7 Factors That Could Make a Lower Salary a Better Deal

Fixating on the largest possible paycheck can blind us to other important considerations.

Image credit: gregory_lee | Getty Images

Money is often on our minds — how to get more of it so we can cover bills and have some left over to buy things we may want for ourselves and the others in our lives. That’s why when it comes to our salary, it would make sense to want as large a salary as possible.

However, the offer we receive may not always seem like the most attractive one.

It might be easy to just dismiss the job offer and move on to the next highest bidder, but a good lesson I’ve learned over the years is that, while money does solve some things, it’s not the only factor to consider when accepting a job. I’d even go as far as to say that actually taking a lower amount might just end up leading to better things for you — and a good perspective.

Here’s why:

1. Lower cost of living and better quality of life.

If the job is in a different part of the country where the cost of living is much lower, then it is a good idea to take that lower salary. You will still be able to cover all your expenses plus live comfortably and perhaps upgrade to an area of the country that offers a more relaxed environment or is known as a better place to raise children.

That’s just a trade off that makes sense and leaves you with a lot more than having to live somewhere that was not as friendly or safe — or where you might feel compelled to pay for things you probably shouldn’t.

2. Better tax rate.

Sometimes all that the extra money in your salary does is put you in a tax bracket that ends up taking a larger chunk of your income. This may leave you with not as much money in your pocket as you had first imagined, so a lower amount might be able to let you keep a few more of those pennies.

3. Better work schedule.

If that lower salary comes with the ability to telecommute and work remotely part or all of the time, then it would definitely be a good deal. That’s because you can save a considerable amount of money by working from home. For example, expenses like gas and other commuting costs like more maintenance on your vehicle, lunches, and professional clothes, can be so much lower if you telecommute.

Also, just imagine all those hours you will gain back to do what you like from not having to commute back and forth to work. It’s difficult to actually calculate a quantitative sum, but it does lead to a higher quality of life when you realize those hours that were spent in the car are now being used toward exercise, time with family or friends, hobbies, errands or whatever else you need or want to do. There’s something about that much freedom

We offer this to all our employees at Due at least one day a week. It’s been a great perk for our employees as well as moral of the company.

4. Better benefits.

When you have dependents or you are on your own, it may be that the benefits offered become more important than extra cash.

The ability to have things like medical, dental, and vision insurance as well as childcare, sick days and paid vacation, and any type of retirement account can really add up to a sizable advantage that helps you live a healthy life now and save for the future.

As a business owner, this money adds up. While not being able to pay employees more, these are great perks to keep them around for a long term.

5. Better opportunities.

If you have been trying to get into that field of work that you’ve always dreamed about it and this is a chance to get your foot in the door, take it. You will be better because you will be happier and excited to now gain experience and grow in the industry you feel passionate about.

Or, you may be struggling to find a job in a certain business segment and another opportunity has presented itself, so this is your chance to take the leap. The level of fulfillment and joy you will feel equates to much greater value than the monetary figure.

When I started my invoice company, we had a young engineer apply to our company. He knew he was youger and less experienced. We would have overlooked him had he not put on there that he would accept 50 percent the salary of our lowest paid engineer. He just wanted to learn. Years later, he is one of the leaders of our dev team.

6. Better financial management.

There is also the idea that learning to do more with less is actually a better way to live because you don’t focus on material things and learn to live a richer life by getting the most value out of what you have rather than overspending.

This may be your opportunity to learn how to make vast improvements to your financial management. Many with lower incomes have been able to still save money for retirement and emergencies.

7. The common denominator: Happiness.

With each of the aforementioned ways that you will become better by accepting a lower salary, there is one common denominator that results from each one, and that is happiness — something that matters more than money and something money definitely can’t buy.

Also, more than one person has noted that they found out more money only led to more problems.

It’s easy to jump to conclusion that money brings happiness and bliss because it lets you do and buy some things that you maybe were not able to do or buy before — but it can’t ever create a happy, fulfilling life.

With everything being a trade-off, it’s up to you decide if you are focused on the idea of money or more on the desire to create a balanced life that offers financial security while still feeling satisfied with what you have achieved.


Originally published at www.entrepreneur.com on May 19, 2017.

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