that you can set yourself on a path for more opportunity in the future. If you have a huge debt load or very high monthly expenses, you will likely not be able to make to the move. Either the math doesn’t work, or there is too much risk if you fail.
Keeping your monthly expenses low and staying out of debt allows you the freedom to be nimble. It also frees you up from the stress of a high debt to income ratio.
Many of those dream jobs sometimes don’t pay comparatively good salaries, but if your expenses are low to begin with, you may be in a better position to live your dream and take that opportunity.
My last thought on this subject is about pride. We are all in a race to achieve the highest level of success in the shortest amount of time possible. You want to “make it” faster than your high school friends. You may feel you are falling behind when you see your friends posting their vacation trips and new car purchases on Facebook or Instagram. This desire to “make it” pushes us to spend up to our limits and beyond. Resist that feeling and you will be the better for it.
Don’t compare yourself. In the end, your life is your own. Your choices affect you and your family, not your loose friend network. Live a successful life for you and your family. If your kids grow up watching their parents be happy and not having to struggle to maintain their lifestyle, that is the best lesson to pass on.
Real success is the freedom control your own choices.