Feeling trapped - options?

Options
Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if the lovely people in this board can give me some advice - sorry if this is just a vent! Hopefully this is the right board. Also apologies in advance as my problem is a ridiculously privileged problem to have  :/

My partner and I are first time buyers, coming up to the point of exchanging on a house in London - we were initially very excited about this after a long and gruelling search and over a year of temporary accommodation and moving 6-7 times.

However, I started a secondment in February which is now making me very stressed and unhappy, to the point where I am on the verge of burnout (following an episode of burnout in my previous role last summer).

My partner and I had been planning on taking a year's sabbatical last year, which was cancelled due to the pandemic, so we ended up bringing forward our plans to buy a house - I'm now thinking I definitely needed that sabbatical...

I desperately want to leave...but my job pays over £50k and takes our household income to almost £80k (we don't have kids so this is really comfortable for us). If I quit, I doubt that I could go into another job with my level of experience which would pay a similar amount. In any case, I feel that what I really need is some time out to contemplate a career change. (like I said, this is a very privileged problem to have)

My worry is that if we go ahead with buying our house in London, we will be locked into mortgage payments of £1300 per month, and I will lose any chance of taking some time out, going part time, or moving into a less stressful but lower paying job. 

My anxiety over this is making my job feel even more stressful as I feel like I'm trapped in it.

Finally, my partner has just started a new job based in London (but currently remote), which he is really excited about - it's not clear whether he can continue doing this remotely or from an office elsewhere in the country.

What do I do? As far as I can tell, these are my options - have I missed anything? Feeling very trapped and anxious so a new pair of eyes would be really welcome.

1. Do nothing - stay in my job and buy the house. I am also seeking therapy to see whether this will help me cope better in my current role. I have also asked my manager about compressed hours to give me an extra day per week to decompress (she suggested I take leave on Fridays instead lol). The benefits of this are that we will be saving around £1000 per month even with our London mortgage, and if we invest this wisely + eventually downsize, it'll help us to retire early in the future.

2. Get another well-paid job - I could get a job which doesn't have at least some of the negatives of my current job. However I'm currently so ridiculously overpaid that this would probably involve a big increase in responsibilities, and I feel so exhausted and burned out that I strongly feel that my problems would just follow me elsewhere

2. Scale back my work (e.g. go part time in my current role, get a nice job somewhere else like a bookshop, get a part time job somewhere else) and cope with a pay cut ranging from £10k pa to £40k pa. e.g. by getting a lodger or trying freelancing. This would help me get more space to think and avoid burnout, but it would mean potentially a really big loss in income, and we won't be able to save.

3. Be mortgage-free...- a third option is to cancel buying the house in London, and use our very sizeable deposit to buy a house outright somewhere much, much cheaper, e.g. Liverpool. This feels like the option most likely to give me true freedom to decompress and figure out what I need to be doing next instead of jumping into another, potentially unsuitable job as I would be free of major living costs. However this is obviously huge and my partner isn't sure that he can relocate with his new job.

 Have I missed anything? Has anyone else been in a similar situation? What did you do? Please help!

Comments

  • newgirly
    newgirly Posts: 8,970 Forumite
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    Hi, sorry things are so stressful for you, you should be looking forward to moving into your first home not feeling like this. Is a compromise possible where you buy outside London so your other half can still commute but you don’t have quite so much financial pressure to keep your job? Obviously fares can be high, but often it can work still…
    2022 MFW 67 - 33 month challenge to clear mortgage, currently month 19 🙂MFI3 No.12
  • leypt1
    leypt1 Posts: 170 Forumite
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    newgirly said:
    Hi, sorry things are so stressful for you, you should be looking forward to moving into your first home not feeling like this. Is a compromise possible where you buy outside London so your other half can still commute but you don’t have quite so much financial pressure to keep your job? Obviously fares can be high, but often it can work still…
    Thank you for being kind!

    This could be something to consider. My OH works for a big national company with offices all over the UK, and he has (very kindly) emailed his new boss to ask whether changing his base office is an option. It wouldn't make a big move any less drastic, though, and being within commuting distance of London might feel better in that sense
  • newgirly
    newgirly Posts: 8,970 Forumite
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    I guess it’s where you are happiest too, near family , (or maybe away from family 😂) and friends, it sounds like you already know you won’t enjoy the pressure of a bigger mortgage and having to keep your current job. 
    2022 MFW 67 - 33 month challenge to clear mortgage, currently month 19 🙂MFI3 No.12
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