Ask The Experts: Should I Take This Job?

Hello Carmen,
Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of your show and that it helps a lot of people like me . Here is my dilemma:

I have been unemployed for over 4 months now. I live in Boulder, Co with my wife and we own a home here.

I am being offered a job in a tri state area, and it will pay 30% less than what I make here. I don’t want to move my wife as she has a stable job and we have a house.

Should I take the job and bear the cost of living for 2 people in different towns (we will still have to dig into our savings to make ends meet), or should I keep trying in the Boulder area?

I am very confused - as on one side I feel really fortunate to at least get a job in this economy but on the other side I will be away from home and family and be losing money more than I do today (keeping unemployment benefits I get and the difference in cost of living there). -Rod, CO

The key here is the fact that your wife has a stable job where you are. Fill that in with the fact that you'd be making 30 percent less, plus all the costs of renting in your new locale and maintaining two separate lives and that job isn't looking so good.

When it comes to accepting a gig or not, it has to be about more than the idea of just being employed. Unless your wife can also find a job in the same place, it doesn't make financial sense. Your losses would be closer to 80 percent, with two households and the travel costs in between, than that salary dip of 30 percent. Stick to looking where you're at now. However, if you get an offer that is sweetened by a 30 percent-plus raise, it may be worthwhile to ask the Mrs. to move along with you. Hang in there and keep doing the math.


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Carmen Wong Ulrich is the host of On The Money