Stress Income Ratio
In personal finance, we deal with tons of ratios like debt income and price earnings. But what about stress income? Never heard of it? Let me explain.
The other day a friend of mine asked how my job was going since it’s been almost a year. I reflected. The near 25% jump in salary was terrific so I can’t complain. He continued by asking about the job stress related with the new position and environment. I paused and quickly reviewed different projects and critical junctures. My stress did go up due to a learning curve and some hairy unforeseen events, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Now that things are humming along, the day to day stress is comparable to my previous job. Although it’s difficult to put a number on it, if my stress remained the same while my income jumped 25%, I’m way ahead of the game in terms of stress income.
Another friend of mine who is wildly successful and deserves everything he gets probably has an income several times higher than my own. However, his stress level is through the roof. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t last an hour at his job. I also can’t put a value on his stress income ratio, but his stress level would crumble most people.
Since I care about his health and well being, I did remind him to take it easy and be mindful of the enormous stress he goes through. He counters by saying, “What can you do?” I am not in a position to tell him how to live his life or perform his job. However, I can continue to remind him to not let his job consume him and ask the question, “Is it all worth it if his day to day stress is somehow shortening his life and the time he gets to spend with his two adorable kids, friends, and family?”
How is your stress income ratio and what do you do to keep it in check?