Greetings everyone! It has been somewhat of a difficult week here at Casa Frugal. Aside from dealing with a nine month old baby who is teething and hating it, we have also been struggling with a big personal decision.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links.
I’ve written a lot on this blog about how one of our biggest financial goals has been to move back to the mountains where we used to live. You see, ever since we moved away from our favorite mountain town in the spring of 2006, we have been kind of… well, dying to get back there.
Ok, maybe neither of us was actually in danger of dying at any point over this. That may be a slight exaggeration. But we have really really wanted to move back. We are total outdoorsy people, and enjoy everything from hiking to biking to climbing to snowmobiling.
Our Big Goal
So in 2010, we made it our goal to move back there one day. Every financial decision that we’ve made since then has been with that in mind as our end goal. The biggest reason why we’ve been majorly trying to get our sh%t together from a financial standpoint over the last few years is because jobs in our chosen fields are harder to come by in that part of the country… and the jobs that are there pay less than in other locations. So we’ve been anticipating for quite some time that when we make this move, we would be making less money.
Because it’s harder to find jobs there, we’ve been keeping in touch with the one potential employer that my hubby would be interested in working for there (all along we’ve known that jobs there for me would be even harder to find, but at the moment it’s sort of a moot point anyway because I’m currently staying at home taking care of our daughter). That employer has known that Mr. CMF would like to work there and that we’d like to move back there one day. But for the last 18 months that we’ve been communicating with them, they have had no job available for him.
Long story short, they finally called Mr. CMF to say that a job is opening up this summer there. He interviewed, they loved him- and he loved them-, and they offered him the job.
The catch: taking this job would mean a 25% pay cut in comparison to what he is currently making.
So, what to do? Having made some foolish mistakes back in the day when we were still in school, we took out probably way too much in student loans, and we are still paying that off. However, we have made huge progress on our debt over the course of the last three years, and we’ve actually slashed more than half of our debt since 2012.
So, we have come a long ways. But we are not quite where we want to be from a financial standpoint yet. Namely, we’d like to have the debt completely gone.
Should we wait until we have the debt completely gone to make such a move? I am sure that would be a smart thing to do. But what if we could be happier there? Money isn’t the most important thing in life, after all. Sometimes less $$$ = more happiness.
If Mr. CMF chooses not to take this job at this time, it’s kind of a risk. First of all, unlike Mr. CMF’s current employer, which seems to chew up employees and spit them out on a regular basis (causing unhappy employees and subsequently high employee turnover- more than half of his co-workers that he started working with three years ago have since resigned and moved on), this potential new employer seems to have much better employee retention.
The guy that Mr. CMF would be replacing has been there for 25-30 years. There’s another guy who’s been there 25-30 years who is also resigning this summer. And all the other people are Mr. CMF’s age. So what if they hire two new people this summer and then have no need to hire again for quite some time because everyone is relatively young and happy in their jobs?
I am sure that it is not realistic to think that they may not hire again for 25 years. 🙂 But the fact remains that they have had nothing available for jobs for more than 18 months. Put simply, if we choose to let this opportunity pass, we really have no idea how long it might be until it comes around again. It could be just a year or two. Or it could be a lot longer.
But. Back to the question. What to do?
Pros and Cons
Option 1: Stay put. Mr. CMF continues working for same employer. If we bust a#$ on our debt repayment effort, we can theoretically get the student loans gone in under 18 months. Then we can start saving money for our second adoption, and likely adopt again with 2-4 years. But we have no idea when we may be able to realize our dream of moving to the place we want to be. It might not be for a long time.
Option 2: Take new job and move now. The job is a better job than Mr. CMF has now, in our #1 favorite place on the planet. The tradeoff: Less money (and slightly higher cost of living in that location) means the student loans will hang around longer. And it will take longer to save for our next adoption. Depending on how long it takes, there is a very real chance that we would choose to take longer to pay off the student loans (pay less extra money toward them every month) in order to be able to adopt again before too many years roll by. This means that the student loans could easily be with us for another five years, if not longer.
Oh the Agony
We have literally agonized over this decision, and gone back and forth and back and forth. As a matter of fact, I started writing this post a few days ago and it had a very different ending. I had to go back and re-write it as we thought longer about it.
The ending hasn’t actually happened yet. We are still thinking it through. Our initial response was to jump on the opportunity to move there, and go now. But the longer we think about it, it becomes harder to justify not taking the opportunity that we have to get rid of our student loans now.
We’ve also been trying to use our favorite method of making difficult decisions, The Regret Test, to determine which way to go here. And the ugly truth is that we think that the decision we may most regret is NOT taking the opportunity to annihilate our student loan debt right now.
It’s not over yet. I’ll keep you posted. Maybe this is why the Magic 8 Ball was invented (remember those???) 😉 Feel free to offer your best words of wisdom in the comments. At this point we’ll take all the wisdom we can get. 🙂
Has anyone out there ever faced a similar situation, where the thing you MOST wanted was the thing that didn’t seem to make as much financial sense? How did you end up deciding what to do?
CMF’s favorite FREE money management tools!
Some of the best online tools out there for money management are at Personal Capital, and the awesome news is that they are all FREE! Cash flow tracker, 401(k) fee analyzer, investment checkup, net worth monitoring, and many more! I’m a net worth junkie, so the net worth monitor is my favorite. Check out my Personal Capital review here, or click here to check out all the awesome tools for yourself!