I also used to wonder why some other nurses seemed to go on all these vacations and have these huge diamond rings, then I talked to a few and found that they have huge credit card debt.
This is a great thread! I think the above sentence says it all. For years, I always wondered what the heck was wrong with us. How could everyone I worked with be able to afford huge new houses, yearly vacations, exorbitant Christmas gifts, etc. when we could just afford to get by. The last few years have been very telling -- many of these people have lost their big new houses that they bought on interest-only loans. Many are struggling to pay off credit card debt -- some to the tune of more than $50,000. We waited until home prices came down and bought a wonderful new house that is well within our budget.
I think the best thing is to not compare yourself to others. Just because people seem to have more money than you, doesn't mean it is so. Changing your mindset is a good place to start -- being grateful for what you have is the first step to being wealthy, in my opinion. And who cares what other people think of you -- it's none of their business how much you make or don't make. I stopped discussing money (at all, period) with my nosy, judgmental family.
After keeping track of where our money goes, and making a budget, we also cut back on many of the "extras" that seem to creep up on you. I cut my cell bill back to the very basic plan, because I don't text much and it's cheaper for me to pay by the text if I do send -- that saved $50 a month. My husband insists that his life would end if we did not have extended cable and NFL network during football season, but I made him cut off the premium movie channels, which saved $50 a month. The NFL network cost comes out of his personal spending money (which uses all of it :icon_roll ), but that's his choice.
It is important to make sure everyone has some spending money each month, whether it is $10 or $100 dollars, just so they have something they can spend without accounting for it to others.
We are going to do a modified Dave Ramsey debt-reduction plan after the holidays to get rid of the few debts we have, because although I think Dave Ramsey is a pompous wind-bag, much of what he says about debt is very true.
My cost-cutting goal right now is to take dinner left-overs for lunch and pack my own breakfast to cut down on buying the over-priced low-quality food in our hospital cafeteria. This should save over $100 per month. I also need to try to use coupons more often, as well.
And to the OP -- I do think nurses should make more money, but I don't think that's why most of us are broke all the time.