I am passionate about Astronomy, but I have heard a lot of stories about its 'lack of pay' (generally, academic courses). I do not mind working myself to the bone to obtain a PhD, but I am worried about the life after that. I come from a middle income household, and I don't really know if academia will enable me to take care of my family, or start a new one, when the time comes. I have applied for more traditional jobs with better pay (engineering, biomed Engineering, etc.) as alternatives although I don't love them as much as Astronomy. This brings me back to the question of passion and compromise.

Does anyone have any personal stories they can share about dealing with this trade off?