Losing money being a nurse - page 2

Raise notices just come out today. I realized that for every year I am a nurse, I am actually going backwards on the pay scale making less money than the year before. For example: (Base hourly... Read More

  1. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from dont
    i think the middle class has to take at least some of the blame for the current sitution. i'm not saying it's their fault, but they certainly aren't doing anything to help the matter.

    <<look at the cost of natural gas and gas for our cars....just so we can get to work.>>

    the average size of a middle class home has gone from 1700 to 2200 square feet in the last fifteen years. more square feet, more gas consumed, more market pressure, higher prices, bigger bills. my house was built in 1999 and all of the orginal appliances (frig, dishwasher, hot water heater, furnace) are complete energy hogs. why? because they were the cheapest ones the builder could find and the orginal owner didn't care or didn't know any better.

    i live in a middle class sub-division about 30 minutes from columbus, ohio. 90% of the residents have at least one large suv and many have an suv and a full-size pickup as their vehicles. since we're a small community in what was a farming area almost everyone commutes 30+ miles for work. i hear complaints all the time about high gas prices, but i sure see a lot of people with new vehicles that get 15 mpg.

    <<my mom worked for 30 years at delphi.>>

    one of my neighbors works for delphi and may be losing his job. i certainly feel bad for him, but he was making $70,000 a year with good benefits and a high school education. he's not a manager or anything, just a worker. is this realistic?

    <<in arizona, housing prices have more than doubled in the last five years, but the az hospital assoc is on a big campaign to keep nursing wages down>>

    blame the baby boomers and their buying power. i know several retirees that have a house in ohio for the summer months and one in arizona or florida for the winter. as more boomers retire i expect the markets in the sunny states to get worse instead of better.

    <<i barely could pay my bills>>

    i hear this from friends all the time, but when i visit their houses they have the latest and greatest widescreen hdtv, cable or direct tv and all of the premium channels, and an extensive dvd collection. one friend gave me 20+ brand new vhs tapes because he had replaced them with dvd's (he later told me they are a month behind on their mortgage payment). all of their kids have cell phones and the latest xbox games, toys, etc. my father-in-law was out of work for over a year, but that didn't stop them from eating out 3-4 times a week and my mother-in-law never missed her weekly nail appointment ($35 a pop) because she "needed it during this stressful time".

    more people should read the great book "shattering the two-income myth".

    <<increasing health insurance premiums>>

    we are the fatest, least physically fit, most demanding health care consumers on the planet. one of my relatives had been on blood pressure and cholesterol medication for years. his employer changed insurance providers and his portion of the medication cost went up dramatically. he lost 50 pounds and made some diet changes and guess what, he doesn't need either medication any more. i argue with my wife all the time about taking the kids to the doctor. she makes an appointment everytime one of the kids coughs or has a 99 degree temp. when i was a kid if i wasn't puking blood or running a fever of 104 my parents gave me an aspirin and sent me to bed.

    <<so much wealth is increasingly concentrated at the very top.>>

    it should have been obvious this is the #1 agenda item for the current administration and repblican controlled congress. however, in the election of 2004 bush and republicans received strong support from middle class families and nascar moms.

    i agree with every word of this post.

    don't get me wrong, i too hate that i don't make more money than i do and i am the last person who will tell you that my wages are enough for what i do.

    but, the truth is that overall our society consumes far, far more than ever. i knoe people who get new cars every year, have all the latest technology as far as cellphones and computers and the most expensive cable tv plans. yet, they are constantly crying broke. their kids drive nicer cars than mine and are dressed in designer clothes. we have got to have some perspective here.

    yes, there is an incredible gap growing between the rich and the poor, but the middle class is better off than ever. growing up, my parents were considered middle class, we would be considered poor now.
  2. by   EmmyBP
    good post! And you are right in a lot of ways - my sister is the same way... with always being behind on her mortgage payment but somehow finding the money for the kids to go to ski club, just finished an addition on her house, the kids have anything and everything they could want. It is just ridicilous! Complaining about gas - while owning a chevy trail blazer ect... That is NO way to live. I don't know how the country is going to dig out of the hole the administration has put us in, I am increasingly worried about the future - financially and democratically. But if what you say is true- "I think the middle class has to take at least SOME of the blame for the current sitution." what do you propose needs to be done to change the current trend?
  3. by   Lambert5883
    Quote from dont
    i think the middle class has to take at least some of the blame for the current sitution. i'm not saying it's their fault, but they certainly aren't doing anything to help the matter.....

    <<so much wealth is increasingly concentrated at the very top.>>

    it should have been obvious this is the #1 agenda item for the current administration and republican controlled congress. however, in the election of 2004 bush and republicans received strong support from middle class families and nascar moms.
    how true. i mean what does it take to get the middleclass supporters of the bush admin to realize that this adminstration puts the interests of big business and industry ahead of our interests.
  4. by   sugabuga
    Ain't that the truth. And I'm just as guilty of it as anyone too. I think it's especially difficult for young people. We all want everything our parents had ASAP. Of course, my husband and I make more money than both of our parents yet they seem way happier than we are. We really are a materialistic generation. Sure is a hard habit to break though.
  5. by   Dont
    <<what do you propose needs to be done to change the current trend?>>

    if you aren't registered to vote, get registered.

    if you don't vote, vote.

    if you don't know who your representatives are, find out!

    at the risk of sounding cheesy, i'll quote the movie the american president, "democracy isn't easy, it's hard and you have to want it".

    politicians (democrats or republicans) aren't concerned about you, they are concerned about getting elected and staying in office. when the people they represent start voting and paying attention (you have to do both) they will start caring about what you want not corporate america.

    we need to make a better distinction between want and need.

    when we first moved to our neighborhood i drove a ford f-150. great truck, handy to have, nice to sit up high, got 15-17 mpg. when gas hit $1.75 it had to go. i now drive a compact that gets 35 mpg. do i miss the truck? yes! did i need it? no!

    i'd like to go out for lunch everyday like most of my co-workers. instead i take my lunch and save $30 a week. i'd like to swing by starbucks for a $3 latte each morning, instead i make my own at home or stop by speedway for a 59 cent mug refill.

    i'd like to have a remote starter for my car and let it warm up each morning for 20 minutes to clear the windows and get cozy (pretty common in my neighborhood). instead i scrape them and let the car warm up for 60 seconds.

    lots of little things add up pretty quick. my wife and i do without many luxuries, but they aren't things we need and it allows her to to be a stay at home mom and raise our kids. in the long run, i think they'll be better off!
  6. by   sugabuga
    I bought my house last year and prices seem to around the same today. Maybe a tad higher but not much. It really is amazing how outrageous real estate is in some places.

    Quote from Sflowerssweeney
    I live in Southern MD. I saw the post from the nurse who moved from Virginia to Arkansas, and I don't know what the date is. Houses in my area are now going an average of $550. A house like mine that I bought 6 years ago for $225 has almost tripled in cost. I don't know how you could ever make enough money to afford a new house without equity in your old one that's going to make up for it.

    I think in this area the housing market is the major problem right now. People are getting 50 year mortgages or interest only mortgages just to live or sometimes go beyond their means. If we keep paying these prices, they'll keep going up.

    I don't know what the answer is, but in my area you could never make enough money to live. You have to travel and have 2 working people in the home and still it's amazing how little you can save. The RN's make more than the office worker even in a law office around here.
  7. by   MedSurgeMess
    I soooo much agree with dont's post! I make people at work mad everyday, right along with my husband and a few close friends! My dh bought me a SUV because he wanted me to be safe in the winter (which I hate hate hate gas guzzlers, always have always will!), but NOW complains about how much gas it eats ...but as far as compainers, my sister is a dental hygenist in the Memphis, TN area and claims to make 2x what I make an hour, and her dh makes about the same as me, they live in a nice house/neighborhood, given to them by his parents-no cost to her, she is always on shopping sprees, nails and hair done to the nines, yet she is always calling asking me and my parents for $$$$$ for bills and groceries. I could just scream. And the people I work with are sometimes just as bad. Many have to have the newest this or that, and other than my SUV, I always use pretty much same ol stuff. They complain of not having enough. I say "sure a raise would be nice" but in reality, me and my dh are doing okay. We save as much as possible, trying to have a decently secure future, and I have 2 sons who of course want every new doodad available. I tell them get a job, or work for money and save like I have to when I want something! The US is almost unreal anymore. And it is our faults for letting the buy now/pay later mentality prevail Hopefully, we don't have to have a major crash for people to start making that popping noise-pulling heads out of sand or any other locale you can think of :roll
  8. by   lisamc1RN
    Very interesting thread. My husband makes around $40k working 2 jobs. I haven't been to work in 12 years, except occasionally to help us out of a pickle. We have no credit cards, no car payments, no bank loans, no cable or satellite tv, no fancy tv, no cell phone. All we have is a mortgage, utilities, orthodontist payments ( my daughter has braces. She needed them badly.), tuition payments for private school for 2 of my children, aol, and medical bills. We have health insurance with a very high deductible and it does not pay for office visits. It is only for my husband and I because our children get medicaid and we simply cannot afford to add them to our policy right now. We live by the skin of our teeth. There is no savings. If something goes wrong with a vehicle, we start praying. We have thought of putting the girls into public school and saving ourselves that $300/ month, but at this time we are not convinced that the sacrifice is not worth it. Still, it is frustrating to live like this. We have a small house, 1500 sq ft, that needs lots of attention. I can't wait til I get to work as a nurse! However, we sat down and figured it all out and really, we STILL won't have anything for savings or retirement. We will more than likely start fixing up the house (Yay!), and we will need more for gas money and car maintenance. Our cars are old. I think the government will probably take more taxes out of us, too. All in all, we are going to improve things for us, but for the money we will be making, we still won't be able to afford to get some of the luxuries that others have. It's disappointing. I have to constantly remind myself, though, that we have it pretty good. I remember living in a 2 bedroom trailer with my mom and 3 brothers growing up. She worked her butt off as an LPN and we struggled for everything. We are in a much better position now. I thank God for that everyday.
  9. by   Dont
    <<i haven't been to work in 12 years, except occasionally to help us out of a pickle.>>

    interesting. i was recently reading an article about bankruptcy and the author claimed one of the reason so many american families are going bankrupt is because both adults work. 30 years ago the mom usually stayed home and she could seek short term work when times were tuff or the family had some unexpected expenses. todays families have lost that "buffer" with both mom and dad already in the workforce.
  10. by   Lambert5883
    Great thread, ladies and gentleman! It definetly provides a cathartic release. Especially when you read the commonality that is shared amongst us as a middle-class, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or religion.
  11. by   EmmyBP
    Very true! does make me thankful for what my family does have - especially during this time of year.
  12. by   RNKitty
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    I surely do miss the wonderful economy and balanced budget of the Clinton years.
    Which were put in place by the Reagan administration.....
  13. by   Lambert5883
    Quote from RNKitty
    Which were put in place by the Reagan administration.....
    How so?