Quote from Roland
My wife and I plan move to Oahu, if and when she graduates from CRNA school. The plan is to live on her CRNA salary, and to save my RN salary (I hope to find ICU or home healthcare work). From a practical standpoint we think that Oahu is the only island that offers a realistic chance at finding employment. Here's what I plan to do to keep cost of living reasonable. Perhaps you can add some items:
1. Drive only used cars. Right now we have a 1994 Toyota Corolla with 300K miles, and a 2000 Chrysler Concorde with about 100K miles. If and when we move to Oahu I plan to buy two used Corollas with about 150K miles apiece (that hopefully can pass your emission standards). Also, I've read that Oahu has an Island wide bus system. Could I take the bus to work if I allowed about two hours each way (good nap and reading time)?
2. We want to live on the North, or at least the NE side of the island. I hope to find a place to rent (two bedroom since we have a four year old son) for no more than about $2,000 per month ($1,500 per month would be better). If this is not possible we could probably make do with a one bedroom (heck our son sleeps in our bed most nights anyway). I doubt that we will ever be able to afford to own a home or Condo on Oahu.
3. We will do most of our shopping at the local Sams club or an Aldi's if you have them. I've also heard that there are food pantries around the colleges where you can sometimes get certain dry goods.
4. We will cut our current "eating out schedule" from almost every night (at a cost of about $40.00 per day, plus we still spend about $150.00 per week on groceries) to maybe once a week.
5. Our son will go to the local State University (if he wants us to help pay) rather than a private college.
By the way why doesn't Hawaii seem to have mobile home parks? I suggested to my wife that we could save money by living in one but they don't seem to have any. I also suggested living in a nice camper at a private campground, but there don't seem to be any of those either. I suggested living in a tent at state campgrounds and moving every two weeks, but she said that would be out of the question.
Don't forget to look at CRNA employment at Tripler. The fed gov pays the highest prevailing wage and on Oahu, a 25% cost of living allowance that is fed tax free (for me, that adds about 35% to my usable income). Tripler hires RN's direct. When you are ready, email me privately and I'll give you the name of the person to call, it changes periodically.
I live in a very big house that I could not afford to buy, but I can afford to rent (about $1000 a mo/$260K of market value). I live on the East side of the island and up on a ridge with a view of both ocean and mountain and cool evening breezes. I'm a former Chicagoan, so I value the mountain view...well, it's a mountain to me! I also can see Diamond Head in the distance.
The bus system is truly fab. It goes everywhere and many can take advantage of the Express Bus. I work nights and weekends (night diff at Tripler is 10% and weekend diff is an additional 25% of base) so traffic is only half the issue for me that is for others. The morning commute home is pretty bad coming through downtown, but I go Windward where the traffic is nominal in my direction and the beauty is endless (or am I high on tired?). It takes me the same amount of time but is safer for me than the slow stop and go of the downtown route.
Costco and Sam's are here, but you will find the farmers' markets a very good value, and the fish and produce in the Chinatown area are good and cheap (relatively speaking). Fuel is leveling out at $2.25 for reg.
Home schooling is popular here and you can connect to many families that do it. The haoli issues exist, I've not had trouble on the street (but I'm a pretty harmless looking grandmother) or the beach. I have friends who have been made to feel very unwelcome as RN's in some hospitals, but Tripler is not local. The military has issues with the locals (I take care of some of the worst ones in Tripler ICU), but drunk is always part of it.
There is lots more, when you're ready, please email me.
Charlene Taymor email@example.com