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Turmoil with salary vs lifestyle - need advice.

Nurses   (5,578 Views 27 Comments)
by IcanHealYou IcanHealYou (New Member) New Member

6,542 Visitors; 173 Posts

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Hey Everyone,

Before I begin I just want to say that I'm grateful for everything I've achieved in my life thus far. My goals and aspirations have changed over the past year due to some experiences in my life. Before getting my new job, I was happy with my compensation but as the responsibilities came and my goal in life to buy a house and raise a family the compensation doesn't seem sufficient.

I don't want people to think that I did nursing for the money. I still love my job and the things that I learn from it everyday, it's stressful but I can handle it. I've come to a point in my life where the making money for the future is very important. I live in NYC and for the sake of .. I guess finding some financial advice I'll disclose my salary which is 78k a year roughly.

Taxes are rough, net gain yearly is approximately 52,000. With tax returns probably an extra 4-7k. Do other RNs on this board live pay check to pay check that is paying off a mortgage on a house and raising children? I see myself paying a mortgage of say 2000 a month which is 1 pay check. That leaves another 2k, for lets say car payments, insurance, property tax and the other living expenses, some for myself and the family to enjoy. That leaves me with probably nothing to save.

My question I guess is, what lifestyles do you guys have? Back in the day my parents made it w/o an education. I guess I just live in a bad economy where the housing market is just crap. I've never actually bought a home, but from expenses that my friends that are home owners this is what I foresee. On top of that I want to further my education. I don't want to live pay check to pay check. I see myself having to make well over 100k to have the lifestyle that I want.

How do you guys feel?

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mamamerlee has 35 years experience.

5,873 Visitors; 949 Posts

Do you have to live in the city? Aren't there cheaper places to live? How much of a down payment will you have for any kind of house or condo?

You don't say how long you have been employed, or if you are actually supporting anyone now.

There are way too many factors to know if it is necessary to make much more, or if you are living beyond your means. An example might be - how necessary is a car if you live in the city? Insurance and parking are both very expensive.

I didn't own a car when I lived in downtown Philly.

Examine your needs and eliminate some 'wants'. Best wishes!

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6,542 Visitors; 173 Posts

Hey Mamamerlee,

Yes I do live in the city. It'll be quite a ways before I actually go and make a purchase. I've been working for less than a year and I'm currently paying off my student loans. I don't support anyone now and I'm living at home saving a ton of money.

This is the dilemma I have.. I want the car, the house.. you know.. the american dream so to speak. Just wondering if its possible and not live pay check to pay check. Just kind of depressing to think about. I know I can easily do these things if I was making 100k+. I'm pretty good with my money, I budget and don't spend on superfluous things all the time.

Thank you for replying though.

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16,407 Visitors; 2,438 Posts

This is the dilemma I have.. I want the car, the house.. you know.. the american dream so to speak.

And just look where the American Dream has taken people these days.

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Reno1978 has 6 years experience and works as a SRNA.

15,178 Visitors; 1,133 Posts

I guess I don't find it too hard to live within my means, and I'm happy with that. Car's paid off, and my living expenses leave plenty left over to go into savings and go off and have fun.

Much has to do with where I live, though, I doubt I'd be able to live the way I do now in NYC unless my salary was greatly increased...and by the looks of it, it wouldn't be!

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Mission works as a Global Health Researcher.

5,861 Visitors; 240 Posts

I can commiserate with you, I work in NYC but live in the suburbs. Housing costs in and around the city are ridiculously expensive. A friend of mine recently decided to move to Illinois because her and her husband have been looking to buy a house in the NY metro area for 5 years and everything in their price range required over a two hour commute.

Anyway, I've come to a happy place with renting. Too many of friends struggling to pay ridiculous property taxes and unable to maintain/improve their homes.

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KaroSnowQueen has 30 years experience and works as a Medicare claims review for major insurance company.

11,005 Visitors; 960 Posts

Save up your money, then plan to move somewhere that the housing cost and general cost of living is less. I live 50 miles from the nearest large city, and commuted for years (an hour each way). Yes, the commute's a pain, but the lower cost of living, including taxes is worth the difference. Just my :twocents:.

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happy2learn works as a Employed at a Level 1 Trauma Center.

7,750 Visitors; 1,118 Posts

Are you not expecting your spouse to work and make money, or are you expecting them to stay at home to be with the kids? If you're spouse works, then that would likely put you over that $1000 mark.

Didn't know the "American Dream" included a car. Personally, I hate driving and would love to move somewhere that had mass transit. I hate the car payment and stinkin insurance too. I plan on buying a used car with cash next time.

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

15 Followers; 134 Articles; 186,544 Visitors; 20,712 Posts

I live in IL in the cornfields and while our cost of living is much lower than NYC, there are few jobs.

I think people are redefining the American Dream on a daily basis.

My parents planned and did retire at 55! And...they lived well!

My husband plans to retire at 60 but may work well past that. And...we live 165 miles apart - only see each other on the weekend.

I plan to work til I'm 70 and am carted out on my walker.

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Witty3RN has 1 years experience and works as a RN - Oncology.

3,510 Visitors; 132 Posts

I understand what your saying in wanting the "American Dream" as my husband and I want the same things. A nice home, a new vehicle to haul the kids around in (3 kids), being able to save money, sending our children to college, and taking yearly vacations (just to name a few). What we realize is that the "American Dream" usually comes from a two income household (both making pretty good salaries). Thus the reason why I going back to school and applying to nursing school. I think you can have that you can have it all - but it will require a two income household... Just my thought. I live around the metro area of Little Rock, Arkansas and our cost of living in a lot less and so is the pay. We have a four year plan to purchase a home and I think that with hard work and saving money we will be able to do it... I wish you luck and sounds to me you are already on the right track. It all begins with saving money! Good Luck!

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classicdame works as a Hospital Education Coordinator and adjunct nursing.

2 Articles; 26,028 Visitors; 7,255 Posts

cost of living is much less in East Texas. Salary is a little less for average nurse, but the job is considered "well paid" by most. I no longer have a mortgage and car is paid for and kids are grown so I am better off than most. Not that grandkids are cheap! I now put 20% of my gross salary in 401k and employer matches up to 6% annually so that is growing. My heart goes out to young families with all the stressors.

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loving2 has 8 years experience.

2,991 Visitors; 70 Posts

I can relate, although I live about 50 miles from the city. I'm so depressed bc it seems like my family has gone backwards. We used to make decent money and we lived comfortably until a year ago. DH was laid off last year. My school RN job BARELY covers our mortgage. In fact, by the time taxes and benefits are taken, I bring home the same amount he does with his unemployment check. It's pathetic! That's one of the reasons I am pursuing a hospital job. We need the money. He stays home with our kids because it's cheaper than daycare. If by some miracle he finds a job, most of his paycheck will go towards daycare anyway.

We did the 'right' thing like our parents taught us. We had an emergency fund in our savings. We paid off our vehicles. Our credit cards were paid down. We had a small nest egg. Not now. We have blown though our savings in a year. We rob Peter to pay Paul every month. It's very depressing and scary. Times are tough for most people I know. I suggest living with your parents as long as you can. Build your savings.

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