Wow, here's a doozie, left as a comment on "Okay I'm Asking":
OK here's a question for MX and all her helpful posters. Currently 102K as unhappy lawyer working 60 hrs/wk (sometimes 80-100). Should I quit for job with 40 hrs/wk where I am likely to be happier? Salary will be 35K so will have to make major lifestyle changes?! SF in big city so living costs currently v high
That is one hell of a pay cut! It's hard to give any advice here, since A) I am not a financial advisor and try not to play one on TV or on this blog, and B) there is a lot of missing information about the questioner's lifestyle, student loan status, etc.
I would tackle this by really analyzing my spending-- what do I actually spend, what can I cut, realistically. $35k doesn't necessarily go that far in a big city. Yes, a person can live on that amount and plenty of people actually do, but those major lifestyle changes might be really, REALLY major if you've been used to a six-figure income! If you're changing jobs to be happier, how is it going to affect your happiness to never be able to eat out in restaurants, or to have to move to a smaller apartment with a longer commute? Is the $35k job the only alternative to your current job as a lawyer? Might there be an in-between alternative with a smaller pay cut? All food for thought...
Anyone else have any ideas?