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Changing your life, overcoming the fear factor

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    I am currently trying to overhaul my life, to live more simply and happily. Part of this will include a change of job which will mean a pay cut of around 50% to leave what I am doing and start again some where new.

    Whilst I am wanting to leave my current position due to being miserable, and am excited about the possibility of learning something new and having a new career path when I finally find gainfull employment elsewhere, I cant help but feel guilty and worried about the loss of income. The money I earn at the moment can go along way to help pay our house off, renovations etc. The company I work for have no idea I am looking at leaving so I could stay for ever as far as they are concerned. But I am miserable. I have lost the passion I once had for my job. I have no motivation or drive so feel its time to move on.

    But I am having a bit of a hard time justifying the loss of income and the added pressure this will have on us to achieve our goals. Has anyone else been through this? was it worth it in the long run or do you wish you had stuck it out for the money? were you still able to achieve all that you wanted?

    I guess I am so confused about how to deal with it all, we have such big dreams and they cost money, even setting up to live simply costs money so I am trying to do as much as i whilst I have my current income, but still worry about what will happen once I change jobs.

    Any advice from those who have downsized their income would be much appreciated..


    Hi Mell,

    I cannot offer advice from the perspective of having downsized income, I haven’t gone there, though like you I often yearn to do so. I used to change jobs like underwear, and have been at my current one for over 8 years, which is a lifetime!

    The reason I’m sticking with the current job is that times are a changing, what with peak oil starting to have it’s effects on the economies of the world. I figure the higher income is very much more important than my desire to have an interesting job, for the moment. If nothing has changed substantially on the world stage within 5 or 10 years then I’ll be in a much better position to change jobs anyway, though I seriously doubt that will be the case.

    I realise this advice is in the opposite direction to what you were asking for, but, well, there you go :shy:

    Ave a go

    Hi Mel,

    Having the same thoughts myself, so I would be interested to read what other have to say as well.

    The reason I’m sticking with the current job is that times are a changing, what with peak oil starting to have it’s effects on the economies of the world. I figure the higher income is very much more important than my desire to have an interesting job, for the moment.

    And what Geoff said (above) is probably not far of the mark, which just adds to the confusion πŸ™


    Hi Mell, we downsized our income hugely a few years ago, and it wasn’t easy, but we are very happy with the end result.

    At the time, DH was suffering from anxiety problems, hated his job, and felt like he was wasting his life. I had stress-related health problems, and our kids were stressed and miserable too. DH quit and used his super payout to pay off our mortgage, and he went back to uni to do a PhD, and I quit to homeschool the kids. Our income dropped by about 80%. Our fixed expenses dropped by about 30%. That left a lot of belt-tightening to do.

    On the plus side, the kids and I were happier immediately. On the minus side, DH then started worrying about money instead! :confused: I guess he felt the responsibility of “providing” very keenly. But we got through it, and we now have a much better quality of life, and we are moving towards our ideal lifestyle and real financial security. I now see that real financial security means having low expenses and no debt, rather than a high income, which doesn’t necessarily make you financially secure – if anything it made us insecure as our spending was also high and there was always the worry about what would happen if the money dried up. And DH now does work he loves – if we came into a fortune tomorrow he would still want to go to work, and you can’t have it better than that. But there were times when I watched him worrying and thought I never would have encouraged him to quit if I’d known it would lead to that! πŸ™

    I guess if you do stay, it would be good to set some goals about what kind of lifestyle you want to have eventually, and how soon you can make that happen, rather than feeling like this is forever and you’re trapped. Good luck – I’m sure you will make the best decision for you.


    You have to sacrifice something to get what you want…and depending on how much you want something will influence how much you are willing to sacrifice. Throw in fear and our money-driven society and the decision begins difficult.

    You need to work out how much you really want to simplify…when I need inspiration I always look at those who have done it before. I’ve never found anyone who has regretted it (although though may admit to the struggle and hard work).

    Good luck πŸ˜€


    Mell, couldn’t you look for a new job while still working at the old one? Or are you worried that the boss will find out and sack you? He is just as likely to offer you a raise because otherwise he (or she) has to train someone else to do your job, which causes loss of productivity. And, if you do get sacked, saves you having to make the decision.



    Hi Kookaburra dreaming – I am still working in my current position whilst looking for the new job, my skill set is fairly unique so a new job will be a new career and a lower income untill I can work my way back up.

    I am sure the change will bo worth it, but the short term seems very overwhelming, adapting to a lower income whilst everything such as fuel keeps getting more expensive


    Hi Mel, I think it kind of depends on what stage of life you are at. I gave up a very well paid position last year however had no debts and have almost grown up children. Unfortunately my circumstances have changed and it looks like I will have to take out a mortgage again so will have to return to work to pay for it……I have chosen to return to the same company and earn a good salary so that I can pay a mortgage off fairly quickly…..I am also choosing to change my mindset – I am working as a means to an end not because I have to…this is my choice and I know for the next few years it will work for me…..having said that I did not work for 10 years when my children were small and I enjoyed every minute of my time with them even though financially it was tough at times…..good luck with your decision.



    Hi Mel, I have a thing about getting in a rut and over the years have constantly challenged myself with change despite all my fears – new beginnings are also exciting so don’t forget to enjoy any benefits! :tongue: I have to say I have had an interesting life and plenty of adventures – good & not so good!!

    My most recent big change was to give up work yet again (forced to for health reasons). :tdown: I dreaded going back to an all-too familiar destitution as I have no assets or savings and my disability pension is my only income. πŸ™

    Amazingly, 1 year ago I moved from SA to Perth to live with my son & family (wife & 2 young children). :tup: I look after the children 3 & 5 years,(son & daughter-in-law are working). I do all the indoor household labour, shopping, and cooking and contribute to the shopping bill. In exchange I have a roof over my head, no rent and no power or phone bills. :tup::tongue:

    Now they are buying 5 acres and will build a house and a cottage for me to live in. My son & I will develop the land using permaculture principles and are having fun looking into and developing a more sustainable and enriching lifestyle. :clap:

    You never know what amazing possibilities are just around the corner so hang in there!!

    Laugh lots, love much


    I have recently scaled back in my work commitments to focus on building my business, Coaching Energies – where we use a holistic fusion of practical and intuitive therapies, to help people find calm, clarity and balance in their lives on all levels. This of course means less money for a period of time.

    My first step was to look and my expenses – and found a lot of littles that saved me cash – look at bread for example, if you make your own you can spend 1.80 (or less) per loaf, I saved $50 per month by changing my home insurance to a basic product – which suits me fine because I am not a claimer if I accidentally break something. Depending on how much extra cash I have, when I shop I look for value over cost (how much am I getting for what I am paying?). Look at your bills – where can you cut back or learn to use your products more effectively?

    I think that sometimes we limit our view of getting money to the box of having a job – my question is when you take your voluntary pay cut is there another way to supplement your income? Holding a market stall? Write an e-book? your own e-commerce website? Do you have a skill you can trade (lawn mowing, resume writing, tutoring)? Don’t think that the only way you can have money is for an employer to hire you.

    Thirdly, and most difficult for most to take on board, is that I surrender myself to the universe – I have to trust that I am only doing what is good for me and that what I am doing is always what I am suppose to be doing. I observe my thoughts and if I find myself beginning to worry about money I use an affirmation to refocus my thinking. It might sound odd to some, but this frees me from the suffering and stress of worry. It takes time to master, but it is worth the effort.

    At this stage, before you have jumped ship try visualising the happy life that you are attempting to lead with out worrying about “lack”, just focusing on the abundance of joy that you will received from removing yourself from things that don’t feel good. Let go of fear, and be happy πŸ˜€


    There was another thread very similar to this just recently on how to cope on reduced income. Lots of posts there on people’s experiences.

    I think it also depends where you are. I left full time corp work 2 years ago, and it’s only now I’m starting to get more serious offers of actually working in the areas I want to – mind you, I’ve pretty much had to wait for awareness of climate change and peak oil to increase because the jobs I wanted 2 years ago didn’t exist then!! It’s much harder when you have to create the job first, then try to get it. πŸ˜‰




    do you wish you had stuck it out for the money?

    No never! I would never do something for the money. It is soul destroying. I have suffered in jobs which have made me ill, I was so stressed. We are very poor and struggle with our finances daily, but we are happy and I don’t get sick regularly. :tup:

    Do what you love, life is way too short.


    I left work on the 1st of January this year. I was only planning on having a short break as I hated what I was doing and DH was worried about the loss of income but I’m still not working and we have everything we need, the morgage gets paid and we have abundant food. It is amazing what you spend your money on when you are working and how careful you can be with it when you need to be.

    I’d rather have no money than work in a soul destroying job.



    You just need to think about it from another angle. Sure, you are going to worry a little, and have to cut back a little, but at the end of the day, when you look back on your life, is it the things you did in life that you will remember the most, or the things you didn’t do that will stand out in your memory???? i’m in the process of re-thinking my whole life also, but if i let fear paralyse me, i will still be doing what i’m doing in 10,20 or 30 years and i need to ask myself is that really living?????? Just believe your path will guide and go with it. Sure it’s scary, but standing still is a far more scary option for me..

    Good luck with it all, and just trust your instincts.:tup:


    In life you can have Time or Money. One comes at the cost of the other. You need to determine which gives you what you want in life. Most people want both but sadly you do not have that choice. It is about expectations, have modest expectations and you will be seldom disapointed;) Time will give you tangible life benifits rather than shiney stuff.


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