October 26, 2009

Money money money

I've been on stepdown for so long lately I'm not sure if I should call it my new home. 

There have been staffing cuts all throughout the hospital, and a lot of good people (including nurses) were let go.  This means we're now even more short-staffed.  The official reason is "budget cuts" and "our census is low".  I don't know about the budget, but I know that we don't have a lot of empty beds...in fact, I get admissions trying to admit people to the unit even though I've told them we have no free beds.

I really don't know why I stress over not getting enough hours.  Nearly every day I am asked if I can come in early/stay late/come in at all for any amount of time.

I still have a job, thankfully.  And one would think that with the number of people let go from detox that they'd send me back up there.  But no, I've been banished to stepdown for reasons unknown.  I'm not sure who to ask...I'm not sure if I even want to ask, you know?  And it could be worse:  I could be in the high-functioning unit or the kids' unit.

Oh well, what can I do?  I just go in, smile and do my job.  The techs wonder why I don't complain about it.  I tell them that it wouldn't do any good because I was hired to float, and that bitching about it would just make my mood darker.  Instead, I can accept and make the best of it, and get some joy out of the day.

Now that I seem to have taken care of the household emergencies, it's time to turn a lot of my paycheck towards my credit card and my retirement fund. 

I transferred my balance to a card via a 0% APR offer (and with no transfer fees, how rare is that?!?).  The offer only lasts until May, but I figure I could make a pretty decent dent in it if I give up about 300-500 per paycheck towards it.  Then come May, I'll transfer it back to my original card--they're constantly giving me balance transfer offers so no worries there--and keep chipping at it.  My goal is to get it paid off by this time next year...I think I'll do it  far earlier than that, but I'm leaving myself some wiggle room just in case.

I have two IRAs.  One is a 403b that I got from my last job pre-nursing school.  The 403b is just like a 401k except it's for non-profit and educational institutions...and since I'm not at a school nor am I getting benefits at my current job, I can't do anything with it except watch it grow and shrink.  Then there's my Roth IRA, which I send 50-100 a month to.  I've got a good mix of mutual funds and stocks in there and while it's miniscule (it'd last me about a month should I need it today), at least I'm contributing something. 

The stock portfolio is also small.  That did well because in 2001, I bought Apple at 12 a share.  It's now trading at 180.  I wished I had sucked it up and bought Google at 85 a share when it launched, but I was in nursing school and couldn't afford to do it.  Now that's still trading in the 500s.  I do own part of a share though, so I made like 30 dollars on it.  But I'm trying to purchase about 50 dollars' or so worth of stock each month in solid stable companies like Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Avon, etc.  I read somewhere (the Motley Fool?) that the best stock picks were based around common, everyday things, since they're not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon.

I am trying to put money in the savings account...easier said than done.   This last month has been a rather costly one for us with household stuff; also, I will admit that I've become a bit of a splurger lately.   Once I sat down and did the bills for the month I realized that though we are now a two-income family who until now had gotten along on one income rather OK, that is no excuse for me to spend my income carelessly.

I was up two pounds at weigh-in today.  I know why:  I'm forgetting to eat at work again.

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