Would You Take a 10% Pay Cut to Get All Fridays Off?

If so, you could be reading this in your pajamas right now ;) Remember my friend who likes to push the boundaries at work and ask for what he wants? Like that “choose your own adventure” deal with salaries and time scales? Haha… Well he’s at it again. Only this time angling for Fridays off :)

It all stems back to the same thing it always does with him: having more time to pursue his hustles. But this time his employer (not the same one as before btw) is playing ball. They’re okay with his idea of taking Fridays off, which is great!, but in return it’ll come with a hefty price tag: Giving up 10% of his salary. And also working 9 hour days Monday through Thursday for a total of 36 (which he pretty much does anyways).

It took my friend approximately one hour and 30 seconds to come to his decision. Which of course was “Yes.” One hour of discussing it with me and going over all the potential pros and cons it’ll bring (he knows I love this stuff!), and then another 30 seconds to “sleep on it” ;)

Here were all the benefits we came up with:

  • You get 3 day weekends EVERY WEEK!
  • Which cuts down on all that stress you’re having – both mentally and physically
  • You’ll probably make up that lost money anyways at your next raise!
  • And maybe from the side hustles too (and then some!)
  • You can also finally take vacations as needed
  • Or go on road trips for soul searching
  • Or even sit on your ass all day while laughing at us who DO have to work :)

But of course, what goes up can also go down:

  • You lose a part of your pay check EVERY pay period
  • You’ll probably still be “on call” in case things hit the fan on Fridays
  • You may not use that time as productively as you might think (see last bullet up there)
  • You have to REALLY make sure you’re killing it on those other 4 days or you’re liable to get fired!
  • Your office mates might not like it very much. Whether they feel gypped, or whether it makes their job even harder knowing you’re out of commission now every Friday.

I told him if I were him, I’d take it hands down too. Only I’m not him – I’m me – with a business that will halt still and pile up if I were to enact something similar ;) The major downside to working for yourself, as everyone knows (though they choose to ignore and think we all work in our pajamas sipping coffee in La La Land!). If I was at someone else’s company though? Hell yeah I’d do it! Much easier to “leave work at the office” in that case. And the 10% cut would easily be made up for and MORE on my side stuff anyways with that extra day.

So. With all that in mind, if YOU were given this option presently at work – what would you choose? Could you survive without that 10%? And put in 9 hour work days M-Th as well? What would you do with your extra time every week?

I’ve said it before, but I absolutely LOVE challenging the norm like this at companies. It may not work for everyone, or even with all jobs, but it’s the creativity and TESTING things out that really get you farther along with your goals – no matter what they are. Even the “no”s make you feel good for giving it a shot! Which is more than you know half your co-workers would ever do ;)

PS: When you’re done answering this one, try out the other question we posed back in the crisis of 2009: Would you take a 10% pay cut if it meant saving an employee?

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  1. Free Money Minute June 7, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    I absolutely would. Consider that one day a week is 20% of your working days (assuming a 5 day work week). If you had to give back 10% of your pay, you would basically get half of Friday’s pay for free and it would open that day up to other opportunities.

    1. David Hunter June 7, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      I like the way you think!

    2. Chantel June 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      It’s actually only a half of a day you’re not working anymore. Monday through Thursday, you’re working an extra hour per day, and that adds up to four hours, which is half of a day per week. It equals out. You work 10% fewer hours, and you make 10% less money.

    3. Retire By 40 June 7, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      A few people at my old job works four days a week, 10 hours/day. I think that’s a better setup than taking a 10% paycut. Personally, I definitely would have taken when I was at the end of my career. Probably not at the beginning.

      1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Oh yeah, I’d work 10 hour days to then have all Fridays off and keep 100% of my salary too! Oh wait, I already do that, haha… more like 5-6 days at 10 hours each ;)

    4. Giddings Plaza FI June 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      At any corporate job I’ve ever had, including my current gig, there’s no such thing as working 9-5, from Mon-Fri. You often end up working eves and weekends, and it often adds up to much more than a 40-hour week. Because of that, taking one day off is something of a fiction, because I’d have to make it up at other times. Combine that with a 10% cut in pay, and it seems like a bad deal to me. Instead, I want to save and optimize my income so I can be financially independent in the next 3 or 4 years, and then take a 100% paycut in exchange for not working at all.

      1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Yup! Very true – working outside the hours of 9-5 is pretty common, which is actually why taking Fridays off is BETTER – if you indeed don’t do any work there ;)

  2. Lance @ Money Life and More June 7, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    I think I’d do it, but if I was getting a cut in pay, I had better not be working any more than the 36 hours/4 days a week. If I ever had to, I’d either need to be compensated with more time off or a pay increase. Why? If you’re going to reduce my pay because I’m working 4 less hours a week, you better increase it if I work more than that. All is fair in love and war!

    1. Savvy Financial Latina June 7, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      I agree on this. Why are they making him work more hours? Sounds like the company is winning here.

  3. Brian June 7, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Everyone around me only works 4 days a week. They usually take Mondays or Fridays as their day off. Of course they work 10 hour days the rest of the time. If they have Mondays off and a holiday happens to be that week, they then get Tuesday off. It is a pretty sweet gig if you ask me.

    Personally I wouldn’t want to take the 10% pay cut. In general my friends are pretty much space out for 8 hours around here.

    1. Nate November 21, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      What company do you work for? That sounds great.

  4. Michael @ The Student Loan Sherpa June 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    I would do it in a second. You would only reduce your salary by 10% but your weekend length would increase by 50%. It really makes sense if you can earn more money with that time off than you could if you were working to earn that last 10%.

  5. Jay June 7, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    I think it’s important about how you approach the 10% “pay cut”.

    If this is a new job you are negotiating, I would make sure that the salary sans Friday met my financial needs, and was still an increase from my previous job. Having said that though, who knows if he went into the conversation knowing they’d come back with that offer.

    Long story short: Hell yea!

    1. Mark June 7, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      I hadn’t thought of it like that Jay. That is an excellent point! Its like getting a 10% raise is actually increasing your ‘disposable’ (or savable, investable) income by more than 10% (20 or more maybe depending on your expenses).

      Thanks for the viewpoint!!

    2. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Not a new job unfort but I do like the way you think :)

  6. Amanda June 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    I am an engineer for the DoD, so the proposed government furloughs (if they happen) will effectively be doing this. I will be furloughed every Friday from around mid July until the end of the fiscal year. I know many people are upset about the furlough situation, however I seem to be one of the few that is actually looking forward to it. I love my job, however I have young kids at home that I would love to spend extra time with this summer. My husband and I also live within our means, so fortunately this does not cause a financial hardship for us. I also subscribe to the notion that you can always “use time to get more money, but you cannot use money to buy more time.” Therefore, I will always choose more time over more money. :)

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      And that is why you’re awesome :) Good with money and know how to take advantage of a situation!

  7. Holly@ClubThrifty June 7, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    I’m self-employed now…but a year ago I would’ve done it in a heart beat. I love three day weekends! It would have been worth it to lose 10 percent of my pay.

  8. Alexa @ travelmiamor June 7, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    I would if they could promise I wouldn’t be “on call” that’s MAJOR down side.

    I have worked all the schedules that are out there – 9/80 (every other Friday off), 4/10 (every Friday off), and the normal 5 days a week. I like the 5 days a week and 9/80 the best. I feel like with the 4/10s you’re whole day is just gone (especially if you commute a long distance – in my case I do. I would literally be gone from my house for over 12hrs a day). The 9/80 is a good alternative because it’s most likely you won’t be on call and you have that free day to take a long weekend or take care of personal business.

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      Yeah, the “on call” part def. changes things cuz it’s not truly a day off when you’re worried about having to jump in! Though usually you’re ALWAYS on call even nights and weekends too depending on your type of job (and how important you are in the biz)…. I’m on call 24/7, haha…

  9. IV June 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Absolutely no questions asked. I just recently got a 10 percent raise so considering everything would then go back to what I was used too to get Fridays. Its a win win.

  10. monique grattan June 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    YES, a resounding YES! I think it is totally worth it. For me 10% is not that much. 3 out of 4 weekends (normally) are filled with obligations and busy-ness. I would LOVE to have a day to catch up on personal errands, school work, and some “me” time. I think this is a perfect idea!

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      YUP! There’s that too!

  11. David Hunter June 7, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    I’d take a 100% pay cut to have off every day of the week!

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      haha…. okay, I fire you then :)

  12. Jason June 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    As a government employee I’m being forced to take a 20% pay cut starting in July. It sucks, a lot. I’m barely making ends meet as it is. And with the hiring freezes and pay freezes life has been harder for 2 years already.

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      I’m sorry to hear that :( The only possible silver lining there (if there is one) is that you’d learn to live off less over time? And then when you get bigger pay you’ll have tons of savings coming your way? :)

  13. Marge June 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    I am also a government worker and we are not getting a choice…we will have every Friday off without pay until the end of September. It is kind of distressing, but I like your ideas for using that time wisely. I just might jump on one or two of them :)

  14. Robb June 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    My employer is looking at some severe budget cuts over the next 12-24 months and this was one of the proposals I was thinking about. Of course, it would have to be 10%, not 20% (or 1/5) because of some of the things you mentioned (still being on call if there’s a problem, etc.).

    They’re also proposing mandatory vacation days, as in, you take the day off without pay. You’d pick the days off you want, but you wouldn’t get paid for them. These are more creative solutions than just freezing wages, rolling them back, or laying people off.

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      Right. MUCH better if you have control and flexibility too. Might as well get something you prefer from it vs being forced to take off on crap days or, like you say, get fired.

  15. Sense June 7, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    I did this a month ago…to keep my job. Only I had a 20% pay cut, and instead of taking every Fri off, I am banking those hours for extra long vacations this year (6 weeks twice a year, when time from our normal 1 month vacations are added in). My boss was nice and increased my overall salary so that it worked out to about a 19% pay cut, all told. The ‘Fridays off’ thing wouldn’t work for me, anyway–I adore my job and when I’m bored and have extra time, I work, so I’d end up voluntarily working Fridays anyway! I don’t really have any other passions that rival what I do for my career, so it’s a no brainer. :)

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      haha…. NO other passions?? I find that hard to believe :)

  16. Michael Senchuk June 7, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    I don’t see what’s so weird about that. He’s working 10% less hours (40 to 36), and took 10% less pay to do so. So he’s just working a 0.90 FTE. Plenty of those to go around, though not typically higher up the chain.

    Here at my day job they let us buy up to 5 extra days vacation, for the exact same price they’re paying us per day. Helluva deal if you ask me, if my boss would’ve asked if I’d take 2% less salary for one extra week of vacation I would’ve said yes in a heartbeat. Which is basically what this works out too.

  17. MrsPoP @ PlantingOurPennies June 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    I’d take a firm line that on-call on Friday wasn’t going to be any different than being on call on a Sunday – emergencies only, not regularly scheduled meetings or any bs like that. But beyond that, is probably take it.

  18. Chris June 7, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    I think this is a great solution for people with young kids, and for people who are getting close to retirement. For example, people in their late-50s or early-60s might love the opportunity to scale back (and the pay cut would also be a way to test how well they’ll do in retirement with less income).

    It is also a lot easier for people who don’t have office jobs (if you’re a mechanic or a nurse, then you’re likely not taking the job home with you).

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Yup! True on both accounts.

  19. Bryan June 7, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Yes plz! I could trim my budget a bit, and still be ok. It would also give me a good reason to cut the cable cord (wife is fighting me on that). That alone would almost make up for the budget adjustment!

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      haha… and that’s pretty sad, isn’t it? :)

  20. Jake @ Common Cents Wealth June 7, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    I don’t think I’d do it. In my current job I’d still probably have the same responsibilities and job duties, but I’d be getting 10% less in pay. I already work 9-10 hour days, so I doubt my work would go for it anyways. If I had a decent sized side hustle that could make up for that lost income if I spent time on it then I would consider it, but I don’t.

  21. John S @ Frugal Rules June 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I am self-employed now, but at my last job I would have done it in a heartbeat…assuming that I was not working more than 36 hours per week as Lance pointed out. Time is too precious and is more important than the 10% pay.

  22. Brian @ Stocks and Cents June 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    This is a great deal actually, I’d take it in a heartbeat! If Monday through Thursday he’s going to work the same sort of hours he already is and now is also getting every Friday off, for only a 10% decrease in pay, then he’s making out like a bandit. He really should be getting a 20% pay cut.

    I’d love three day weekends. It would make it significantly easier for me to put in time on any of my side projects. Right now the real job takes up too much time and doesn’t leave any time for the fun stuff!

  23. Michelle June 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    I definitely would. In a heartbeat :)

  24. Diana M. June 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    Totally… However, I completely need that 10% to cover my basic expenses. If I was in a well-paid job at the private sector I’d completely do it but now working for a non-profit and earning to pay just for the basics…no can’t do. I need some vacations!

  25. renae June 7, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    For awhile I took a cut in pay to have extra time to get things done at home. It really freed up my evenings and weekends. Then one day I realized I was spending my extra time at home cleaning the house, which I dislike (maybe hate), for a cut in pay that was well more than I would pay for a housekeeper. So I went back to work full time and hired a housekeeper.

    A cut in pay not only decreases your take home pay, it decreases the 401k match and the base pay used to calculate annual raises. So before you reduce your hours and take a pay cut, I would look at the cost of outsourcing tasks like housework and yardwork, especially if you don’t enjoy doing them. The time you spend on those tasks could also be spent on side hustles.

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      Interesting! Hadn’t even thought about the effects of 401k and raises, etc – damn good points. Great comment.

  26. Mary Anne @ BillGuard June 7, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Well, Fridays are 1/5th (20 percent) of the working week, so if you could take 20 percent of your work time off — in exchange for a 10 percent pay cut — it seems like you’re getting the winning end of that bargain. Now, granted, I know that your friend is working 4 extra hours M-F (so he’s taking a 10 percent reduction in his hours, in exchange for a 10 percent paycut) … but like you said, he’s probably already doing that, anyway, for free. :-)

  27. Nick @ ayoungpro.com June 7, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I think this is something I would consider in the future. Right now, at the beginning of my career, I think I need to get a little sweat equity built up, as well as get a few raises under my belt. 5 years down the road, I would absolutely consider it. I like Joe’s idea of working 4 10’s better at the moment though.

  28. Slackerjo June 7, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Interesting, almost everyone values time over money. Perhaps a new blog Time is Sexy?

  29. Joel @ SaveOutsidetheBox June 7, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Where can I sign up for this? Sounds awesome! For me the whole goal of saving more and spending less is to be able to work less – not become Warren Buffet. Most people I know work 50+ hours a week. That creates some real hardships, especially if you have a family. Working less, making less, and being smart with your assets sounds like a good life to me.

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      “For me the whole goal of saving more and spending less is to be able to work less – not become Warren Buffet.” YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Savvy Financial Latina June 7, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    I would be happy with working from home on Friday. I get a lot of work done on Friday, and I don’t think my boss would let me do this so early in my career, but I would love to work from home one day a week.

  31. Debt Blag June 7, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Not at this time. In fact, I’d probably work Saturdays to get a 10% raise.

  32. Shafi June 7, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    I’d not do it without getting fully compensated for it. My son works 36 hours 4 days one week and 44 hours next week. So in two weeks, he works 80 hours. His company lets him take a Friday off every other week. He’s fully compensated for 2 weeks with alternate Friday off.

  33. Angella June 7, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Absolutely, I’d do this in a heartbeat! I’ve been trying to go part-time for awhile, but my boss just won’t go for it. I even said I’d take a pay cut! I feel like I would get a lot more accomplished at home, for my family, and with my side hustles if I had even just one extra day off!

    1. Slackerjo June 8, 2013 at 7:40 AM

      I tried the same with my old job. I wanted to work only 3 days a week for less money and fewer benefits but because it was a government job, there was no flexibility in it so I left. For now, I took a 100% pay cut but gained my sanity!

      1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        HAH! 100% is even better ;)

  34. mrs jim June 8, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Ha! Did this due to mandatory furloughs years ago – then adjusted the budget so it wasn’t a problem. Once the furloughs were lifted I actually begged to have my hours reduced – got it – BUT it literally took 3 years for people to actually “get” that I was NOT on call on Wednesdays. Now they’ve got it and I am loving it. When you’re the one who is primarily responsible for planning menus, shopping, cooking, cleaning and doing ALL those “kid” things – a little breather in the middle of the week is PRICELESS!

  35. Rebecca June 8, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    As a teacher I don’t think having every Friday off would fly, but it seems like a great idea for those that can. Not only do you have more time, but you are also decreasing your commute by 20% which could really add up depending on the distance.

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Yes, not so good w/ teaching unfortunately :)

  36. Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce June 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    I probably would, and use the time to pursue a money-making hobby that I would enjoy more than work.

  37. Jess June 8, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    I’d definitely do it, not only to have more time for side projects and vacations but I think I’d be more productive at my job if I had that extra day where I don’t feel forced to think about it – my best ideas usually come on my day off anyway!

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      I was just telling someone the same thing! Overworking can tend to lead to less productivity and creativity – all depending on what the job is. The times I’m officially off the clock are usually when the nuggets of wisdom strike here :)

  38. GamingYourFinances June 8, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    As illogical as it sounds, I would consider giving up 30% of my pay to get Fridays off. I love my job and the company I work for, but they do not consider part time employment unless it’s for very special circumstances.

    Before reaching FI I would love to go down to 4 days a week and if I can stay with this company I think I’d be willing to give up to 30% of my salary to do it.

    Call me crazy!

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      You’re on, Crazy!

  39. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen June 8, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    I’m self employed so I get to work from home on Fridays. Lucky me. Of course that means I work on weekends sometimes too. If I had a normal full-time job I would take that deal for sure. It’s only when you start working that you realize how much the weekend really means and how it helps your personal well-being.

  40. Brent Pittman June 9, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    For sure and he’ll save on gas for his morning commute!

  41. Teresa June 9, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    I think that’s a great idea. As long as it works for him, great. I took a much larger pay cut to work at an 80% position, but i’m also living in an area that has a significantly lower cost of living. *and* my stress level is much more manageable as my previous job had a significant level of stress attached to it. So yes, i do miss my prior job, but I am so loving these 4- eight hour day weeks. :D

  42. Shopaholic Savers June 10, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    I would have liked working full time better if I only had to work 4 days a week, even if they were longer days because I never got out of work on time anyway and the 3rd day off could have made up for it. I know that your friend plans on using his extra day off for hustles to make money but the flip side is hustles to SAVE MONEY as well. When I have more time I spend less money because I’m able to do things that save a lot of money but take time like cooking at home, couponing, mowing our own lawn, fixing things ourselves, etc. When I spent all of my time working full time+ I spent more money because I didn’t have any time.

  43. Rachel@Mobilligy June 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    For me, I think I’d rather work from home on Fridays and keep the 10% than have Fridays off and lose 10% of my pay. Working from home is a great compromise because it feels like a little break since I can sleep in a bit later and wear my pajamas, but I’m still getting work done and being productive. I’m also really new at my job, though- I’m sure in a few years I’d rather take the 10% pay decrease and have Fridays off.

  44. Katie (@AsktheYoPro) June 10, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    I’m very tempted to say yes. Here’s why…

    – I could spend more time developing other and new skills (making me a more valuable employee).
    – I could use that time for what really matters; family and friends.
    – I would be more well rested and healthy.
    – With the entry level position I have now, most weeks I can do my work in 4 days or less.
    – I made it by before when I nothing close to this paycheck.
    – I could finally travel!

    On the other hand…

    – Would I really be as productive as I think?
    – Wouldn’t most of my family and friends be working anyways?
    – How bad would the math be over time?
    – I have more too pay for now, bills and other responsibilities.

    So since I just my thinking out loud here and my pros out way my cons I guess right now I should say yes. But, I know things could change at any minute. So instead, maybe I’d ask if I could choose to take off a Monday or a Friday… Or maybe take the 10% cut for more paid days off that I can choose at my own will, whenever I want…. maybe that is my ideal.

    1. J. Money June 10, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Either way, it’s fun to think about :) Never know when it’ll come up either by you or your employer!

      1. Katie (@AsktheYoPro) June 10, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        It definitely is fun to think about. I love seeing how companies are becoming more flexible for their employees. It totally could be possible one day!

  45. Anton Ivanov June 11, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Not a bad deal, although I’m not sure if I would take it. Yes, he is technically working 1 day less, but the other 4 week days are going to be especially stressful, so he WILL need the Friday off to recuperate. Combine that with a pay cut and the gig doesn’t begin to sound too good…

    Unless he was doing something much more profitable on Friday, and the pay cut will be offset by new income.

  46. KC @ genxfinance June 17, 2013 at 3:27 AM

    I love my job but I would consider that offer. But not every Friday though. Just when I think I need a much-deserved break and I think I will need the whole Friday and the weekend to re-energize. It’s amazing what a day can do without having to think about your work and just enjoy the day.

    1. J. Money June 21, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Agreed. Which is super tough being self-employed too :( One of the things I miss about a 9-5 where you can leave work at work (at least the 9-5s I used to have).

  47. Tony Rapley June 17, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Yes. Yes. and More Yes. I honestly think we as a culture (American’s) work too much and it contributes to many of the high incidences of preventable illnesses that afflict our country. My boss brought 4 day work weeks one time as a threat along with the pay cut and the entire staff was for it, she has not utilized that tactic since.

    I found this article from last weeks NY Times interesting though (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/15/your-money/the-unspoken-stigma-of-workplace-flexibility.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) , as there definitely is a flexibility stigma in several workplaces. It’s so bad at our office that not a single person took advantage of the early summer hours offered by my job 3 years ago.

  48. J. Money June 21, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    HAH! I bet everyone wanted that deal – that’s an awesome :) I’ll go and check out that link now – thx for dropping it.