An annual salary of around £37,000 is the nation’s tipping point – when the extra money isn’t worth the sacrifice, responsibility and stress that comes with it, a study has found.
Despite most setting out to earn as much as possible from their jobs, nine in ten believe there is a point where they would be happy to stick with their current salary rather than face a more hectic, stressful life after a pay rise.
Almost two-thirds even admitted they have considered taking a pay cut or demotion in order to have a richer life and improve their work-life balance.
It also emerged that just one in ten believe money can buy happiness.
Lucie Illingworth, senior brand manager for Anchor Cheddar, which commissioned the research, said: “While money is one of the main reasons we go to work, it seems there is a limit on how much we are prepared to earn if it is going to affect our lives in other ways. At Anchor, we believe that money isn’t the be all and end all in life, and these results show that Brits agree.”
The study, of 2,000 Brits found 91 per cent believe there to be a point where the responsibilities and stress that come with a pay rise or promotion outweigh the benefits of earning more money.
While the average Brit wants to earn a minimum of £24,270 to consider their life to be comfortable, anything over £37,396 has to be considered carefully to see whether the cons are worth the extra cash.
And although some would be willing to accept the sacrifice, 88 per cent would, or have turned down a more senior job, or a pay rise, if it was likely to have an effect on their work life balance.
But when it comes to priorities, being financially rich is only the eighth most important area of our life.
Having a happy family life is most important to us, followed by being healthy, having a good work-life balance and having a partner or being married.
Fifth most important is having a good circle of friends along with being happy at work, having a well-paid job, being well-off financially and having an active social life.
Being pretty or handsome completed the top ten.
It also emerged one in ten have turned down a promotion because they didn’t think the benefits were worth it, while one in four has reduced their hours or gone part-time.
And despite potentially losing out financially, almost one in ten Brits have gone self-employed so they can control what they do for a living, with three in ten changing jobs completely.
Others have accepted pay cuts and demotions, taken early retirement or accepted a redundancy offer in order to improve their quality of life.
Nine in ten even feel it’s not worth having a well-paid job if they are too busy, stressed, unhappy or lonely to enjoy it.
Researchers also found more than half of Brits (56%) would rather a job which had a low or average salary, but that left them open to have a rich and fulfilled life, than a stressful job which pays well.
And 66 per cent would prefer a job they loved, but that wasn’t particularly well paid, than one they hated but had a good salary.
Lucie Illingworth added: “We commissioned this research to show that richness ultimately doesn’t depend on the size of your bank balance and it seems that this is an opinion shared by most.
“What truly makes people rich is the real good stuff, family, loved ones and a life outside of the office.”
Source: Press release from Finn Communications on behalf of Anchor Cheddar.