“The Golden Handcuffs” – Breaking Free

 I was talking to my son a while back and he was telling me about a man at his place of employment. The man hated his job but continued to work there. When I asked my son, “Why?” he said, “The Golden Handcuffs.” I asked him what that meant. He said, “It’s the money, Mom. He can’t leave his job because of the money.”  So that is what it is called in the corporate worldI imagine the higher up you get on the economic ladder, the harder it is to leave the money, even if you are miserable. There are a lot of legitimate reasons people wouldn’t be able to leave high paying jobs, i.e. mortgages, college tuition for the kids, medical problems, or personal debt, just to name a few. All things being equal though, if a person could leave a job without doing irreparable harm to the family, would you do it? Would I do it? Or would we slog through life with a job we hate in order to have more money? Could we really break free from “The Golden Handcuffs?”



It’s a tough question, one I imagine those working in the nosebleed section of the corporate world have had to ask themselves many times. Most of us, don’t have to make such dramatic choices. For us, we make other choices, and though not the same, are similar in their origin, but opposite in their outcome. We end up shackled by “The Iron Handcuffs of Debt.”

Should we stay where we are, in a nice neighborhood, or move to a bigger house in a better neighborhood and assume a larger mortgage?

Should I keep my dependable car that is paid for or buy one that makes a better impression on my friends and take out a huge loan?

Should I go to a good college close to home or to the more prestigious college and end up with a mountain of debt?handcuffs-2070580_640

None of us wants to be enslaved by “The Golden Handcuffs” or by “The  Iron Handcuffs of Debt.” The decisions are out there, we just have to make them, and hopefully we will make the ones that will not hold us captive.  

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain,. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” 1 Timothy 6: 6-7








14 thoughts on ““The Golden Handcuffs” – Breaking Free

  1. This is a thought provoking post Valerie. Toxic working environments can creep up on you. You don’t realise how bad they are until you stop – maybe for a holiday or time out to reflect. I have simplified my life, eliminated debt and implemented a tight budget. I didn’t expect it to be as satisfying as it is. But then I have no dependants. It’s can’t be so easy for families.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I so missing out on a lot of my children’s lives. I had to work. South Africa requires 2 breadwinners in a house. I made sure my home never lacked but still, it was a rare treating plaiting my girl’s hair for school.
    I’m stingy now. Stingy with my time with them. Soon they will be off on their own adventures but they have their mother’s love, she will always be their champion

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had to work too, but did my best to give my kids the gift of time. I worked part-time as I got older in order to spend the time with them when they got into high school. Mine are out on their own and now they are raising their own kids. The most important thing kids need is love. If they know they are loved, they are rich in this world!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post!

    I believe everyone makes their own path in life and more often than not, from what I’ve experienced is that people are too scared to leave their comfort zone by change, especially in high-paying jobs. And so, become enslaved by their own existence and misery, whether that’s a job, a neighbourhood, a family situation, or other.

    I’ve always worked to travel so have never had a problem with change. I’ve never allowed work to rule me or my life. I left a well-paying job more than once, to everyone’s horror. Perhaps a little easier for me as I made the decision at a young age not to have children – but then again, I made that decision.


  4. I loved your comment and your priorities! We have known people who were enslaved by their desires for more and more and more. That kept them in jobs they didn’t particularly liked, homes they couldn’t afford to heat well, and cars that had sky-high payments. Obviously money is not the be all and end all of a happy contented existence!


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