Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.
Today: a nurse and a schoolteacher who each make $100,000 a year
Occupation: nurse; teacher
Age: 41; 46
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Salary: $100,000 (approx. $3,846 per pay period)
My husband, H., and I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico with our daughter, A., and our dog, P. I work as an RN, and H. is a writing teacher at a local school. A. is a junior at another high school, and H. works just outside of the district we live in. Today, we’re each at our particular place of work. I spent my day at the hospital while H. and A. were in classes (and P. waited patiently at home). H. and A. got home before me and found that our heating system had gone off. Fortunately, they caught it early enough that it wasn’t too cold for poor P.! H. texted me that he found a great company that does furnace repair in Albuquerque, and he ordered pizza and breadsticks for some stress relief. I got home just in time to grab a few slices!
The furnace is still on the fritz. The technician will be coming by this afternoon when H. is home from work, so I take P. to my mom’s house before work, just in case. I‘ve lived in and around Albuquerque for a lifetime and know it doesn’t get that cold, but you never know! Then, I stop by a nearby gas station, fill up my tank, and grab a coffee to go. I have a busy shift, bouncing between patients, so I don’t see A.’s text until I’m preparing to head home this evening. She’s starting to stress out a bit about her academic goals. She’s always been a great student, so I have no doubt she’ll get any internship or college admission letter she could dream of. Still, I’d rather her feel just as confident in her abilities as H. and I do. When I get home, I give her a hug and tell her we’ll look into potential college counselors this weekend. Otherwise, I heat up a plate of leftovers from the dinner H. made, then head to bed. At least the house is warm again, and P.’s thrilled to be home!
This afternoon, I have a phone appointment with my own counselor—mental health is just as important for medical professionals as it is in any other career field! Fortunately, we have enough staff at the hospital that we can work my schedule around counseling appointments, and my counselor and his office are understanding of my work priorities and have virtual visits even after COVID-19. He’s confident I’m on the right track when it comes to working through some personal issues I’ve been struggling with, so I head to the grocery store to pick up a celebratory slice of cake from their bakery.
Back to work today, but I’m not feeling very enthusiastic. H., A., and I stayed up late last night watching a new Netflix series, and I’m definitely feeling the lack of sleep! On my way to the hospital, I grab an extra-large latte, then say a silent prayer for the coffee machine waiting for me come break time.
Like RNs across the country, I have to complete a certain number of continuing education hours to maintain my credentials. I’m doing just that today, working on some CE in a class focused on COVID-19, before my shift starts, grabbing a coffee on the way.
I’m lucky enough to have today off, on the same day both H. and A. are out of school. Things don’t always line up that way, so I’m grateful when they do! I sit down with A. and browse a few counseling services online and in our area and make a list of the advisors who might best prepare her for the college admissions process. Then, the three of us head to a local park with P. and grab a bite to eat on the way back home.
Today, I got up a bit early and decided to do some holiday shopping. With years of experience, it’s no wonder I’ve got the gift-giving process down to a science! I grab a snack and a soda at the mall, then sneak the shopping bags into the house, careful not to give away any surprises.
Total for the week: $274.50