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Exclamation point! But also period.
Today would’ve been my first day of freedom but instead it’s the first of eight days off. Because after going insanely stir crazy and planning a cross country road trip to hike and camp and climb mountains for the rest of the summer, I took an extension on my seasonal nursing contract. Exclamation point! The extension is for night shift. Period.
I have very real, very specific goals and big ol’ American dreams, but I keep my tootsies planted firmly in reality. I pros and consed it for a few minutes, but I knew almost right away the benefits of a guaranteed income outweighed my supreme dislike of flipping my internal clock. You see, I am not an instant gratifier. A flibbertigibbet, a will-o-the-wisp, and a clown, but never an instant gratifier.
Unlike my other travel assignments, my current hospital offers a 15% night shift differential. And night shift is already terribly under-staffed and they lost a core nurse this week, so overtime is ripe for the taking. As opposed to day shift, where I was awarded just one overtime shift in 13 weeks. Yes, I used the word “awarded”, because it’s a pleasure and a joy to make that money, honey.
Without any overtime I definitely did not meet my max 401k goal, but an extension will put me above and beyond, so all my retirement accounts will be maxed for 2018. And while I can’t speak to what the market will do, my goal before the year is over, is to get our investment accounts (401ks, IRAs, HSA, brokerage) to the point we’ll never have to contribute again. Like, for the rest of our lives. Like, be done contributing to our retirements and still retire millionaires. Big dreams. Big ol’ American dreams planted firmly in reality.
We won’t stop contributing, of course, because you all know how I love saving money, but I really love thinking we won’t have to. And I really, really, really love thinking we won’t need jobs with benefits. Or at all.
In other news, Greg returned home yesterday after working five weeks in Orange County, CA for a massively under-staffed airport.
Five weeks of overtime, per diems, and IHG points.
I don’t think you guys know how much I love gifs. Someone has finally put into action the intricate workings of my brain.
With the time he spent working in Boise, Greg was gone seven weeks of this 13 week contract. I missed my Pookie immensely but we don’t take our eyes off the prize. The prize of financial freedom, mini-retirements, a comfortable real retirement, and free hotel stays.
That said, we compromised an extension by committing to only 8 weeks instead of the usual 13, which will take us through the end of August. I mean, who the hell wants to work in September? My heart aches year-round for the warm sunny days, the blue skies, the cool nights, and the possible northern lights of September. I’m tearing up a little bit. After that, farming, and after that… the world is our oyster.
My manager was super happy I was willing to stay and work a shift I wasn’t too thrilled about, and said he’d love to have me again next winter. Typically they keep seasonal employees from about October to May, which I said would be perfect for our little seasonal hearts.
We further compromised my extension by requesting a six on, eight day off schedule. I also swore I’d never again commit to what we call “stretches” in the hospital world, but working them now means I could stack two weeks of work together in just six days so I’d basically work four weeks and have four weeks off in this eight week period. That leaves plenty of time for Warcken adventures whilst maintaining my full-time income. Isn’t life swell?
Our landlord is happy to have us another eight weeks and since this is Tucson’s low season, gave us a huge discount on our current rent. SCOREBOARD.
Another eight weeks gives me time to spread more of the good environmental word at work, and hopefully make some positive changes to an otherwise utterly and unnecessarily wasteful industry. I emailed the dietary director yesterday about getting rid of these stupid sugar/spice plastic trays that serve absolutely no purpose. Another hippie at work figured if we fed just 50 people three meals a day for a week, that’s 1,050 of those trays we put in a landfill every seven days. That’s 54,600 a year. This, coming from a kitchen that won’t consider an alternative to styrofoam “due to cost”. SMGDH.
Oh, and I can spread more of the good personal finance word at work! Yesterday a coworker told me she got over SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS from Missing Money- a check for $20 and another for $590. Money she would’ve known nothing about except my telling everyone within earshot to go check the website. And she announced it and thanked me in front of the entire unit so my egotistical head about exploded. I laughed and cheered and double high-fived her and teared up I was so happy and excited. This is the easiest money you’ll ever make, people. Stop making excuses, and start making money. And tell all your friends.
And… another eight weeks gives us time to use up products around the house- laundry soap and real soap and lotion and sunscreen and spices and condiments and food and everything we don’t want to have to move when my contract is over. I don’t think you guys know how much I love using things up. Don’t buy new without using the old. #minimalism #livingsmall #debtfree #spendlesstravelmore #miniretirement #realretirement #imnotsurethisishowhashtagswork
As usual, everything’s workin’ out Warcken.
Keep on spreading the good word, everyone, and keep decreasing your impact! I wish you all a happy, healthy, travelly, not at all worky summer.