What a big house or a great job costs

I was at a gorgeous house.  It had radiant heating, an indoor basketball court and swimming pool, wonderful view, and enough room for anyone’s desires.  I loved it.  The hosts were generous and kind.  Then I decided to tally up the cost of owning a house like that.  My estimate is $24,000 per month without mortgage payments.  Owning that great house had a price tag that I can’t ever see myself paying.

Last week I also talked with people in jobs that paid $100,000 – $250,000 per year.  They are wonderful jobs.  Nice offices, private secretaries, authority over others, and a sweet lifestyle come with the jobs.  They are leading financial and accounting people. 

There is a price those people pay.  First is education and certification.  Then comes an apprenticeship with 60-90 hour weeks for months at a time during peak seasons.  Without that apprenticeship with the “right” companies, they would be earning half of what they are.  The “right” companies now means choosing from 4 major CPA firms and toiling there for at least 4 years.

With all that hard work, we still need to mention another 5-20 years of always putting in 50+ hours per week. There is a very high price for those jobs, and there is high pay. Many people try to get around the education, certification, and apprenticeship.  Notably, a few people make it without those exact experiences.  But those who get around it are either obviously geniuses, or have worked even more to rise from obscurity to notoriety than the path I outlined would have taken.

If there is a high and mighty job you want, there is also a price to be paid for it.  Go ahead, get that job.  As you earn that job, make sure that you always understand the price of the next step or two in your progression.

Both a big house and a great job have fine rewards.  They also have their own unique costs.  It can be worth it.  Is it worth it for you?

Something To Do Today            

Invite to lunch a person who has the job you want. Ask them about the price they paid in the past and they price they pay now for that job.

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Later:  What may happen in the next recession

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