Money or Happiness?

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

Iโ€™m the owner of Carrots โ€˜Nโ€™ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and canโ€™t lose weight no matter what they do.

I thought twice about buying aย Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks this afternoon. Correction: a decaf, tall, non-fat, no whip Pumpkin Spice Latte. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For the past 9 months, however, I never had to worry about money. I basically had 2 full-time jobs, so I spent my hard earned money how I wished.


My new financial situation got me thinking…

Money or happiness? Is it possible to have both?

I may not make as much money as used to, but I hope that I will love my work. I want to wake up every morning excited about the day and ready to get down to business. However, no longer having that financial freedom will definitely affect my daily life. I used to be able to buy whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without a second thought. This way of living is no longer going to work for me. There will obviously need to be some changes!

On the other hand, when I was living the high life, I had zero time and never stopped working. Even when I was sleeping, my brain was still thinking about work! I also dreaded Monday mornings. On Sunday nights, I was practically sick with anxiety about the upcoming work week. And, all week long, I couldn’t wait for it to be Friday. Sitting at a desk for that many hours totally drained me.

My new situation seems pretty ideal, so I think I will probably fall somewhere in the middle of these two options. Of course, these two scenarios are the extremes, but simply answering this question might help you decide whether to stay in your current situation or pursue your dream job.

Which do you prefer: The low-paying dream job or the passionless high-paying job?


Today’s lunch was de-lic-ious! I made an extra Pesto-Pinto Grilled Cheese last night to take with me for lunch today. I didn’t bother heating up the sandwich and just ate it cold. It was AWESOME! I also had a Larabar and apple with lunch.


I’m going to write the final part of my announcement this afternoon, so keep a look out for it. I promise it’s coming soon!



  1. Hello and congratulations! I am nominated in the same category, but I wanted to say “Hello” and say good luck. It’s an honor to be nominated alongside you! GREG

  2. ahhh tina! i can’t wait to hear more news ๐Ÿ™‚
    i would prefer to have the high paying job but with also time to enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰ so a happy medium!

  3. As one who is working toward becoming a writer/editor for magazines, I’m all about the dream job for low pay! Happiness is my ultimate goal! However, there are student loans I’d like to get rid of immediately, but that may not happen. But huge support of the dream job! CANNOT wait for the next post!

  4. These exact thoughts go through my head each and every day. As i would LOVE to have that high paying job and live the lush life, i also want to lead a life doing what i LOVE! if that means skimping out on a few things then so be it, but knowing that i’ll never be unhappy waking up dreading going to work, is worth it to me! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait till next post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I feel like I have to put in guess before your announcement ๐Ÿ™‚ I would have said Healthworks but seeing as that’s been said I’m going to guess Yelp?
    I think you’re really clever for planning ahead like you did. I’m so happy for you.
    No amount of money can buy happiness but then I’m often appreciative of the opportunities the moolah gives me and if I start saving (rather than spending it all on running gear and kitchen appliances) there are big plans for future fulfilment.
    Can’t wait to hear the rest of your news. You’re very inspirational.

  6. I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mum, but we needed our two incomes to pay the mortgage on our huge house. After a lot of soul searching and many, MANY discussions, we decided to sell our house and buy a condo (a downtown loft a couple of blocks from Husband’s work). It was HANDS DOWN the BEST decision we ever made. Sure, we don’t have as much space as we used to, but we have financial security and freedom, and husband doesn’t have to bust his butt to keep us going. We’ve never looked back. Everyone thought we were crazy to downsize when we had our daughter, but it’s worked out so well, I totally recommend HAPPINESS over money.

    I’m excited to read your announcement! xx

  7. I’m going to say neither as well.

    I think when you make something you truly love as a hobby and make it your job that you HAVE to attend to everyday, then it loses some of its novelty and joy. I think a happy-medium is finding a well-paying job that you like very much that allows you monetarily and time-wise to do the things that you love.

    And just to echo the children thing: if you plan on having them and feel short on time now, wait until there’s a little one to look after. While I do think caring for my daughter is far less work than some have warned me about in the past, it’s another factor that makes you think about time working and time off and income. Would I sacrifice a bit of my passion at work for extra money and time off to take my daughter on vacation? In a heartbeat.

  8. Hey Tina,
    I love your topic for today’s post! This is something I have been struggling with recently. Not because I am at a passionless job but because I am currently working as a baker, my passion and getting payed next to nothing. It is definitely a hard life but I have decided that I would rather be doing this then sitting at a desk, being bored all day, and getting payed lots of money to do it. I am happy you have finally found a job in life that will make you happy!

  9. I made my own version of the pinto pesto grilled cheese this afternoon. I used marinara sauce instead of mustard. Holy amazing! It was so delish! Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. I prefer the low paying dream job. You only got this one life and I feel you should be doing what you love! Having no unnecessary stress is what I am all about. No matter what your dreams may be they are reachable if you truly believe. Sometimes it is very hard work – though if you are loving every minute of it then it is pure bliss well most of the time ๐Ÿ™‚ I had a really horrible job that made me go into deep depression and angry all the time — I finally decided to quit and have never looked back. Life is full of tough choices you just have to follow your gut sometimes and do what you love and what feels right!

  11. I would choose happiness any day! Absolutely any day. I’m lucky that to be just out of college J and I are doing pretty well for ourselves, I think. But if we lost all of our income today… and it would be hard… I would still be happy, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m very blessed.

  12. Fortunately, I’ve got a job that I love that pays great. I think you can have both, you just need to focus on it. Or, maybe I’m the exception! Regardless of the money that is made, I think people should think about how they spend, always.

  13. Low paying dream job for sure! We spend wayy too much time at work for it to be passionless eventhough the money is better. I would gladly skip a few starbucks or target runs in order to be happy with my career.

  14. I have been doing my low paying dream job for 15 years now(self employed !) and to be honest at this point in life I would choose a higher paying job at this point in my life.I am sick of struggling to pay bills,and the financial stress.
    However,at your age I would have still gone with the dream job scenario-I was younger ,had more energy and passion for it all.Now,I actually crave to be able to travel,enjoy a nice B&B away,Eurpe,and to be able to retire one day and do whatever I want.But with my dream job and low income ,none of that is possible.
    I encourage you to stay with the dream and enjoy it.You may find your ideals change as your age and desires change.I NEVER would have guessed that I one day would wishing for a well paid 9 to 5!Life changes,but that is what maked life so unpredictable!
    Enjoy every moment of your decision ๐Ÿ™‚ and never be afraid to change your mind if one day you feel like it!Best wishes!!!

  15. I am spending five years going to school for a career that generally pays less than my current retail job, so you all can probably figure out my answer! This suspense is killing me!

  16. No offense, but I actually find this “suspense” to be a bit annoying. Please don’t say at 1:45 to keep checking back later when you aren’t going to post anything anyway, especially when this is the third or fourth day of not saying whatever it is you plan to say.

  17. I have to say I agree with Jan….perhaps would have been better to delay announcement until you were truly ready/able to truly announce it!
    That being said I am a regular reader and fan, so definitely am assuming you are not trying to string us along .It actually is a method of writing that can annoy readers ,a bit life the “crying wolf” story..after a while we get fed up.BUT you are a wonderful woman and I do admire you ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Happiness over money. Definitely. This year I got the opportunity to try my low-paying dream job, and I started looking froward to Mondays (and every other day). When I’m doing something I enjoy, suddenly all those thing I could have bought before don’t seem so necessary because I don’t need all that stuff to be happy anymore. That’s been my experience anyway. Congratulations – sounds like you’re taking a huge step!

  19. Tina, I couldn’t agree with you more! I am so happy for you and can’t wait to find my dream job – even if it’s low paying, as long as I’m happy! I’m currently an Executive Assistant to the CEO and I would feel the exact same way you did – overstressed and would have the serious case of the Sunday blues – full of anxiety and worry for the horrible Monday to come! I hope my dream job will come soon – I’m certainly looking for it and you have given me hope! ; )

  20. Happiness, w/o a doubt. Transitioning will be hard, and it’ll take some time, but take it from someone who gave up an incredible, high-powered job w/incredible pay and benefits – doing what feeds your soul is where it’s at. Life’s short and you need to make the most of it!

  21. I don’t know, i’m in that situation now, low-paying full time job, or low paying Dream job? still trying to reconcile with my decision for the latter.

  22. My field of work pays well (not amazingly well, but well enough to provide me with a nice life) and I’ve chosen a position that is on the low end of the pay scale for my work (small consulting co. versus giant business, basically) so I think my answer is “low paying dream job” but within limits. I do think that there is a level of money one needs to make to be comfortable in life (so you can live in a safe place, afford good food and healthcare, education for your children if you have them, plus maybe have a little left over for emergencies) in order to be happy. But I think over a certain amount money absolutely does not buy happiness- it just buys stuff.

  23. i personally really liked the way you explained your new job. for me you kept me (the reader) completely in suspense! i LOVED it! every post leading up to you explaining your new job was truly inspirational. thank you once again for being a role model to all woman. shot for the stars!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  24. Low-paying dream job, for sure! That’s where I am now too. Hoping someday I won’t have to choose between the two, but while I have to – I’d rather be happy than rich!

  25. i’ve spent most of career living the “artist’s life” – poor but doing what i want. it’s absolutely, 100% worth it, and money always comes in mysterious ways – just gotta have faith it will!!!

  26. i’ve spent most of career living the “artist’s life” – poor but doing what i want. it’s absolutely, 100% worth it, and money always comes in mysterious ways – just gotta have faith it will!!!
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  27. I have a high paying job that I like a lot… but is it my dream job? No. The problem with being well-compensated is that it’s kind of a trap… You get used to having certain things and living a certain way, and it gets much more difficult to leave that behind.
    In the long run, hopefully this job will lead to another that WILL be my dream job, and then I can have the best of both worlds… wishful thinking, eh?

  28. Lucky I’m somewhere in the middle right now. My life is super hectic, but only a portion is spent on work. I make enough money to live comfortably, while being about to afford going to school part time, and having a lovely social life which I enjoy with my bf.

  29. Congrats on the big news! I was in suspense! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I bet Jan and Anne (obnox comments) are embarassed now!

    It would be nice to have the best of both worlds! I’m still in school but in a year or so I’ll be an engineer. I’m hoping to find a job that I love and get paid well for!

  30. Low paying dream job.. OR any job that allows you to live comfortably and pay your bills. why bother w running like a crazy woman and not being able to stop and smell the roses. Life is short. Going, Going, Going only wears you down… S-L-O-W down.. enjoy your hubby.. enjoy time to live. Money isnt everything. IF you spend less.. you buy less… life is less complicated. you appreciate more of what you have. Less is MORE> Good luck Tina!!!

  31. I was a lawyer and now I teach fourth grade, so I think you know where I fall. I’m not even saying teaching fourth grade is my dream job, but it is something I love and enjoy doing, which is the exact opposite of what being a lawyer was for me. I don’t see a purpose in being miserable and making a ton of money. I was always too sad, worried, nervous or upset to do anything fun with the money anyway. I do worry about money a lot though. My only tip would to be to just keep track of it and be aware of your bills and stuff like that, which I’m 100% sure you will be! Good luck Tina! I’m truly happy for you and your boys.

  32. I am getting a real paycheck for the first time in my life, which is wonderful– but I am doing a job that I am passionate about and I wouldn’t give that up for anything (and I’m still not making a ton as a first year teacher!). I am also now so used to making NOTHING that I have much better spending habits, and I appreciate money, material objects and special experiences more than I would have. I’m sure you will, too.

    On a separate note– in NJ we can get small pumpkin spice lattes from Dunkin Donuts for 99 cents! You may have a similar deal near you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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