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  • FIRST POST
    • BettyBoof
    • By BettyBoof 13th Oct 16, 3:41 PM
    • 209Posts
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    BettyBoof
    Would you work away from home for double your salary?
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 16, 3:41 PM
    Would you work away from home for double your salary? 13th Oct 16 at 3:41 PM
    My DH has the opportunity of a job with interesting work, great benefits and double his current salary - the downside is that he'd be working away from home four to five days a week. There would be some occasions where he wasn't away and would be working from home instead, but it looks like the four to five days away is the norm (hence the salary). He wouldn't be working in one place so we don't have the option of relocating.

    Our first reaction was "no way" as we have young kids but having talked some more we are wondering if we see it as a short-term thing (one to two years max) in order to get us to a point of financial stability if it's something we could cope with. We are currently doing okay financially - but just okay - and still have some debts and almost no savings. Our pensions are a bit iffy too so although that's a while off yet, it is something we'd like to save for now.

    No decision has been made (and we are still leaning towards the no side) but I'd love to hear some opinions/experiences please to help us consider all the options.
    £1000 Emergency fund #120 = £650 (65%)
Page 2
    • BettyBoof
    • By BettyBoof 13th Oct 16, 8:38 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 1,347 Thanks
    BettyBoof
    Thanks for all your opinions. The money matters in terms of security and needs rather than 'wants', we wouldn't even consider it if it was just for a nice car or a holiday (though those are lovely-to-haves). It's about clearing the decks and moving forward with a safety net.

    It would be nice to take the kids to see Dad sometimes, especially during the school holidays. I do worry about them missing him but they have a great relationship with him now and if it was just for a year or so it hopefully wouldn't do too much damage. It's reassuring to read that others have had parents work away and managed just fine.

    We still have some thinking to do but it feels like a possibility now instead of a definite no.
    £1000 Emergency fund #120 = £650 (65%)
    • Jackieboy
    • By Jackieboy 13th Oct 16, 8:41 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 397 Thanks
    Jackieboy
    Family comes first, needs come before wants, etc etc
    Originally posted by xapprenticex
    Including providing for them financially and assuring their security.
    • Prothet of Doom
    • By Prothet of Doom 13th Oct 16, 9:27 PM
    • 3,115 Posts
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    Prothet of Doom
    In 2009, I was made redundant, and went Freelance, because the first paying role that came up was a ltd company contract role.

    I have been working away from home since then in different locations for all sorts of companies.

    We live in Merseyside, and nothing has come up within a reasonable distance from home that I would now be prepared to do, so I'm currently in Derby all week.

    Upside is more than double even taking into account the expense of living away from home. (I reckon £500 a month)

    Downside is the M6 on a Friday afternoon. (Or any alternative route),
    and not being there when a "man" is needed - usually trival stuff like the fact that the tyre pressure warning light has come on, and it's not a "womans" job to drive slowly to the garage and add more air, and then drive to Pauls Tyres, and get him to repair the slow puncture.


    Our Children are no longer children, and I would like to relocate to the midlands, some 70-90 miles from my wife's parents, because that way I'd be home every night.

    So, is the extra money worth it ? Well we haven't washed it down the sink. It has paid for one BTL and there is a plan for a second, plus we have both been paying more into pensions, and we have for the first time, not had to worry about money.

    But it is taking it's toil. Plus my wife has empty nest syndrome. She gets very lonely. Our Children are no longer children, and I would like to relocate to the midlands, some 70-90 miles from my wife's parents, because that way I'd be home every night. But she wants to stay close to them in case they need her.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 13th Oct 16, 10:11 PM
    • 1,728 Posts
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    gettingtheresometime
    Hubby was based in an office but when his employers won a contract at the other end if the country it meant that he would often spend 3/4 nights away - our son was about 5 at the time.

    I hated it - very often his plans would change meaning he either didn't go away when he was expected to or stay away longer than planned. Weekends meant cramming family life into 2 days.

    Also I also resented him playing the white knight when he was here as I'd managed when he had been away.

    Only up side was I got to watch what I wanted on the tv when he was away.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge
    • boliston
    • By boliston 13th Oct 16, 10:24 PM
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    boliston
    I think a lot depends on if you are a "work to live" or "live to work" type of person - I am firmly in the "work to live" camp and have no real interest in material things that a large salary can buy so a doubling of salary would not be much of a "carrot" to me. Things like nice cars and fancy homes that a big salary will buy are not traps I would easily fall for.
    • BettyBoof
    • By BettyBoof 13th Oct 16, 10:30 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 1,347 Thanks
    BettyBoof
    Really appreciate all your insights. We definitely don't want it to be a long-term plan.

    I am fairly self-sufficient but I know I'll get fed up of always being the one to put the bins out/put petrol in the car/deal with minor repairs around the house. Plus all the kid stuff which my DH currently helps with. In a lot of ways it's as much about the person left at home as the one who goes away.
    £1000 Emergency fund #120 = £650 (65%)
    • BettyBoof
    • By BettyBoof 13th Oct 16, 10:34 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 1,347 Thanks
    BettyBoof
    I think a lot depends on if you are a "work to live" or "live to work" type of person - I am firmly in the "work to live" camp and have no real interest in material things that a large salary can buy so a doubling of salary would not be much of a "carrot" to me. Things like nice cars and fancy homes that a big salary will buy are not traps I would easily fall for.
    Originally posted by boliston
    Not sure if you read my earlier post but as I said it has nothing to do with the acquisition of material things and everything to do with paying off debt, having a safety net and making up for lost time in terms of retirement planning. We aren't "falling for" anything.
    £1000 Emergency fund #120 = £650 (65%)
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 13th Oct 16, 10:51 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
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    sangie595
    Not sure if you read my earlier post but as I said it has nothing to do with the acquisition of material things and everything to do with paying off debt, having a safety net and making up for lost time in terms of retirement planning. We aren't "falling for" anything.
    Originally posted by BettyBoof
    And for what it is worth, I think all of those things are really, really sensible. Getting rid of your debt and having safety net provides you and your children a level of reassurance if you hit hard times. And they ways things are going right now, unless you plan to live off the children in the future, having a decent pension is the way to go!
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 13th Oct 16, 11:02 PM
    • 4,528 Posts
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    bugslet
    Mr Bugs worked away for six years and I'd say it worked for about four of those years, probably better had he limited it to four. It really didnt bother me after the first few weeks as we adapted to the routine, in many ways I enjoyed it - we both went out independent of each other a lot during the week nights, so didn't see that much of each other anyway. We didn't have children though.

    Growing up, my Dad was a long distance lorry driver, and even when he came home it was often after bedtime. I never thought less of him or wished he was there more often, even though I thought he was the best dad in the world. I think kids take these things in their stride as long as they get told what and why.

    So I'd say if you are talking of a couple of years, then why not - go for it.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 14th Oct 16, 9:47 AM
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    FBaby
    It really depends on a number of factors, so very difficult to ascertain if it would be right or not.

    From your perspective, how do you think you would cope being a single parent for most of the week? You might feel you are already doing everything yourself but then realise that the little your OH does makes a big difference.

    From his perspective, how demanding will be the job? Will it be a case of coming home totally exhausted from his week and desperately needing to rest rather than picking up chores that you were not able to do during the week.

    From a joint perspective, how strong is your relationship? Are you good communicators, ie. good listeners? Could you trust that if it wasn't working for you, your OH would listen and take your feelings into consideration? Similarly, if your OH came home not as hands on as you wish, would you be prepared to hear that he is exhausted?

    The biggest risk to families in such circumstances is growing resentment and reducing communication, which comes with distance. If you don't think this is a risk, than I would say go ahead. If you don't have a strong marriage, then I would say don't do it.
    • Person_one
    • By Person_one 14th Oct 16, 10:03 AM
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    Person_one
    That's okay - it was quite a long post!

    We don't have grandparents very close so it would fall to me to manage the home and kids and life's little dramas. I only work part-time so that helps. I do worry about this as I'd struggle if I got ill for example.

    We'd definitely only want to do it short-term and totally agree re not living off the new salary.
    Originally posted by BettyBoof
    My friend's husband had a similar offer, he accepted it and used to leave at 6-7am on Monday and get back about 7-8pm Friday.

    He hated living in hotels all week, felt isolated, felt run down because he wasn't eating very well, and he missed the kids terribly (3 in primary school) and his wife (my friend).

    His wife missed him, but also found it difficult being the only parent Monday to Friday as she worked 5 days a week too but part time hours so as well as having to do all the routine stuff on her own she was the one called every time the kids were sick or bumped their head and she often had to be in several places at once! She relied on family and friends an awful lot.

    He quit after less than a year, and took a job in the same industry but a 9-5 closer to home with less money but less pressure and responsibility, and last time I saw him I asked how he was enjoying the new job and he said changing was the best thing he ever did.

    Its completely up to you if you want to give it a go, but I'd recommend that your husband has a chat with his current employer first about the possibility of coming back to his old job if it doesn't suit, and if he does take the job then squirrel that extra money away into dent repayment and savings and don't touch it day to day so that he doesn't feel he has to carry on and knows you can manage again on the lower salary with no trouble.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 14th Oct 16, 10:21 AM
    • 546 Posts
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    steampowered
    The other thing you need to think about is exit opportunities. If your husband took this job, would he have good experience to find another job locally after a year or two?
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 14th Oct 16, 10:53 AM
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    ringo_24601
    I've been offered opportunities like this before. I know I can't hack being away from my family this much. Living in hotels endlessly is soul destroying. Constant air flights are depressing. Daily inane conversations with taxis are terrible. The money isn't worth it to me. I've worked '4 days away, 3 days at home' for 6 months and it was horrible. That was before I had kids. I don't think anyone has ever said on their deathbed "I wish I'd worked harder".

    So, no, if someone offered me double my salary to work away, I'd tell them I wasn't interested.
    Last edited by ringo_24601; 14-10-2016 at 10:55 AM.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Oct 16, 10:55 AM
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    getmore4less
    One thing that will be the killer is if the job is 9am Mon to 5pm Friday

    Add the travel and the weekend is gone if the location is quite a way.

    If there is a bit of flexibility so you can at least get 3 full evenings at home and 2 days it can be a lot more tolerable.

    if he is in the same location fairly regularly and it is predictable and interesting he can build up the knowledge base so that you and the kids can have long weekends full weeks when there is no school.
    The other advantage of this is hubby does not have to travel those weekends and that makes a big difference.

    It also does not have to be hotels all the time which can get a bit soul destroying, sites like AirBnB have made accommodation options much easier to find, either short term room lets, apartments or even full houses.

    Military families deal with this sort of thing on regular basis but if it is something you have never experienced in you life it can be little difficult adapting.

    The up side is a couple of years of seriously good money could knock 5 years off retirement age.
    • Jackieboy
    • By Jackieboy 14th Oct 16, 10:59 AM
    • 251 Posts
    • 397 Thanks
    Jackieboy
    I've been offered opportunities like this before. I know I can't hack being away from my family this much. Living in hotels endlessly is soul destroying. Constant air flights are depressing. Daily inane conversations with taxis are terrible. The money isn't worth it to me. I've worked '4 days away, 3 days at home' for 6 months and it was horrible. That was before I had kids. I don't think anyone has ever said on their deathbed "I wish I'd worked harder".

    So, no, if someone offered me double my salary to work away, I'd tell them I wasn't interested.
    Originally posted by ringo_24601
    TBF, you're already on a decent salary and buying a family home in a nice area so not quite the same as someone on less money with debts and little financial security.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 14th Oct 16, 11:02 AM
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    ringo_24601
    TBF, you're already on a decent salary and buying a family home in a nice area so not quite the same as someone on less money with debts and little financial security.
    Originally posted by Jackieboy
    True - that's now. When I was offered a chance to go work in Dubai several years ago, I was in a much smaller home and earning £20k less than I do now.

    Just because I earn well doesn't mean I haven't got a giant mortgage I'd also like to pay off quicker. I'm also surrounded by family who earn triple, to 5 times my salary. There's a fair bit of pressure to 'fit in with the family'.
    Last edited by ringo_24601; 14-10-2016 at 11:05 AM.
    • Jackieboy
    • By Jackieboy 14th Oct 16, 11:09 AM
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    • 397 Thanks
    Jackieboy
    True - that's now. When I was offered a chance to go work in Dubai several years ago, I was in a much smaller home and earning £20k less than I do now.

    Just because I earn well doesn't mean I haven't got a giant mortgage I'd also like to pay off quicker. I'm also surrounded by family who earn triple, to 5 times my salary. There's a fair bit of pressure to 'fit in with the family'.
    Originally posted by ringo_24601
    Point taken, although long term work in Dubai is rather different from what's being suggested here.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 14th Oct 16, 11:22 AM
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    ringo_24601
    Point taken, although long term work in Dubai is rather different from what's being suggested here.
    Originally posted by Jackieboy
    It wasn't actually going to be long term..2 weeks there, 2 weeks here, working in their hours when I was at home.. The people I know that did this ended up eventually moving there for 2 years, but they took their families.

    I could go contracting in my line of work, and up my salary by £30-50k. That would make a massive, significant change to our lives, as it would with most people. It's not worth the relationship problems it would bring, the difficulty in childcare, the stress it would take - but that's all my circumstances. Doesn't mean it won't suit other people. My BIL use to travel constantly, and it's been superb for his career; his family have been fine with it.
    Last edited by ringo_24601; 14-10-2016 at 11:35 AM.
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 14th Oct 16, 11:43 AM
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    AndyBSG
    I've done it in the past and would do it again.

    If your husband works 9 to 5 and has commuting times as well then chances are he only sees the kids for an hour or two those 5 days a week as it is.

    So, the real question is if he's currently paid 25K and the new job is 50K then is 10 hours a week with the kids worth 25K a year? Which of those two things is going to benefit the children more in the long run?
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Oct 16, 12:38 PM
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    TBagpuss
    You might find it helpful to monitor for the next week or so what the two of you actually do - e.g how much time does he spend with the childnre, how much do you rely on being able to spend time with each other to help you de-stress after the day, what other support do you have?

    Also think about practuicalities for if he were working away. I don't know how old your children are, but you coul think about things such as using Sykpe or the equivalend t so he could read bdtime stories, or help with homework, even when he is away.

    As well as the obvious issue with you having more responsbility and adult company in the week, think about how the change might make differences to your relationship. I know from talking to a riend whose husband had to start working away that one of thigs which they had not anticipated, and which did take a bit of discussion and adjustment, was that while he was away, there were things she had to deal with which would normally have been his responsbility, or which he had alway done in one way, and there were things where she took decisions and made minor changes to things aroud the house.

    She said that for her, it didn't feel like a big deal, but or him, coming back and finding changes, it was quite difficult and he felt a bit sidelined, or that the changes were things she should have waited and done with him. (They were all quite small things, and mostly done for very practical reasons, like rearranging some storage becuase she couldn't reach, for instnace) but the net efect was that he was coming back and finding changes in his home, and changes to routines becuase she had haad to take over stuf he'd previously done.

    She said that they did have a couple of rows about as, to her, if felt as though he wasn't there and then came back and was unreasonable and critical. She said that with hind sight they were both dealing with empotional reactions to the spearation and the changes it brought, but said that it might have been easier if theyd ben more aware of that beforehand. She said one thing which hlped was that she started to make a point of telling him about changes even if they were very trivial ones, so he was included and knew before he got home that things would have slightly changed.

    I'm sure that each couplewould have diferent things which might trip them up, and that the impact would be less if you were only apart for the week, not for longer periods, but it is worth bearing in mind.
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