Living poor to living middle class!

  1. I graduate in May, and I am so ready to begin making a decent living for a change. True enough I did not go into nursing just for the money, but it sure does help make my life a little better. I am tired of struggling wondering how I am going to pay a bill and feed my family. In another month all my worries will be over. I read a lot threads stating that they want to quit in their first year. I guess, my question is, is it really that bad that you would want to give up your dream career because of the stress that you will probably experience from any other job?
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    About rn2bn07

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 183; Likes: 63
    rn
    Specialty: Cardiac Tele (1 year), new MICU RN

    48 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Welcome to my world..........:spin:

    I'm going to give you some advice, because I've been exactly where you are now and lived to regret my excesses---of work, of spending, of expectations that were never met.

    First of all, please don't assume that money will end all your troubles, or change you into a different person, or give you security. For many of us who have lived in poverty, a sudden infusion of relative large amounts of cash makes us throw caution to the wind: "Yippee!!" we shout as we hand over our shiny new Discover cards for yet another "delayed- gratification" reward to ourselves. We think all our troubles will just vanish and we'll always have enough to live on, and then some.......little do we know of the pitfalls that await us!

    What we don't realize is that we have no clue whatsoever as to how to manage those princely sums we're earning. Many of us, myself included, have spent our way into bankruptcy.........and more than once! Somehow, the 'needs' always seem to expand to fit, and usually exceed, the available funds. I managed my family's money wonderfully when I only had about $12,000 a year to manage........ by the time that income quintupled, only a few years later, we were so deep in hock we couldn't find our way out with a five-cell flashlight and a traffic cop directing signals.

    The other thing is, NO job/career is perfect. Yes, I think nursing is a rewarding vocation in many ways, which is why I'm still doing it ten years after graduation; but I've had a lot of ups and downs in my various jobs, and I think if I were given the chance to do something else that pays similar (or better) wages without demanding so much of my time and energy, I would move on.

    I wish you the best in your future. Just try to be realistic about what you can accomplish with the money you make, and don't expect your career to fulfill your every dream. Keep your work life and your home/social life in balance. Keep up with your other interests outside of work, and above all, strive to be happy.

    Good luck.:spin:
    Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Mar 31, '07
  4. by   Lorelai22RN
    Quote from rn2bn07
    I graduate in May, and I am so ready to begin making a decent living for a change. True enough I did not go into nursing just for the money, but it sure does help make my life a little better. I am tired of struggling wondering how I am going to pay a bill and feed my family. In another month all my worries will be over. I read a lot threads stating that they want to quit in their first year. I guess, my question is, is it really that bad that you would want to give up your dream career because of the stress that you will probably experience from any other job?

    Congrats on graduating! I remember how excited I was this time last year nearing my graduation! I was sure my poor nursing student life wa about to morph into a glamourous one with plenty of money..........and it has afforded me to be able to pay my bills comfortable and some options but......being a nurse is noble and helps people but it can be extremely draining and stressful. I still dont have enough money lol...currently trying to cut back on stuff and work overtime just to get by....taxes eat up so much of my check. If I could afford to, I wouldnt do nursing.......I dont hate it......you just go through alot. I've been a nurse 9 months...so Im still a newbie but........if I could do something else for the same money I would in a HEARTBEAT.
  5. by   Lisa CCU RN
    I feel you. Nursing is a secure job and going from poor to making some cash is going to be a great feeling.

    It's true that you shouldn't go out on a spending spree, but I think you'll be fine.
  6. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Quote from Lorelai22RN
    Congrats on graduating! I remember how excited I was this time last year nearing my graduation! I was sure my poor nursing student life wa about to morph into a glamourous one with plenty of money..........and it has afforded me to be able to pay my bills comfortable and some options but......being a nurse is noble and helps people but it can be extremely draining and stressful. I still dont have enough money lol...currently trying to cut back on stuff and work overtime just to get by....taxes eat up so much of my check. If I could afford to, I wouldnt do nursing.......I dont hate it......you just go through alot. I've been a nurse 9 months...so Im still a newbie but........if I could do something else for the same money I would in a HEARTBEAT.
    Geez, is there no one that likes their nursing job?

    I hope I am able to say that I love my job because I LOVE clinicals, I just hate school.

    I hated working in fast food, warehouses, etc. Nursing is my dream job, I hope it stays that way.
  7. by   llg
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Welcome to my world..........:spin:

    I'm going to give you some advice, because I've been exactly where you are now and lived to regret my excesses---of work, of spending, of expectations that were never met.

    First of all, please don't assume that money will end all your troubles, or change you into a different person, or give you security. For many of us who have lived in poverty, a sudden infusion of relative large amounts of cash makes us throw caution to the wind: "Yippee!!" we shout as we hand over our shiny new Discover cards for yet another "delayed- gratification" reward to ourselves. We think all our troubles will just vanish and we'll always have enough to live on, and then some.......little do we know of the pitfalls that await us!

    What we don't realize is that we have no clue whatsoever as to how to manage those princely sums we're earning. Many of us, myself included, have spent our way into bankruptcy.........and more than once! Somehow, the 'needs' always seem to expand to fit, and usually exceed, the available funds. I managed my family's money wonderfully when I only had about $12,000 a year to manage........ by the time that income quintupled, only a few years later, we were so deep in hock we couldn't find our way out with a five-cell flashlight and a traffic cop directing signals.

    The other thing is, NO job/career is perfect. Yes, I think nursing is a rewarding vocation in many ways, which is why I'm still doing it ten years after graduation; but I've had a lot of ups and downs in my various jobs, and I think if I were given the chance to do something else that pays similar (or better) wages without demanding so much of my time and energy, I would move on.

    I wish you the best in your future. Just try to be realistic about what you can accomplish with the money you make, and don't expect your career to fulfill your every dream. Keep your work life and your home/social life in balance. Keep up with your other interests outside of work, and above all, strive to be happy.

    Good luck.:spin:
    I think this is one of the best posts I have ever read in any thread -- ever!

    If you believe that "all your worries will be over," then you are setting yourself up for the worst possible case of reality shock and ultimately, setting yourself up for failure. Be realistic in your expectations and be prepared to be disappointed in a few things. Such realist expectations and plans will help you cope with the ups and downs that will inevitably come.

    Good luck to you and I hope you have a long and satisfying nursing career.
  8. by   AirforceRN
    Wow mjlrn97, That is some good insight and great advice. I think a lot of us students feel that once the money starts rolling in our problems will be solved. My very first clinical instructer said that right after he graduated and started to bring in the cash he bought a truck. Only months later did he realize what a mistake it was. He said that he should have worried about his debts and a downpayment on a house first...
    I can't wait to graduate and I must admit that I'm REALLY looking forward to the first decent sized paycheque. I have so many things that I would like to buy but after making a list and going through it I have finally decided on the ONE graduation gift I'm going to get myself...Littmann Cardiology II. I have a classic SEII but hey, its graduation and I have to splurge a little right? That and its work related so I don't feel guilty
  9. by   Lorelai22RN
    Quote from CRNASOMEDAY25
    Geez, is there no one that likes their nursing job?

    I hope I am able to say that I love my job because I LOVE clinicals, I just hate school.

    I hated working in fast food, warehouses, etc. Nursing is my dream job, I hope it stays that way.
    Yeah, most of us find some joy in our jobs.
  10. by   Pumpkin1621
    First Congrats on Graduating and finally getting financial stability! I hope that you will do great in nursing and enjoy it.

    Second a financial lecture:

    Quote from Lorelai22RN
    I still dont have enough money lol...
    I don't think anyone ever has enough money.

    The most important thing is talking to a financial advisor. Even if it is just one at your bank. They can help you with higher interest retirement plans, savings accounts, cd accounts, college funds, money market accounts for emergencies, etc. And the sooner you start these the more you will have. I think what the previous posters said about not letting the extra money go to your head was wise. Pay off your debts and start building your credit. As pretty as those Jimmy Choos are, just put them down! (Fashion is my enemy!) It is good to reward yourself but set limits on your rewards (ie. one movie a month, one cd a month, etc. Just set a price limit on your monthly reward). Remember good credit = home, car, loans, trust. Learn the art of balancing your checkbook!

    OK lecture over. I'm sure you know most of this anyway. Good luck with your career, and I'm very proud of you!
  11. by   Lorelai22RN
    Quote from Pumpkin1621
    First Congrats on Graduating and finally getting financial stability! I hope that you will do great in nursing and enjoy it.

    Second a financial lecture:



    I don't think anyone ever has enough money.

    The most important thing is talking to a financial advisor. Even if it is just one at your bank. They can help you with higher interest retirement plans, savings accounts, cd accounts, college funds, money market accounts for emergencies, etc. And the sooner you start these the more you will have. I think what the previous posters said about not letting the extra money go to your head was wise. Pay off your debts and start building your credit. As pretty as those Jimmy Choos are, just put them down! (Fashion is my enemy!) It is good to reward yourself but set limits on your rewards (ie. one movie a month, one cd a month, etc. Just set a price limit on your monthly reward). Remember good credit = home, car, loans, trust. Learn the art of balancing your checkbook!

    OK lecture over. I'm sure you know most of this anyway. Good luck with your career, and I'm very proud of you!

    This is some good advice..........I know I have just bought clothes and shoes....cute bags that I didnt really want just because I could. And a real big problem for my pocketbook and waistline is eating out and fast food..........I ate it for nearly every meal and it gets expensive and I out on 10-15 pounds since I graduated, havent weighed myself but I cant fit in my clothes........so I have started a healthy eating and workout plan and am not gonna waste money on fast food and try to pack my lunch for work, my co-workers order out alot at work and I find myself chiming in! And I would drink ton of coffee...........starbucks, ccs and pastries and muffins.....expensive! So I have started monitoring where my money is going.........trying to make some changes! And save money.
  12. by   Indy
    Well, when you have no money, what are your priorities? Food, housing, reliable transportation. Same thing when you suddenly have a higher income bracket. Just translate it into longevity in nursing, and think about what you need to keep this higher paying job for say, 20 years or more.

    One, you need to keep your health in order to work. So buy good shoes. Don't skimp on the shoes, NEVER buy shoes only because they are cheap or you'll regret it. Buy uniforms that are going to last a while, and that you like, because you'll give yourself a weensie bit of a boost if you think you look good in your comfy scrubs. If you need a good stethoscope, get one. Then get it engraved so you keep it. If your car isn't reliable, go buy a car that is. All these things cost money, some of them quite a bit of money, but in the long run they will contribute to your ability to keep earning that money.

    Housing is everyone's individual thing... some want to buy a house right away, some wait, etc. I'm not remotely familiar with any of it. Nineteen months in and me and my hubby are 5 months from paying off our 2nd car so we each have good transportation (and back up if one of them breaks, but between a honda and a toyota we should be ok). He's adamant about wanting to have some downpayment saved for a house so it will probably be next spring before we look. We're pretty apprehensive about looking for a house because we just know we'll want good furniture, and I want solar panels and stuff like that.

    It's good having extra money! Just realize that if you are new, and have some unexpected, debilitating injury now, you'll have maybe 4-8 weeks of paid time and then you're on your own, with no way to work. So keep that in mind when getting in debt. If you own your things, you mostly get to keep them. If you owe money on your things, well it gets iffy from there.
  13. by   linzz
    The other posters have given great advice. If you are young, follow it and you will be in a great position as time is money and luck. If you can save even a little bit and not ring up debts, the value of compound interest will increase your savings greatly. Anyways it would be worth your while to read financial planning info. Wish I had done this at a younger age, so I am telling you this so you can do much better than I did. Good luck.
  14. by   Roy Fokker
    A few things I picked up (can't help it. Father is a banker).

    * Saving is severely under-rated. Especially in America. Trust me, you can never save "enough".

    * Don't get into debt unless you have to. Debt can be VERY costly. Putting regular expenses on debt (read: "CREDIT") is the surefire way to financial ruin.

    Example: Things you can put on debt - car payments, mortgage, educational loans. Things to avoid putting on debt - clothes, gas, utilities, food etc.

    * Learn to budget. This means more than just looking at your statements and balancing your checkbook every month. Budget means "Allocate resources for expenses". This really means:
    - How much do I spend every month? A rough list would be Food, Gas, Electricity, Phone, Rent, Heat, Clothes etc. Keep track of how much "cash" you spend.
    - Check income. Includes, interest, paycheck, collateral etc.
    - Then allocate: e.g.: "10% of income for clothes. 40% for rent" etc.

    Budgeting helps you see:
    + HOW much of your money goes WHERE? This is important because you'll be able to see that you are spending "30% of monthly income on clothes vs 40% on rent").
    + Accounting income and expenses lets you PLAN for the FUTURE. As a young adult, this is absolutely critical!
    + Budgeting also helps you make your money work for you - rather than you having to work for your money.

    * Don't "touch" savings unless it is an "emergency" (about to lose your home, medical emergency etc).

    All this sounds very "tedious" and "boring" - but believe me, it really isn't. Budgeting is a matter of "habit". Get into good habits - don't spend more than you planned, always pay your bills on time and be thrifty .... and you won't have to face many financial worries as years go by.

    Soon, it will become second nature to you.

    Remember, the largest share of those filing for penury and bankruptcy are the new income earners.

    Don't be a statistic!


    cheers,

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