Working as a male nurse

Did I also mention I’m a newly graduated nurse (a MALE nurse) who is working my first med surg job? It’s not my ideal position, but to get experience and learn skills, it’s been invaluable so far.

I work nights. My team is very great, everyone is kind to me, but there are times I still feel overwhelmed. I suppose that comes with each new job. Any nurses out there – how did you learn to build confidence? I have found myself stuck, googling diagnoses and diseases and medical terms I either forgot or don’t remember learning about in school. I feel stupid all the time. It’s like an always uphill battle. (What should I call the doctor for? Is this normal for a patient? When do I call a RRT? What does albumin do for the body???)

For the most part, it’s been a good journey so far, but I know I have a lot to learn. What tips and tricks from other broke nurses do you have to become a leader among your team and staff?

Extra income towards debt…

I am not one who normally saves extra income… If I make an extra $50 or so here or there, I’m the first person to go out and spend it in one go. Why shouldn’t I? I worked hard, I should have rewards.

It’s hard to change my mindset. This past check, I managed to sign up for over 20 hours in overtime. That was a sizable addition to my regular paycheck size… Nearly $700 more!!! What to do…. What to do…..

Spoiler: I put nearly all of that money towards my Discover credit card! Instead of paying that thing off by early next year, I might be one credit card payment down by the first of December! It feels scary to put nearly $900 (remember, that’s the extra $700 plus my debt snowball from my private loan) towards a payment… It’s like I’m throwing money into a black hole. But in the long run, I have to imagine how great it will feel to not rely on credit cards for every single aspect of my life.

Once the Discover hurdle is done, it’s time to begin the next step in this challenge: a $14,000 Chase credit card balance that is teetering on late payments…..

One step at a time!

What do you guys do with extra income?

Minimum payments

Minimum payments are nice when you’re on a tight budget, but what about when you have so many minimums that even those become overwhelming??

Take a look at my monthly “minimums”:

  1. Chase Credit Card: $435
  2. Discover Credit Card: $45
  3. Upstart Personal Loan: $216
  4. Private Student Loans: $803.50
  5. Federal Loans: $640

That’s $2,139.50 A MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At this rate, I don’t even make enough to pay rent on top.

A couple things I did. I refinanced my private loans. Can you believe I was due to owe $980 a month to Wells Fargo before refinancing? Yes, $800 is a lot, but so is my bill of almost $100,000. This is mess #1.

My federal loans. I currently put them into forbearance until I can straighten them out. I just finished an application for income-based repayment, so crossing my fingers the amount will go down… Even $500 would be better for right now. Mess #2.

My Upstart and Discover balances are almost paid off. I know that with a debt snowball, I need to add those minimum payments on top of the others in order to continue my debt-free journey, but to be honest, with such high minimums, I would be okay with one or two less payments a month to help provide more of a financial cushion. I am looking for a part time job to help boost income, but until then, No more Upstart means my monthly debt payments will go down.

I paid off a loan!

Well, kind of! Of my personal loans listed, two belong to “Upstart,” a private loan company I used to consolidate credit card debt. I have had this loan for 3 years. Kind of silly, yes. The interest rate on this puppy was 8.01%, so it wasn’t awful… Though it just became on additional bill I was only paying the minimum payment on. What a waste of time and money!

Finally after 3 years, and the start of my debt snowball, this loan was knocked off in 1 month. Unfortunately I only had 2 months left on it, anyways.

On the bright side, it feels good to know that I now have $260 extra a month to put towards my next lowest debt: MY DISCOVER CREDIT CARD.

 

CURRENT DEBT:

CREDIT CARDS: $15,748.56 (-$369.43 from last post)

  • CHASE: $14,075.45
  • DISCOVER: $1,673.11

PERSONAL LOANS: $1,835.13 (-$585.23 from last post)

  • UPSTART: $1,835.13

FEDERAL LOANS: $60,240.00

PRIVATE LOANS: $91,694.00

 

I know it’s a little progress, but it’s progress…