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The Work-life balance: How much money is too much?

The Work-life balance: How much money is too much?

Authored by Phil Meekin

Phil Meekin

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Approximate read time: 3 minutes

I have a question; have you ever dreamed of earning considerably more money than you do?

It is reasonable to presume the answer was a universal and resounding yes! Especially when you consider, levels of disposable income in the UK remain decidedly low in some regions. As a result, the lure of a huge salary offers the promise to fulfill many of our longstanding dreams.

It seems there is a limit on how much we are prepared to earn if it is going to affect our lives.

Unlike lottery wins and windfalls, salaries are earned meaning those with a high salary work exceptionally hard for their money. In some cases, sacrificing their health, happiness and time with loved ones for financial security.

Reaching the Tipping Point: How much money is too much?

This interesting question brings issues such as your work-life balance into play. Is there such a thing as earning too much money when you consider sacrifices required to achieve this? It seems there is thanks to recent research carried out by dairy brand, Anchor Cheddar. Their research findings suggest a figure of £37,000 per annum to be the tipping point for high earning individuals. This is the point which sacrifices required to earn a specific salary overwhelm the benefits of having additional income. All this creates an imbalanced lifestyle that can threaten your health and personal relationships.

The study investigated money as the primary motivation to work, seeking to explore factors that alter our perception of earnings. According to Lucie Illingworth, Senior Brand Manager for Anchor Cheddar, there is a limit on the sacrifices we will make for an income. She said; “While money is one of the main reasons we go to work, it seems there is a limit on how much we are prepared to earn if it is going to affect our lives in other ways”.

This may surprise those with lower incomes, while high earners usually understand the demands and responsibilities of vast pay cheques. In fact, almost two-thirds of survey respondents admitted considering a pay cut or demotion to enjoy a more fulfilling home life. While only one in ten claimed that money could buy them happiness.

Beyond the Tipping point: How to manage your career to achieve the ideal work-life balance

The survey reaffirms an age-old lesson to strike a balance between career progression and enjoying a rich, diverse life. Although fine in theory, the key is to determine practical steps to achieve that delicate and precarious balance. Using the salary of £37,000 as a reference, is it possible to manage professional careers optimising earning potential without destabilising our personal lives?

Here are three tips that may help: –

  1. Reduce your Expenditure
    Regardless of how much you earn, you can always make your salary go further with a frugal lifestyle. Minimising expenses, makes it possible to increase disposable income and enjoy greater financial security without sacrificing your salary. This principle is applied by businesses to maximise profits, reducing operational costs not raising prices in a competitive marketplace. The key is to target everyday expenses such as food, beverages and utility bills. These recurring costs consume the most income yearly, reducing them can have the biggest impact. Becoming a habit over time, it is an excellent practice to develop.
  2. Create a working schedule that suits your lifestyle
    The British government will make final amendments to its flexible working directive in 2017. This will compel employers to consider all requests for flexible working hours. This is a huge breakthrough for the modern employee, who can now create a working schedule for a productive work-life balance. This will enable you to work considerably smarter, tailoring your schedule to meet your needs without sacrificing hours or salary.
  3. Market your skills as a freelancer
    From the perspective of career progression, it may be worth considering becoming a freelancer. Marketable skills, like content creation and website development, are in demand in the freelance market offering a unique opportunity to work independently. This could see you forge your own career security, create your own work schedule and manage additional commitments. Freelancers are paid considerably more than nine-to-five employees, making it possible to earn greater levels of income with fewer completed hours.

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