Thursday, May 14, 2009

working to pay to work....what do I value?

Yesterday I worked. As in, my "real" job as an RN. I only work prn (which is medical speak for "as needed;" I fill in for other people. I don't get paid time off or any other benefits, but I have a lot of freedom and can usually find hours if I need them. Currently I'm only working a day or two a week. It pays the bills. I'm sure I could get in full time, but it's not that important to me right now. (Long story...)

I was thinking about how I save money with my job....first of all, we wear uniforms. I have three that are all about 5-8 years old which were purchased at discount scrub shops. That's all I need. I have always worn Reebok walking shoes and wait until they are on sale for $39 or less. I use the same pair for 4-5 years. (I can do this because I wear them exclusively for work). But I found a pair of white Danskins on sale at Wal Mart for $11 a couple weeks ago, and you know what? They are SOOOO comfortable. Decent savings there.

I walk to work, even if it's raining. Granted, I only live 3 blocks away, but I would walk much farther than that if I had to. Besides the savings, it's good exercise. When I was pregnant with my first child and I was going to nursing school full time, I still worked part time as a nursing assistant. I rode my bike 3 miles one way to the hospital in the dead of summer 6 months pregnant. It IS possible....

I take my lunch to work with me. The hospital where I work has a sneaky little program that allows us to use our employee badge to pay for meals, and then the money is deducted from our check. Initially, I signed up for this, but found it was way too easy to spend more money at the cafeteria than I I had them take my name off the list. Now I can't use it anymore and that forces me to bring my lunch. You'd be surprised how much that saves. When I worked full time (3 twelve hour shifts) I would easily spend at least $5 a day x 3 day =$15 a week or $60 a month or $720 a year. See how that works? Now I bring leftovers and that is usually less that $1 a day.

My job has evolved with my family. I know there are lots of opinions on the subject, but for us, a Christian education is a priority, be it homeschool or Christian school, so I have had to work around that. When my husband was teaching at another Christian school, we couldn't afford the tuition, so I homeschooled and worked weekends. Then he went to a school that had no benefits but the kids went tuition free and I worked full time so we would have health insurance. Now he is a HS Principal and has benefits for the family, so I am back to part time work. If you think you could never homeschool or afford private education....there is most likely a way. I know many families that have given up a second income to homeschool their kids. Some even have sold homes and moved into apartments. Yes, they live on less and cut lots of corners financially, but it is worth it to them. I remember reading an article once by a man who was bemoaning having to take his daughter out of a private school he just loved because they simply could not afford it. The next week his article was about a lavish vacation to Florida that I'm sure cost more than the year's tuition. We pay for what we value.

What do you value? What does God value? Where can you cut costs on job related expenses?

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