It’s Per$onal #103 – Age 36, Baltimore, MD

It’s Per$onal is an anonymous blog series designed to shed light on the intricate details of the personal finances and lifestyles of women.


How old are you?



Where do you live? City and State (or Country if outside the U.S.)

Baltimore, MD


Do you like where you currently live? Why or why not?

Yes, I like living in Baltimore County Maryland for now. The crime and violence of Baltimore City is getting worse, so I stay mainly in the county.

It’s a shame because there are some nice places to eat/drink in the city. Some of the violence is infiltrating what used to be considered nicer parts of the county.


What is your highest level of education?



Are you single / in a relationship / married?

In a long term relationship


If you are in a relationship / married, do you and your partner have joint or separate finances?


Do you find it easy or hard to make friends?

My friends are ones I’ve had for awhile – a group from high school, a group from work, and my best friend that I see often.

It’s easy for me to make friends, however, life gets busy and it takes effort to maintain and nourish true friendships.


Do you have any hobbies? Please explain.

I like to exercise – mainly the Peloton bike and weights. I like to walk in the spring, summer, and fall on the trail. Cooking and home decorating is also something I enjoy doing


Has Covid-19 impacted you financially in any way?

Yes, in a good way! I work as an RN in an ED so I’ve been able to increase my income by 40,000$ in 2021 just with bonuses and overtime at my primary job.

This has allowed me to pay off student loan and consumer debt while funding my savings and retirement.


About how much do you spend on groceries each week?

I buy groceries for the household – which consist of myself, my boyfriend, and his daughters. I spend anywhere from $150-175 per week on groceries and household needs.

We eat at home mostly because my boyfriend loves to cook.


What is your total monthly rent / mortgage for your household?



What is your current occupation? If not currently employed, please say “Not Employed”



If you are currently employed, do you like your job? Why or why not?

Some days I love it, other days I think of what other avenues I could explore. The best part is there are so many different things you can do with nursing and the variety keeps you from burning out.

Currently, I hold positions clinically in the ED, quality, nursing school education, and PRN in a surgical center.


What is your yearly salary (or approximate yearly compensation) for your current occupation?

On paper it’s about $80,000 before the raise we are expected to get at my primary employer. My total income for 2021 between all my positions, with bonuses and overtime included, was $125,000.


Do you have a second job or side hustle? If Yes, please explain.

Yes, I work at a surgicenter doing PACU nursing, and this year, I will be adding clinical instructor for a local college to my side hustle list.

There’s so much more you can do with nursing too right now like, covid testing sites or vaccinations. Even remote work!


If you have a second job or side hustle, about how much money do you make monthly from your second job / side hustle?

It varies. I made about $8000 extra in 2021 from my surgicenter position but that was only from January through October working 1 or 2 days per week, anywhere from 4-7 hours per shift.

Some weeks I worked more, some I didn’t work at all. My clinical instructor position is just for one semester this year, but if I like it, I will sign on for the fall semester. My pay there is currently more that what I make hourly in the ED.


Have you ever been promoted at work? Please elaborate if so.

Yes. My primary position has a nursing clinical ladder that you need to build a portfolio with projects and outcomes that you’ve worked on in your unit or hospital-wide to climb.

There is an interview process and annual performance appraisals. I was promoted about 5 years ago initially and have been through two additional “renewal” processes to prove my work.


Have you ever negotiated your salary?



Are you debt-free?



If you are debt free, how much debt have you paid off and how long did it take you to pay it all off?

Nursing was my second career choice. I initially went to school for marketing for three years and accrued almost $100,000 in student loan debt for a degree I’ve never used.

I deferred those loans while I went to nursing school for three years, then started paying them back. I have been making payments for the past 10 years (minimum payments) but aggressively started paying them off in the last two years.

In the last 22 months, I’ve paid of $40,000 in debt – a combo of student loans, my car loan, and consumer debt.


If you do have debt, what kinds of debt (i.e. credit cards, student loans, car) and how much debt do you have?

I pay off my credit cards monthly and use the rewards on them to my advantage. It took me a long time to get to this point – I am a former shopaholic.

Currently I have two consumer loans I am aggressively paying off and a little bit left on one student loan. The interest on all of these loans is low and I’m grateful for that.


Are you currently investing for retirement?



If yes, about how much do you have invested for retirement?

I have about $135,000 total combined between a 403b, two pensions, and a new Roth IRA I just opened.


What’s been your favorite purchase of 2022 so far?

Not so much a “purchase”, but I opened a new a Roth IRA account this month and contributed $1000 to it. My goal is to max out my retirement accounts starting this year.


What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self? (Doesn’t have to be money-related)

Create a budget – don’t spend money you don’t have. Invest in yourself first through funding your retirement and emergency savings.

Utilize a capsule wardrobe and return clothes you don’t wear. Find a different form of therapy other than retail therapy!


What are your money goals, if any?

Pay off the remaining debt I have this year, around $25,000. Max out my 403b and Roth, around $26,000. Continue to budget and save.


How to Rollover Your Old 401(k) with Capitalize


What is your #1 financial concern right now?

How much money I will be bringing home now that a larger portion of my pay will be going towards retirement. Delayed gratification. It should be a good worry!


What financial victory/success are you most proud of?

The fact that I hustled hard the past couple of years to pay off debt and increase my income. I’m also proud that I’m learning more about investing and retirement savings – would be nice to retire early!

I think with the side hustles it has also allowed me to learn what else I can do as a nurse which builds your confidence and self worth!


What makes you imperfect?

The fact that I’m 36 and sometimes I don’t feel like I’m “where I’m supposed to be”, yet. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far and know my future is bright!


It’s Per$onal is an anonymous blog series designed to shed light on the intricate details of the personal finances and lifestyles of women.


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About Taylor

A few years after graduating college, Taylor made it her mission to become debt free. After paying off all $60k of debt, she began to blog about what she's really passionate about: personal development. Nowadays, Taylor blogs about the topics of Mindset, Money, Health, and Career for women.

"It's Per$onal" is a super popular and anonymous blog series about the personal lives and finances of women all over the world. Check it out!

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