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"down-sizing" have you done it?

(25 Posts)
hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 20:05:59

blatant repeat of my earlier attempt. Are there any mners who have bailed out of the rat race? Anyone - whilst in the rat race - actually find any time to come to any decision about bailing out? dh wants to but hasn't got a clue how or what to do - he's not qualified for much (otehr than what he does) and wants to go back to university which means large amounts of time with bugger all salary. He has a big financial incentive to stay put but the best a day is is "I can probably hack this for a bit longer" on bad days he wants to quit there and then. would really welcome your experiences.

morningpaper Wed 25-May-05 20:16:55

Hatsoff we moved out of London to the countree but nothing comparable. I took a much lower salary but the move meant we swapped a flat for a house and we spent less on going out and travel.

I think at the end of the day it probably has to be a decision based on hard financial facts. You need to sit down and work out the sums. University isn't a large time without a salary - it's a large time without a salary AND with fees and living accommodation to pay. I was offered a scholarship to do a PhD a few years ago. The sums basically were:

- 60k (2 years salary)
- 15k (2 year's poverty-striken student living expenses)
- 8k (fees)
+ 10k (scholarship)
GRAND TOTAL -73k

So I would be - 73 k worse off and - 2 year's career progression if I had done the PhD. I figured that I would never have made this up with increased salary afterwards so made the blatantly crude fiscal decision not to do it.

With family I suppose you would need to factor in a lot more complicated finances, but that was the gist of how I made the decision.

Why does he want to go to university?
How many years has he been working?

There are several management training opportunities for good people - like graduate training schemes but for people with more experience in the workplace. Would that interest him if it meant he could work in a totally different field?

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 20:24:44

management training stuff definitely not an option - the last thing he wants to do is swap one corporate style job for another lower paid one. He's already got a phd. He wants to go back to the drawing board basically. The only thing he's really interested in is academia, but - unfortunately not in the subject his Phd is in. He wants to do a history degree. Blokes ay? the sums are obviously the gig factor but there are a lot of unknowns - he does't know how much he will get paid this year until next Jan. The other big unknown is that we can't depend on me always working (health thing). it's a really tough call.

morningpaper Wed 25-May-05 20:31:18

It sounds as though you're saying he wants a career in a subject that he doesn't know anything about yet.

If that was MY DH's great plan, I'd probably put my foot down and say no.

morningpaper Wed 25-May-05 20:32:56

Is he is his mid to late thirties by any chance?

Seriously, I woud just sit down and be very ruthless and honest about the finances, and then come to a decision. If it looks like you will just be getting into loads of debt, then you will know that it's a bad plan.

pabla Wed 25-May-05 20:59:57

If he really wants to do a history degree, how about suggesting he starts off doing it via the Open University in his spare time (if he has any, that is)? That way he can find out if he really likes the subject (or maybe it is the idea of being a student again that is appealing, rather than the subject itself?)

Gwenick Wed 25-May-05 21:05:00

hich means large amounts of time with bugger all salary.



We've done it/doing it. DH was in a great job, earning a decent salary and was the sole earner in the house. Last november he stopped working and has been setting up the business since then. I'm still not working, and although the sales are slowly trickling in it's nowhere NEAR enough to comfortably cover all the bills (although somehow we're managing to scrape through).

I won't deny it, it's been VERY hard - especially with DS's being 4yrs and 1 1/2yrs old but I can already 'feel' that it's going to be worth it.




My dad also did EXACTLY the same thing - was in a VERY good job, earning MUCH more than they needed to live on, but gave it up (he was fed up of it) and hasn't had a 'proper' income (agency work to pay the bills) for nearly 3yrs now. BUT he's set up his own Photo Restoration business which has REALLY taken off in the last few months - so much so he's having to tell people he's got a 4-6 week back-log.

IF your DH does it I'd say it's got to be with your COMPLETE support, if you're not sure about the whole thing then it could really straing the relationship (I'm behind DH 110% - but it's still be tough at times).

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 21:38:04

interesting thoughts. DH knows large amounts about the area he would like to pursue academically. He's an unbelievable reader and thinker (first and phd from Oxford)and although i said he wants to start again from scratch that was a bit unfair - he's interested in a whole area where history meets science, chaos theory, science of history and sociology type stuff.(think Jared Diamond), some of whihc is kind of related to his Phd. There's no question of me "putting my foot down" - he's supporting me through an LLM and I have always always told him that he must never feel tied to his job and that I would do away with the benefits it brings in a blink of an eye if he was unhappy. and he is. Gwenick - what made your dh take the plunge? What made you risk all the benefit and security of his salary?

Gwenick Wed 25-May-05 21:46:18

Gwenick - what made your dh take the plunge? What made you risk all the benefit and security of his salary?



He'd been talking about setting up a business for sometime (actually he nearly set one up with his dad in Zimbabwe, about 3yrs before I met him). But had started to draw up business plans etc etc, and it was taking up a LOT of his time (business still is but hey that's another story LOL). We just felt that if we wanted to go ahead with it at 'some point' we'd have to take the 'plunge' so to speak.

We're also Christians, and felt that God was telling us it was the 'right time' (I know sounds loony to those that don't believe but hey LOL) - lots of of little things that just made it 'feel' right.

He was VERY unhappy in his job, and although it was a decent salary - he'd missed out on a promotion 3 times in a row - and he felt there was no way he was going to get any further in that job. He wasn't actually going to resign until after Christmas, but things 'blew up' in October and he told them there and then that he would be leaving end of November

Oh and if we aren't crazy enough - end of August, last year, we moved into our new house........along with a mortgage nearly twice the size of our old one

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 21:49:09

is your dh from Zim? dh's mum was and until recently he had two aunts and an uncle out there. I noticed the reference on teh otehr thread to Mazoe (sp?) orange

Gwenick Wed 25-May-05 21:51:51

yes - I met and married him out there, and DS1 was 'made in Zimbabwe' too

Mazoe squash is simply divine.

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 21:55:43

have you been there recently? we had an amzing honey moon there in 1995. Lots of walking in the mountains and went on safari near Mana Pools, went up to Vic Falls (dh bungy jumped, I most defniteily didn't). Last went back in 2001 which was very sad. even usually unemotional dh was upset - coz he felt it would probably be his last visit for a long time. The atmosphere was palpably unpleasant whereas in 1995 it was very hopeful. One aunt now lives in the UK, uncle and aunt gone to SA. very sad. It's a wonderful beuatiful country

Gwenick Wed 25-May-05 22:01:31

We left in April 2000 - and haven't been back since - too expensive. I arrived there in September 1997 - and that was when 'life was good' for EVERYONE.......

You're right it's a beuatiful country, I miss the Jacaranda's, the people, biltong (LOL), the slow pace of life - but we had to move back to the UK (well move away from Zim for DH) as it was just too unstable.

Before we left we brought a newspaper cutting with us, as it was SOOOO shocking, and we'd never seen anything like it before, and certainly those that had lived through independence hadn't seen anything so awful since the war either - it was the first white farmer to have been murdered........ it was just sad to hear that more were killed after we left, along with 100's of black farm workers and oppostion supporters..


sorry going off on a tangent there .

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 22:09:41

the whole thing makes dh very angry - he went over there a lot as a child and has very fond memories. I fell in love with it too and, even though it's dh's family that are from there not mine I do feel a certain connection with the place. hey ho. what are me and dh going to do? My big problem in all this is my total inability to earn a decent wage - i've got a good job but in a crappy sector where the pay is notoriously bad, so I can't support him like he has supported me. And we have the added stress of me potentially not having a long working life. I'm sure we'll come up with a plan. That's what I keep telling him he needs to do.

moondog Wed 25-May-05 22:12:19

hatsoff,my dh was fed up in his job (agricultural consultant in UK-primarily filling in forms for farmers he reckoned) so started up an MSc in Internaional Development in his own time to help him get into that sort of work. At this stage he was so pissedd off that he was looking at VSO and World Vision jobs that paid nothing. I supported him though,knowing he couldn't carry on doing something that made him unhappy (and he had supported me when I went to London for two tears for further training)

Bizarrely,he had a lucky break-offered a short term secondment in Russia which noone else wanted to do and a year of that gave him enough confidence to set up as a freelance consultant-the very career he hoped his MSc would take him into.

That was 5/6 years ago. He is now working in all sorts of interesting places (although not to everyone's tastes-we're currently in Kurdistan!)
enjoying doing some really worthwhile development work and making really good money (although that was never the initial aim). He's also so disciplined that he has continued with the MSc even though he got into the field he wanted to without it-finishes this September!

If you are behind him then it could work.

(You're not married to my ex boyfriend are you? Sounds exactly like him!)

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 22:17:56

hatsoff goes into tailspin in fear of being uncovered. in what way "exactly"?

moondog Wed 25-May-05 22:19:04

Hatsoff,it can't be you unless you're French as I know who he is married too.


You're not are you? (French that is! )

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 22:22:11

phew. no I'm not French. I was going to ask if you knew who he married coz if you were who I thought you were we knew each other. Does that make any sense? Your dh sounds very interesting he's very lucky to get into consultancy work like that.

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 22:23:08

in fact, thinking about it, if you were who I thought you might be then I stole dh from you. Now taht would have been embarassing

moondog Wed 25-May-05 22:47:26

hatsoff..you harlot!!
It was a while ago,but I still am sort of in touch (via complicated family and friends network). Very nice both of them. We're all considering holidaying together next year!

My bf did a PhD in Particle Physics. Brilliant bloke and very into wider issues and implications. Remeber many evening sitting in pubs trying to look intelligent as he manoeuvred beer mats to create models and tried to explain things to me.
He does something very high paying in the City now (wife is sahm) but dreams of escaping. His last plan was to move to France and teach English! Also writes short stories,travelled arong Jordan on a bike,the list goes on and on.

A real free thinker and one of the most original and unmaterialistic people I know.
(God,I'm going overboard aren't I? My own dh is wonderful-I'm very happy and yes he is lucky,bloody lucky and he knows it. Deserves it too,never met a harder working bloke.)

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 22:52:15

they do sound similar! my dh did his phd in Robotics. Avid reader of all sorts of things that I try my hardest to grasp and which I am interested in but I'm just not on his level when it comes to science. But he's not a geek - into literature too and loves his politics. also in a stupidly high-paying job in the city and also one one of least materialistic people I know! People who don't know city blokes wouldn't believe me but a lot of his colleagues are the same. I was dead against him going into the city and he said I was prejudiced. I think he was right.

moondog Wed 25-May-05 22:58:22

lol! Old bf told me when I accused him of selling out 'Listen,I need money so that I don't have to worry or care about bloody money!' I could really see his point actually.

hatsoff Wed 25-May-05 23:02:43

gwenick/moondog - I'm off to bed now. Nice to talk again. speak again soon

Gwenick Wed 25-May-05 23:03:34

sleep well

moondog Wed 25-May-05 23:13:39

Good night-me too,it's past one in the morning here!

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