Author Topic: Lets Hang 'Er  (Read 3315 times)

Nurse_Nash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Dirty-Jersey
Lets Hang 'Er
« on: January 15, 2018, 02:56:58 PM »
Here's an introduction:

I racked in $9600 in credit card debt in 2 years. Yeah, thatís right. 96-freaking-hundred dollars on an income of $18,000/year while attending Nursing School fulltime (BSN)  and working parttime.

I used to complain ďWhere the fuck is my money?Ē while living paycheck to 1 week before next paycheck. I blamed school and Tuition/Books. However, I chose to pay cash for as much of my college education as possible and take out MINIMAL loans. My program is a 3-year accelerated for-profit education that costs approximately $95,000 if fully funded by loans. I will graduate in the next 6 months with $32,000 in debt. I thought that was a winning average of $12000/year. 

After having a melt-down in fall 2017 over being unable to suddenly afford my books for my next round of classes, I broke down my finances and credit card charges to see why.

I was spending almost $250/MONTH in starbucks alone. WTF, GIRL?! Eating out with my friends and boyfriend totaled one month in $648.73. Thatís $900 in eating out alone. I always said as a female powerlifter, I ďNEEDEDĒ to eat a lot!  I was reckless, dumb-as-shit, financially and emotionally broke, and chubby. Did I mention I was dumb-as-shit? I always looked the other way while being swipe-happy.

I suddenly stopped.

Here are the things I changed starting November 1, 2017:

NO EATING OUT Ė EVER!
I only eat from home/brown bag it to work/school @ $25/week Ė even as a powerlifter and meal prep.

Gym membership was paid by my boyfriend as a Christmas gift. Saved: $325/year
I walk/run to my gym 2 miles away or ride with my boyfriend. Crossfit or Specialty Barbell Clubs are NOT acceptable anymore in a financial crisis. I follow free powerlifting training programs online instead of private coaching.

Sold my Car (BMW X5) in 12/2017. Ė Saved $330 car note / $125 insurance / $150 a month in gas. Total cut: $605/month
(Side note: I have to have a car for clinical rotation sometimes. Sites are up to 100 miles one-way from school. Some are not accessible by train/bus. My last site was 68 miles one way. My current rotation is 28 miles one way. I carpool when I can or share my boyfriendís car and pay for the cost of gas, insurance, and maintenance used for that dayís access.)

I changed health insurance.
Original = $248/month.  New:  $120/month

I paid off my phone and switched companies. Declined upgrade.
Original: $95/month. New: $45/month

I drink Coffee/Water/Milk only.
No more sodas or sweetened teas or lemonades for this girl.

I make coffee from home or use free coffee offered at work ONLY.
No more starbucks. Ever. I donít buy those sugary creamers anymore, either. Cannot fit it in the food budget. So, I just drink coffee with whole milk or just black. At first, tasted like licking soot from a chimney. Status now? Tolerant.

I applied for school grants/scholarships.
Why didnít I do this before?...Because Iím a fucking dumbass

I donít buy-to-own school books anymore.
I borrow books from upperclassmen/ friends or use the nursing books in the support-center of campus for FREE. If I canít borrow or the school doesnít have it, I rent for $10-20 on AmazonPrime. Saves anywhere from $100-$250 each semester.

I worked 96 extra hours over Christmas break Ė total of 144 hours in 2 weeks.
Instead of going on vacation. Influx income: $2026.94.

Results:
Christmas Break Status: Exhausted. Slept for a whole day before school started.

Total Credit card debt remaining in 2.5 months: $6000. Paid $3600 off so far.

My tuition dropped from $1300/month cash to $890. (Doesnít include what is covered by loans, scholarships, grants).


Due to not eating out and wasting time sitting in restaurants, I study more and lift heavier.
Pre Nov 2017 Original Squat/Bench/Deadlift Maxes:   185 lbs / 75lbs / 225 lb
January 2018 New Squat / Bench / Deadlift Maxes:  245 lbs / 95 lbs / 280 lbs

Iíve lost almost 15 lbs of fat and live on a counted macros/day. (154 lbs to 140.5 lbs) - Are those a hint of abs I smell?

My friends think I am absolutely crazy.
Iím closer to my boyfriend.

Now in my ICU/Critical Care School rotation, Iím back to my normal 25 hours/week part time (I work weekends) so I can focus on school and clinicals during the week. I now tutor certain class-material for extra cash. I graduate in the next 6 months with one more break in April before that diploma hits my palm. I plan on knocking out another round of hard work instead of vacation and will hopefully continue to beat the crap out of my useless debt.

This post isn't badassity like others. However, I am happy with my progress in less than 3 months. I'll catch up to you all eventually. Will I retire "early in life"? Doubtfull. But I'll be closer than most. Until then, toodles.

To those who stuck around to read, cheers!

-BTW, My name is Nash.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 05:10:37 PM by Nurse_Nash »

Stachless

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 97
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 03:10:37 PM »
Oh this post is indeed badassity woman!!  Congrats on seizing the reins on a number of high-impact areas all around.  Make sure to reward yourself now and then and keep an eye out for burnout - it is just a part of human nature.  Awesome work and inspiring post Ms. Nash!!

Spiffsome

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 193
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 06:14:14 PM »
Holy carp, woman, that is a lot of life changes! Congratulations on trimming the fat, financially and physically!

BikeFanatic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2018, 07:26:03 PM »
Wow.
 But as a nurse to nurse I recommend you take a vacation in April. You need to rest before you dive right in to the job,
which will be dificult at first.

spartanswami

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 07:28:00 PM »
Awesomness!!! Keep it up, inspirational stuff!!

Zamboni

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2111
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 07:33:34 PM »
My head is spinning from the combination of $18K salary and a BMW X5.

Congrats on making the positive changes, Nash!

TomTX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2910
  • Location: Texas
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 07:47:55 PM »
Great job, Nash!

I'll second the suggestion to actually rest on your April break (keep doing your normal part time hours and lifting) so that you can be fresh and really hit the new job hard.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9239
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2018, 08:00:10 PM »
Wow.
 But as a nurse to nurse I recommend you take a vacation in April. You need to rest before you dive right in to the job,
which will be dificult at first.

This was gonna be my +1, actually.

Believe it or not, I tend to *advice* nursing students to work less and take more loans*. Yep, you heard me right. Nursing school is pretty fucking rough, especially the last semester in most programs. It also tends to serve as a "job interview" oftentimes. You need to put your best foot forward, always. If taking a loan so you can work less on weekends and study more means your get a job straight out of school, you'll be ahead. You don't have to pay minimums! I knocked $20k in student loans out in the first year of my job... but it also took me 5 months to get one!

Generally, as a first year nurse, you'll be busting ass for so many hours and so tired the rest of the time, a modicum of badassity will get you heaps'o'cash. So pat yourself on the back, the progress you've made is WONDERFUL, and KEEP those habits, but don't work yourself into the ground. It doesn't end with school, sadly.

*follow up details on this: I had several classmates, all of them who work a lot, either start struggling academically and have to repeat semesters, or get very sick and fall behind or drop out of the program. I saw it enough (6 people in a 70 person cohort that I personally was close to) that it just doesn't seem worthwhile to me. Far too easy to fall behind. I think for many people, the short term gain of more work isn't worth the risks.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 08:16:30 PM by Bracken_Joy »

kei te pai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2018, 02:50:02 AM »
Well done! Nursing is tough work on several levels. Your self discipline and physical fitness will benefit you in your working life. But care for yourself gently and continue to nuture happy relationships too. Look forward to hearing the next instalment.

chrisgermany

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2018, 05:27:12 AM »
You have turned around right in time.
Keep the momentum going but also build in some downtime. You want to be able to show your best self when it counts and not appear to be burnt out.
All the best!

Nurse_Nash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Dirty-Jersey
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 09:48:52 AM »
To everyone who made a point to post in their day, thank you very much for the support. I was not expecting such positivity. Thank you.

Wow.
 But as a nurse to nurse I recommend you take a vacation in April. You need to rest before you dive right in to the job,
which will be dificult at first.

This was gonna be my +1, actually.

Believe it or not, I tend to *advice* nursing students to work less and take more loans*. Yep, you heard me right. Nursing school is pretty fucking rough, especially the last semester in most programs. It also tends to serve as a "job interview" oftentimes. You need to put your best foot forward, always. If taking a loan so you can work less on weekends and study more means your get a job straight out of school, you'll be ahead. You don't have to pay minimums! I knocked $20k in student loans out in the first year of my job... but it also took me 5 months to get one!

Generally, as a first year nurse, you'll be busting ass for so many hours and so tired the rest of the time, a modicum of badassity will get you heaps'o'cash. So pat yourself on the back, the progress you've made is WONDERFUL, and KEEP those habits, but don't work yourself into the ground. It doesn't end with school, sadly.

*follow up details on this: I had several classmates, all of them who work a lot, either start struggling academically and have to repeat semesters, or get very sick and fall behind or drop out of the program. I saw it enough (6 people in a 70 person cohort that I personally was close to) that it just doesn't seem worthwhile to me. Far too easy to fall behind. I think for many people, the short term gain of more work isn't worth the risks.

To Bracken_Joy, I completely understand.  Since I started Nursing school, we have lost more than half of our original group in Med-Surg I and II. It was sad. Many friends have failed out of this program already. It's been the hardest challenge - even over finances. I will certainly take your recommendations and the recommendations of the other Nurses (BikeFanatic) who posted to heart. You all have been there and done that and know the name-of-the-game.  3-6 months seem to be the rough average for landing a job. But I am not picky about which med-surgical floor I land. I'm even considering sub-acute centers.

 Considering others have recommended not to overwork in April as well, I will review my plans for that time as well. Everyone's thoughts and considerations are not unnoticed.

My head is spinning from the combination of $18K salary and a BMW X5.

Congrats on making the positive changes, Nash!

I never said I was smart when I purchased the car. =P However, I was working a fulltime job and a parttime job and bought the vehicle on a salary of 55K before I went back to school to dropped all the baggage. Thankfully, I'm out from under the lein now and have the freedom of no car payments. Woo-hoo! Thanks for the kind words.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 09:54:46 AM by Nurse_Nash »

Livingthedream55

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 393
  • Location: Massachusetts, USA
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2018, 09:57:11 AM »
Nash,

Badass indeed! I salute you! You are treating the cc debt as a pants on fire emergency - which it is - way to go!

SpareChange

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 346
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2018, 10:28:58 AM »
That's an awesome turn-around, Nash. Had a short flashback to when I graduated xray school. I had about 9k on my credit card, and shortly thereafter needed to replace 4 tires, a battery, and a radiator. Sigh. Even so, on one prn job I had that sucker paid off within 6 months. Haven't carried a balance in the 5 years since. Great feeling. Hope you get to share it soon!!

Nurse_Nash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Dirty-Jersey
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2018, 10:36:48 AM »
That's an awesome turn-around, Nash. Had a short flashback to when I graduated xray school. I had about 9k on my credit card, and shortly thereafter needed to replace 4 tires, a battery, and a radiator. Sigh. Even so, on one prn job I had that sucker paid off within 6 months. Haven't carried a balance in the 5 years since. Great feeling. Hope you get to share it soon!!

Radiology school (tech vs technologist vs doc) is intensive studying. Kudos to you for getting through that. Hats off to you. Inspirational, too. I am looking forward to not sinking monthly payments into a credit card as well and being free of unneccessary debt. Congratulations for not carrying a balance.

kaypinkHH

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 826
  • Location: North by North East (CAN)
    • My first Journal!
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2018, 11:03:32 AM »
This post made me smile. So many people would be in your situation and still be drinking starbucks and going "poor me, I have no money!!"

Not a nurse, but I agree that taking a simple vacation in April may not be the worst. It doesn't have to be a grandiose 5 star vacation to give you the R&R you need. A weekend away at a Airbnb, a simple road trip with your SO, packed food etc.

From what I've seen is when people adopt the all or nothing approach (which is good for pants on fire emergencies), is that sometimes it is tough to see you can in fact have it all (save money and a vacation!!), but you are already setting up your new life this way...you are saving money and still meeting your school and fitness goals!!

Bad ass indeed!

Keep up the good work!

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1034
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2018, 11:46:48 AM »
This is a badass & awesome turnaround! You've done a remarkable job evaluating all of your hotspots, and then finding solutions. And, it's clearly paying off. Nice work & congrats!

lexde

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1232
  • Age: 28
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2018, 04:55:54 PM »
Big changes, great job! Just be sure you take care of yourself too, to prevent burnout.

Mind if I ask what powerlifting routine you’re doing?

Nurse_Nash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Dirty-Jersey
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2018, 08:36:53 PM »
Big changes, great job! Just be sure you take care of yourself too, to prevent burnout.

Mind if I ask what powerlifting routine youíre doing?

Hi Lexde.
Thanks so much for your encouraging words.

I follow the 5x5x5 program (it's standard).
5 lbs added for 5 sets of 5 reps then drops set for volume every week.

Example if you are not familiar with 5x5x5:
Last week's squat:  210 lbs for 5 sets at 5 reps. 
Then Drop set 195 lbs for however many I can make it without quitting, 155 lbs, 135 lbs, 95 lbs, etc. Dump.

Today's squat session: 215 lbs for 5 sets at 5 reps.
Drop set 185 lbs, 155 lbs, 135 lbs, 95 lbs, etc. dump.

I do this for Bench (instead of 5 lbs I add only 1-2 lbs/week), Squats, and Deadlifts. I obviously do more than just this between all 3 of my lifts. But this is the basic training program I follow for my gains. I still do cardio and accessory work. Make sense?

Do you lift? I love it. Im sure I can make an alternate post for my actual activity.

-Nash 


Laserjet3051

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 494
  • Age: 50
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2018, 09:07:14 AM »
Nash you got some badass legs. Those are all free weight squats?

acroy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1704
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Dallas TX
    • SWAMI
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2018, 09:21:36 AM »
BADASSITY!!

thanks for sharing! good luck building the current and future money muscles!

Nurse_Nash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Dirty-Jersey
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2018, 09:26:32 AM »
Nash you got some badass legs. Those are all free weight squats?

Laserjet, 
Yes. Free weights. I don't use the machines (nothing against them).  Just a barbell and plates, kettlebells and dumbells. Keep is simple.

-Nash

FireHiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
  • Location: So Cal
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2018, 09:30:14 AM »
Thanks for sharing your progress with us! It's such an encouraging story with which to start my day. :) Very inspiring to see how making the decision to take control of your finances and make the harder choices, instead of making excuses, really will yield results!

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1868
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2018, 05:51:15 PM »
Way to go, Nurse_Nash.  Especially on listening to others re work/rest ratio.  In work as in weights, as long as you stay in the zone where you rest enough to gain instead of crash, you are doing great. 

Re whether you will join the other Mustachians in early retirement - hell yes, assuming you want to at that point.  To illustrate - after you establish a stable work income, you can calculate your time retirement using the table in this article: 

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/?s=math+to+early+retirement

If you have any debt at all by that point, just add the time needed for paying the debt, and you're good to go.  Example:  50k income after tax, 20k expenses = 60% saving rate, 12.5 years to retirement in the article's retirement table; starting with 15k of remaining debt, 6 months to pay it + 12.5 years = 13 years to retirement. 

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1703
  • Location: Florida
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 02:21:04 PM »
You go girl - badassity to the max!

I'll chime in on the - be smart and take a vacation in April - consensus. In the long run it will make no difference financially, but it is essential to be rested and ready and in a good frame of mind when you are beginning your new career.
Congrats on your awesome progress so far - you rock!.

TacheTastic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2018, 01:52:46 AM »
Go Nurse Nash!
From a British student nurse, take the damn holiday. What we do is even more exhausting than being qualified. I work more hours than my RN mentors, and learning is hard work that goes unrecognised because you are sat down. Your holiday doesn't have to be expensive, but you do need a break.

BTDretire

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2018, 11:41:26 AM »
Totally baddass!! You're whole program.
Congratulations on figuring it out early enough to make a big difference.

Nurse_Nash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: Dirty-Jersey
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2018, 10:20:51 AM »
Thank you all for the positive words of encouragement and the wonderful advice! <3

-Nash

driftwood

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
Re: Lets Hang 'Er
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2018, 07:55:18 AM »
Best post ever! 

As soon as I saw "power lifting" and then later what you cut out of your life (starbucks, surgary drinks, eating out), I was excitedly reading through hoping you'd mention how those financial changes affected your fitness...and you didn't disappoint.  I love it when fixing some areas of our lives drastically improves other areas!  Way to go Nash!