Am I Making The Right Decision?

I live in Lincolnshire, but I have just accepted a job offer in Reading.
My current workplace has just been taken over, and whilst the new owners seem to have big plans, and a lot of experience in sales, their way of running the shop seems questionable, their morals do not match my own, and they don't seem to have done their due diligence or have a short term plan. A lot of us are worried for the future of our jobs, and that encouraged me to look for a new one for the first time in 5 years. I applied for a dozen, got 2 interviews, and got an offer for 1 in Reading, which I have accepted. 

Now, what is worrying me is that whilst I will be earning slightly more than I do now, I will have the additional cost of house share in Reading. 
The job is Hybrid, so 3 days in the office, and 2 days from home and my plan is to come home during the 2 days and for the weekend. This is non-negotiable for me, I want to keep my house.

I currently walk away with £700 per month to spend how I like. I'm very comfortable with this. With the new Job, I will walk away with just £100-£150 per month before bonuses. There is an opportunity for quarterly bonuses and I'm told £1500 per quarter is conservative, so this would bump my walk-away cash up to £500ish after tax, but it isn't guaranteed.

It's a great opportunity, with loads of benefits which I don't currently enjoy, and I'm going from the middle of the ladder back down to the floor which means more room to grow and earn more. but the prospect of only having £100 to live on per month scares me. I have analysed my finances, and if I cut back to essentials, I will be spending £2200 just on living. That is accommodation in Reading, household bills, transport, and food. Leaving just £100 for saving and leisure. 

Would you make the move?
How would you boost your income?
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Comments

  • GrumpyDil
    GrumpyDil Posts: 1,559
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    With all the inflationary pressures we are experiencing at the moment it would need to have significant benefits to make me do this as you have cost and time of tavel and costs could increase etc.

    I don't think what you have described would persuade me to take the job unless I was actually moving to Reading. 
  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,927
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    edited 4 November 2023 at 11:10AM
    I'd properly move to Reading, rent the Lincolnshire place out if you want (but I'd consider selling up) - you'll save time/money from not travelling back and forth. (Assuming you actually take up the job).

    Sorry, that's not really the answer you want though. Living on £100 spending money a month is tricky, as it doesn't sound like you'll really have any financial resilience (unless you already have a good savings cushion to fall on for back up) to deal with an unexpected cost - or even go out for a drink with your new colleagues.

    Edit: it also sounds like you'd be permanently living out of a suitcase, and perpetually on the road driving back and forth.
  • HampshireH
    HampshireH Posts: 4,394
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    £100 a month spare would not be a choice i would be choosing to make from a current disposable income of £700.

    Thats no holidays, no car repairs, no birthdays/christmas events/dinners out or coffees on the way to work with the occasional lunch. No savings.

    Are things really that bad? Paying such a high proportion of your wages in living costs really will restrict you. And how will you afford price increases?

    The description you have given doesn't sound amazing but what are those extra benefits what are they worth and will you actually benefit from them or are they just things they offer - like a gym discount (but you'll never use it).

    Your commute costs will increase  hugely going back and forth every week and what if you are needed in the office more? Are you going into a houseshare where you have the full place all week but choose not to stay there or are you signing up for 4 nights a week for example?
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 9,914
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    edited 4 November 2023 at 1:59PM
    I live in Lincolnshire, but I have just accepted a job offer in Reading.
    My current workplace has just been taken over, and whilst the new owners seem to have big plans, and a lot of experience in sales, their way of running the shop seems questionable, their morals do not match my own, and they don't seem to have done their due diligence or have a short term plan. A lot of us are worried for the future of our jobs, and that encouraged me to look for a new one for the first time in 5 years. I applied for a dozen, got 2 interviews, and got an offer for 1 in Reading, which I have accepted. 

    Now, what is worrying me is that whilst I will be earning slightly more than I do now, I will have the additional cost of house share in Reading. 
    The job is Hybrid, so 3 days in the office, and 2 days from home and my plan is to come home during the 2 days and for the weekend. This is non-negotiable for me, I want to keep my house.

    I currently walk away with £700 per month to spend how I like. I'm very comfortable with this. With the new Job, I will walk away with just £100-£150 per month before bonuses. There is an opportunity for quarterly bonuses and I'm told £1500 per quarter is conservative, so this would bump my walk-away cash up to £500ish after tax, but it isn't guaranteed.

    It's a great opportunity, with loads of benefits which I don't currently enjoy, and I'm going from the middle of the ladder back down to the floor which means more room to grow and earn more. but the prospect of only having £100 to live on per month scares me. I have analysed my finances, and if I cut back to essentials, I will be spending £2200 just on living. That is accommodation in Reading, household bills, transport, and food. Leaving just £100 for saving and leisure. 

    1. Would you make the move?
    2. How would you boost your income?
    1. No, but I'm not you 
    2. Get a different job

     I'm going from the middle of the ladder back down to the floor which means more room to grow and earn more. 

    That's an interesting approach to career development. Why not aim for a new job which is higher up the ladder rather than starting again at the bottom?
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • gwynlas
    gwynlas Posts: 1,614
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    £100 per month is far too tight for comfort, what happens if you have an unexpected expense at the start of the month? Where are you planning on staying in Reading and how much will it cost? Could you take on a lodger in Lincolnshire to contribute towarrds expenses? Reading is an ideal place from which to explore career advancement but in the future this might mean a move into London perhaps.
  • GrumpyDil said:
    With all the inflationary pressures we are experiencing at the moment it would need to have significant benefits to make me do this as you have cost and time of tavel and costs could increase etc.

    I don't think what you have described would persuade me to take the job unless I was actually moving to Reading. 
    The benefits are, vehicle allowance or company car (which I will be using to top up my salary), 1 month sick pay, health insurance, 4 extra days holiday, hybrid working, 8% pension completely paid for by the company, 6 monthly pay reviews in line with market demand and inflation, and profit share bonus scheme.
    Emmia said:
    I'd properly move to Reading, rent the Lincolnshire place out if you want (but I'd consider selling up) - you'll save time/money from not travelling back and forth. (Assuming you actually take up the job).

    Sorry, that's not really the answer you want though. Living on £100 spending money a month is tricky, as it doesn't sound like you'll really have any financial resilience (unless you already have a good savings cushion to fall on for back up) to deal with an unexpected cost - or even go out for a drink with your new colleagues.

    Edit: it also sounds like you'd be permanently living out of a suitcase, and perpetually on the road driving back and forth.
    I intend on never selling my house. I got it for £84k last year and I'm doing a full renovation. I'm almost at the point where I can actually move in, and now I may be moving to Reading. The Hybrid work was attractive to me as it allowed me to live in my house too. An option is perhaps to Airbnb my house out during the week.

    The only savings I have are the ones I'm paying for my house renovation with. I'll have a couple of thousand £ left when it's finished, and I will get a £1k welcome bonus on my first paycheck so not a lot really if things go bad. and on only £100 left each month, not a lot to save with either. I am relying on the discretionary quarterly bonuses.

    The commute twice a week doesn't bother me as much as the financials do. I commute 50 minutes each way every day where I work now. The way I see it is, I'd just be condensing that travel into two trips. 

    £100 a month spare would not be a choice i would be choosing to make from a current disposable income of £700.

    Thats no holidays, no car repairs, no birthdays/christmas events/dinners out or coffees on the way to work with the occasional lunch. No savings.

    Are things really that bad? Paying such a high proportion of your wages in living costs really will restrict you. And how will you afford price increases?

    The description you have given doesn't sound amazing but what are those extra benefits what are they worth and will you actually benefit from them or are they just things they offer - like a gym discount (but you'll never use it).

    Your commute costs will increase  hugely going back and forth every week and what if you are needed in the office more? Are you going into a houseshare where you have the full place all week but choose not to stay there or are you signing up for 4 nights a week for example?

    I don't know for how long I will have £700 per month if I stay. I am very concerned with how the company is being run, it's in a downward spiral and the new owners appear on the face of it at least, to be treating the place as their own bank paying for new sportscars and phones etc and with no transparency as to what is going to be done to fix our problems, not just financials. We're just told if we make it to the new year, we will be OK but with nothing to back it up. 

    I'm on a good wage for the area. I wouldn't get an increase in Lincolnshire, of that I'm certain. If my workplace goes under, I'll be worse off anyway with a period of no income at all. 
    Everyone I talk to seems to be on their way out, but so far, I'm the only one to actually have an offer. 

    Right now I have no benefits, everything given to me is the minimum legal requirement. So perhaps the benefits I'm offered now are actually standard but to me, they seem great. 

    I've calculated my commute costs and it will come in at around £280 per month for fuel, £80 more than I pay now. If I sell my car and buy a more efficient one, I can get that down to £140. But then, I could do that now and increase my current expendable income further. 

    I would definitely be going into a houseshare in Reading. A double ensuite room will cost me around £650 per month, bills included. Almost exactly what my house is costing me. 
    I would get somewhere I could stay all week if I wanted to. Initially, I will be in the office while I'm trained. I don't imagine I'll be coming home every weekend while this is the case. 

    Marcon said:
    I live in Lincolnshire, but I have just accepted a job offer in Reading.
    My current workplace has just been taken over, and whilst the new owners seem to have big plans, and a lot of experience in sales, their way of running the shop seems questionable, their morals do not match my own, and they don't seem to have done their due diligence or have a short term plan. A lot of us are worried for the future of our jobs, and that encouraged me to look for a new one for the first time in 5 years. I applied for a dozen, got 2 interviews, and got an offer for 1 in Reading, which I have accepted. 

    Now, what is worrying me is that whilst I will be earning slightly more than I do now, I will have the additional cost of house share in Reading. 
    The job is Hybrid, so 3 days in the office, and 2 days from home and my plan is to come home during the 2 days and for the weekend. This is non-negotiable for me, I want to keep my house.

    I currently walk away with £700 per month to spend how I like. I'm very comfortable with this. With the new Job, I will walk away with just £100-£150 per month before bonuses. There is an opportunity for quarterly bonuses and I'm told £1500 per quarter is conservative, so this would bump my walk-away cash up to £500ish after tax, but it isn't guaranteed.

    It's a great opportunity, with loads of benefits which I don't currently enjoy, and I'm going from the middle of the ladder back down to the floor which means more room to grow and earn more. but the prospect of only having £100 to live on per month scares me. I have analysed my finances, and if I cut back to essentials, I will be spending £2200 just on living. That is accommodation in Reading, household bills, transport, and food. Leaving just £100 for saving and leisure. 

    1. Would you make the move?
    2. How would you boost your income?
    1. No, but I'm not you 
    2. Get a different job

     I'm going from the middle of the ladder back down to the floor which means more room to grow and earn more. 

    That's an interesting approach to career development. Why not aim for a new job which is higher up the ladder rather than starting again at the bottom?

    My entire professional career has been at one company, and I'm told we don't do things how "normal" companies do them. So I guess lack experience in what my job title suggests I should actually be doing. I am a manager right now, but everyone in the office is a manager, and we don't manage other people, just our own workload. I don't think I'd be able to step up the ladder with my current experience. At best it would be a lateral move, but it probably on less money if I stayed in Lincolnshire. 
    The job in Reading has less responsibility, more money, and more benefits. And from the job description and what is explained to me in the interviews, it sounds very easy. 

    gwynlas said:
    £100 per month is far too tight for comfort, what happens if you have an unexpected expense at the start of the month? Where are you planning on staying in Reading and how much will it cost? Could you take on a lodger in Lincolnshire to contribute towarrds expenses? Reading is an ideal place from which to explore career advancement but in the future this might mean a move into London perhaps.

    I was aiming for London for the experience. The only thing holding me down in Lincolnshire is my house. I'm 30 now, I missed out on pretty much all of lifes experiences until I was 25, so I want to make up for it. I figured being able to say I lived in London would be a cool thing to be able to do. But anyway, I landed in Reading, which I'm OK with. It's 25 minutes from Paddington on the train... not that I'll be able to afford to go on salary alone. But being closer to London will present me with opportunities I otherwise would not get from Lincolnshire. 
  • cjdew
    cjdew Posts: 66
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    For me personally you seem confused. You want London experiences but don't want to leave Lincolnshire, you won't have many experiences will £100 or less spare a month.

    In my experience of many jobs now, never ever take what they tell you as a given, the job "sounds like" is never what it actually is and with hybrid all it takes is a change of approach from the company or new directorship and then you have to go in for 4 or 5 days.

    I don't think that this is the job for you, go for change but not this change. 

    Try a hybrid role in a city within 1.5 hours drive to your home in Lincolnshire instead. 

    Good luck! 
  • QUOTE" my plan is to come home during the 2 days and for the weekend. This is non-negotiable for me, I want to keep my house" UNQUOTE .

    Your above comment is , IMO, the hub around which all of this matter revolves.

    I left the "uncool" regional home in which I was born and lived very happily for 18 years before then going to  "cool" London ----first Uni there and then my career started in London ( and remained there except for several postings to various overseas countries) until retirement. I loved every minute of a fascinating career and I have always loved living in London----and , in spite of periods away now ( eg we are soon off to our home on Mahé until next March), we don't want to leave Putney as being our permanent residence.

    I reminisce because it makes me think how different we all are : I, and many of my school friends, were completely focussed on ambition and careers that automatically meant "London"----they wanted to leave your equivalent of Lincs and never look back . But many of my friends followed careers after Uni that took them back to the region we all came from because they loved the place of their childhood more than career or change of any kind. Neither of us was right or wrong in making our choices. It is just a personal choice built around who we are as people.

    You are still young enough to make the decision about another 30-40 years of your working life. And part of you seems set on being in London, or at least, the South-East-----it is a sign that you want to break away from Lincs and experience what you'd find a very different way of life down south. Yes, the cost of living can hit hard at the start but, if you get the right job and climb the ladder, my overwhelming feeling is that I did right    ( for who I am). You sound like you want to take a "leap" but your non-negotiable need for keeping your Lincs property ( whatever your reasons, which I am sure must be really good ones) means that, IMO, you have to accept that you will need to stay close by forever ( or until you change your "non-negotiable" aspect ).

    So many people would hate the thought of part-week commuting between Reading and Lincs ( even if you find that your Reading employers are still allowing you, a year or two from now, to be working from home ). And the financial picture you paint doesn't sound a fun way to spend life when you are 30 ( or any age for that matter !). In fact, it doesn't seem worth it at all in financial terms----you've built up to a decent financial position through your 20s and now you are going back to the sort of budget you probably had as you worked up to your present position in Lincs. It just doesn't make sense.

    I appreciate what you seem to feel about your new employers and a way of working that you won't like-----and that is very important.....but have you given it a chance yet to see if it's better than you think. Or, if you've made up your mind on that aspect already, have you applied for other jobs in or around Lincolnshire ? I appreciate the jobs will not grow on trees all over the place-----but Reading   
    :o ( when you will be away from where you MUST be , as well as being in questionable financial and "quality of life" position???????). 

    Why not give it another year or so and then completely reassess what you want and where you want to live it without commuting across the length of the country ? If you find new employers at your current workplace to be as bad as you think, keep searching for other jobs---but jobs that don't tear your budget and your life pattern to pieces. Sometimes not taking the knee-jerk reaction is best. Sometimes patience and a year of soul-searching can lead you to an answer that suits all the things you want to do. And a year of reflection need not prevent you from scouring the market for jobs, as well as pondering on whether Lincs will always be non-
    negotiable. Sorry to ramble but your original post really intrigued me and made me think back to times in  my life when I had big life-changing decisions to make----and how patience always beat hasty action.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you well in all you do-----and the good health and happiness that are worth more than anything. Cheers. 
  • ellenvan
    ellenvan Posts: 173
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    Every one is different - my initial thought was why not, Your current job does not seem to have long term prospects.
    Yes the budget will be tight - but if you are prepared for this it may be the right option.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,799
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    I know you say you never intend to sell your house, but it might be useful to unpack that a bit, for yourself if not for us. It sounds like you got a bargain, and you've already invested a lot into doing it up - but it's still not quite there, so using it for AirB'n'B doesn't sound like it would immediately be possible. 

    So it is the emotional and financial investment you've put into it? The fact that it's where you grew up / where you have friends around? That you wouldn't recoup your investment, even if you finished it? That it's your first house, and you're proud of yourself for managing it? That there's someone there you want to remain close to?

    One thing I remember from buying our first house, with the help of the Which Guide to buying and selling houses. There's only one thing you can't change about a house, and that's its location. So the very first question to ask is, is this house in the right place? 

    Clearly when you bought it, it was. But is it STILL in the right place, for you? Because you're not in the same place as you were, by the sounds of it. 

    Also don't underestimate the difference between a daily commute, and a weekly one that's much longer and probably prone to delays. While you might get home now ready to blast a bit more wall paper or fit a bit more kitchen quite quickly, you may find it takes a while to recover from a longer journey. That means everything takes longer to get done. 

    Although you may be able to fit laundry entirely into your Reading life ... 
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