Wow. It's hard to believe but our daughter is entering her senior year of college in about 7 weeks. The next to last tuition bill is sitting on my desk and is due on August 10.
We still had a small balance in her 529 plan - $2,216.96 to be exact. I just put in the request to withdraw the remaining funds and close the account.
Total withdrawals from the account were $72,336.96.
It all seems kind of surreal but after we make the August payment, there will just be one final payment to make in December and then the college bills stop (though we'll still have a little bit of college debt to take care of).
Wow. It's hard to believe but our daughter is entering her senior year of college in about 7 weeks. The next to last tuition bill is sitting on my desk and is due on August 10.
In responding to a post on the forums, I updated my financial spreadsheet and discovered that as of yesterday, our portfolio stood at a little over $930,000. This is the first time it's ever been over 900K so I thought that was exciting.
I know that having $1 million really doesn't mean anything remarkable. It isn't enough to retire and it won't change anything about what we're doing but to see that we're closing in on that point is still pretty neat.
It will still take some time to get there but we're the closest we've ever been.
So my new job at urgent care pays a lot better than my old job in private practice. I knew that. That isn't the surprising part.
What surprised me is that now that I know the date that I'll be leaving the practice (9/30), I did an income projection for the year.
If I only work 20 hours/week at urgent care from 10/1 to 12/31 and don't pick up any extra shifts, I will still make $26,880 more in 2017 than I made in 2016.
My goal is to shoot for 12 hours/week extra for a total work week of 32 hours. If I can manage that, I'd earn about $45,000 more than last year. And if I can't always get an extra 12 hours, I'll still be in good shape which is nice.
I've been working a lot of hours (bare minimum of 43 and often 47 or 51) so I'm looking forward to a lighter schedule. Just this past week I worked 7 days in a row. A lot of stuff outside of work has gotten ignored because of my schedule. It will be nice to have time again to do things like yard work and car care and other stuff. And be making more money at the same time. Not a bad deal.
I gave notice at my practice last week. I'm going to stay on through September 30th. Beginning October 1st, I'll be working one job only at Urgent Care. I'm going to remain part time there (20 hours/week) and pick up per diem shifts on a regular basis. My goal will be a total of 32 hours/week (20 regular and 12 per diem).
Right now, my 20 hours is 8 hours on Tuesday, 4 hours on Thursday evening, and 8 hours on Saturday or Sunday depending on the week. Once I leave my office, I'll have Monday, Wednesday, Thursday day, and Friday available to grab per diem shifts. So that's 44 possible hours and I only want 12 of them. That should be no problem at all. And there are always weekend shifts to consider, too, on the weekends I'm not already working.
I have some preferences as to where and when I'd like to work but I realize that once I'm depending on the per diem shifts for my income, I'll need to be flexible and sometimes take what I can get. I'm okay with that.
I'm looking forward to not juggling two jobs anymore. I'm also looking forward to working 32 hours/week instead of now when I work a minimum of 43 and often more. This week I'm doing 47, for example. So that will be nice.
My new job gives me a continuing education stipend. In April, I went to a conference and submitted the receipts for the conference itself and the hotel bill. I knew I would get it back eventually but didn't know when. So it was a nice surprise to get my check yesterday and have it contain an extra $1,400.
It really is "found" money to me. Whether I had this job or not, I still would have gone to the conference but I would have had to pay for it out of pocket.
What will we do with the money? I wish I had an interesting or exciting answer but it will just go toward college costs for the coming year. I'm trying to minimize the amount of the Parent PLUS loan that we need to take out and this will help.
I've been referring to my urgent care position as my 2nd job. It's relatively new as I've only been there a year and I've been in my practice for 17 years so I consider that my primary job.
However, since going part time at urgent care and reducing my hours at the office in February, the numbers have shifted. I anticipate that for 2017, about 58% of my income will come from the "2nd job" and only 42% from the "primary job".
So would you still call it your 2nd job if it provides the majority of your income? In terms of hours worked, the jobs are pretty even so I can't use that criteria.
Or would you just drop the terms all together simply and say you have 2 part time jobs?
One of the things that I became eligible for when I became part time at the urgent care job at the end of February is a quarterly incentive program. I actually didn't even learn about that until after I had already started and got an email that talked about it.
I had absolutely no idea how much this incentive would be and it isn't really something I was going to ask about. I figured whatever I get is a bonus and money I didn't already have. I also didn't know if I'd be in the incentive pool for the first quarter since I didn't become part time until February 26, 2/3 of the way through the quarter.
Anyway, as the title of this post says, I was eligible for the first quarter. What I still don't know is if the amount I received was prorated for the amount of time I was part time. I will ask that question the next time I speak to the director.
Paychecks came out today and I was very pleasantly surprised to see that in addition to my regular paycheck, there was a second check for this bonus in the amount of $2,069! I figured the bonus might be a couple hundred dollars at best so getting ten times that much was sweet. If that's what I can expect every 3 months, that's a huge perk that I didn't know about. This job gets better every day.
I've started to write a post a few times and just never actually published it.
So as of February 26, I am working 2 part time jobs. I am 21.5 hours/week at my private practice and 20 hours/week at the urgent care center. That change came with a substantial pay raise. It's impossible to know exactly how much more I'll earn this year partly because of how I'm paid at the practice and partly because I can still pick up per diem shifts at urgent care (and I already have several times and have more scheduled).
The best estimate right now based on YTD numbers is that I'll earn at least $34,000 more in 2017 than I did in 2016 which is HUGE. All of that additional income is attributable to the urgent care job so 10% goes to the 401k. After taxes and health insurance deductions, that should leave me about $23,000 extra in take home pay. Add to that the fact that our new health insurance is saving us about $5,400 this year and by 12/31/16, we should end up over $28,000 ahead of last year, or more than $2,300/month.
At first, I wasn't really seeing the impact of that extra income but it coincided with some big expenses, especially planning and paying for summer vacation plans (Visa bill was nearly $5,000 last month).
However, in mid-April I was able to make a transfer of $2,000 from checking to savings. And today, just over 3 weeks later, I was able to transfer another $2,000 to savings. If I can actually manage to do that every month, that would be fantastic.
Where will that extra money go? At least for the next year or so, it will go to cover college costs for our daughter. She's going into her senior year so the end is near. We'll have some loans to pay off but we already pay $1,000/month on the loan and if we can keep saving an additional $2,000/month, we should be able to clean it all up pretty quickly.
I can't wait until college is behind us and that $3,000/month (actually $3,300 counting the 529 contribution that will go away soon) can start going to beef up our savings for retirement and a possible relocation.
My income this year will be the most we've ever earned and I'm still adjusting to the higher figure especially since it jumped up so quickly. Certainly not a bad problem to have.
I realized I haven't posted for a while and a lot of you don't frequent the forums.
As of this Sunday, I will be starting part time with the urgent care job and cutting back to part time in my family practice. I'll be doing 20 hrs/week at urgent care. For the first month, my family practice hours will drop to 22.5. After that, I plan to drop it to 21.5.
Doing this will boost my income for 2017 by about 20% over what I made in 2016 and in subsequent years a bit more than that since I'm making the change two months into the year.
I will still be able to pick up per diem shifts if I want to (and based on availability). I only have one extra shift scheduled for March at this point but stuff opens up pretty regularly due to people calling out sick or other things cropping up.
Right now, the plan for the extra income is twofold. First, more money will be going into the 401k. I'm keeping my contribution rate at 10% for now but 10% of a higher income is more money.
Second, we took a PLUS loan for our daughter's college costs back in August and will take another this coming August. We are already aggressively repaying it ($1,000/month) but will also use some of the additional income to pay those loans off even faster. She will graduate in May 2018 so the end of college costs is rapidly approaching. Last tuition payment will be due in January 2018.
I've been working at the urgent care since May and have been very happy with the work. I've been trying to do 1 or 2 nights a week and that has been just enough without being too much. This month, I will have worked 8 shifts which is great (and great money).
The problem is that when the December schedule came out a few weeks ago, there were hardly any open shifts to choose from. I was hoping it was just a fluke but the January schedule came out today and it was the same or worse. I may actually end up with no shifts in January based on what's available and when I'm free to work.
I sent the director an email with my concerns about this. I also told him that if a part-time position becomes available, to keep me in mind as I might be interested. I'm not sure how that would work with my regular job but I figured that conversation was going to happen eventually. If it comes down to picking my full time practice or the urgent care, I'm picking urgent care. I was just hoping that wasn't going to happen.
It's been quite a few years since I paid off my student loans. We now find ourselves back in that situation thanks to our daughter's education.
I'm not complaining, though. We were quite fortunate to be able to cover all of the first 2 years of college from her 529 plan and even a chunk of year 3. When it came to paying the balance of about 19K, we had a few options. We could take a Parent PLUS loan. We could take a home equity loan/line. We could pull money from general non-retirement savings. Each had pros and cons. In the end, we opted for the PLUS loan for 15K. We covered the remainder from savings.
Thanks to my new part time job, I'm earning enough that my plan is to pay a minimum of $1,000/month toward that loan starting this month. That won't totally repay it in a year but it'll be most of it. We will need to borrow again for year 4 but hopefully not quite as much. It will all depend on my total income from the new job. In any case, even if we end up borrowing a total of 30K over the 2 years and pay that off in about 30 months, I think that would be pretty reasonable and I'm sure far better than what many families face so I'm thankful for that. If we owe $6,000 when she graduates, I certainly won't complain about that.
DD also took out a $7,500 Stafford loan. She is going to pay $450/month on that while it is in deferment. So that's $5,400/year. Assuming she borrows another $7,500 for senior year, by the time she graduates, she'll only have about $4,200 left to repay. Again, far better than what most college grads face today.
The moral of the story is to start saving for your kids' education as early as you can, even if it doesn't seem like a lot, every little bit helps. We were able to accumulate about 60K in her 529 but any amount is helpful.
It's been a couple of months since I posted so I thought I'd post an update.
I've been working per diem at Urgent Care since the end of May. To date, I've done 12 evening shifts and 1 Saturday. It's been going well. Due to some schedule conflicts, I've only got 3 evenings and a Saturday booked for September but then I've got 5 evenings and a Saturday in October.
As for my regular full time job, my partner and I have had several conversations about my status there. We're trying to work some things out to ease my workload a bit. Also, starting October 1, I'm shortening my Tuesday schedule by 90 minutes. That frees me up to work Urgent Care Tuesday evenings which I couldn't do before time-wise.
My wife doesn't like me working a bunch of extra hours but honestly, so far it really isn't bothering me at all. The Urgent Care work is generally much less stressful than the regular job. Most of the time, it's actually kind of fun compared to the hectic pace at my office.
The best part, of course, has been the extra income. We did pay off my wife's van last month so that loan is gone. We took out a $15,000 student loan for our daughter but I'm hoping to use at least $1,000/month from the new job to make payments on that so we don't keep it around for too long. In October alone, I should take home about $2,500 extra. The other good thing about the per diem gig is that if I ever really want to work more, there are usually shifts available.
The new location that was supposed to open in July got delayed but is now definitely opening on September 12. It is about 3 miles from my house and I already have a few shifts scheduled there. That will be extra nice because the place I've been doing most of my hours is about 18 miles away. This is a 5-minute drive.
So that's where things stand. Still working one job full time but trimming my hours a tiny bit in October. Gradually increasing my hours at the per diem job. And overall enjoying the cushion that the extra income is providing. I don't know what the next step will be but at some point I'll probably want to further trim my office hours. The first target would probably be to shorten Mondays also the way I'm shortening Tuesdays. I work until 5 but I go in at 7:30 so it's a long day. Even cutting it back to 4 would be nice. We shall see.
I posted this to the forum also but since I've shared more about the new job here, I figured I should mention it.
My first check was direct deposited Thursday night but I just realized it about an hour ago. I got paid for my 8 hours of orientation and the two 4-hour shifts I've worked so far, so 16 hours total.
They neglected to pay me for the 14 hours of computer training I did. I was kind of expecting that to happen and I really should have reminded the practice manager about that in advance. I just emailed her so I assume they'll add it to my next check in 2 weeks.
So now the new job is really official!
I'm sure you're wondering what the plan is for the additional income. Right now, my plan is to pay off DW's van. We owe about $1,700. This check was for just under $1,400 so that covers most of it and I'll pay the rest from the next check. That will drop our monthly expenses by $400, which is ironically convenient because our expenses are going up by about $450. Our auto insurance went up when DD got her car a few weeks ago. Our health insurance is going up. And a recurring medical bill is going up. Oh well. Easy come, easy go.
I realized I never posted anything after my first day at the new job.
To give a quick review, I'm a family practice doctor. I've been in private practice for 23 years, 16 at my current job. For various reasons, I decided it was time to start exploring other options and Urgent Care centers are popping up like weeds and in desperate need of doctors to staff them all. I interviewed with a couple and signed on to work per diem with one chain of centers connected to a big local hospital group. They currently have 5 centers, a 6th one not far from my house will open next month, and 1 or 2 more should open by the end of the year. So they are expanding rapidly and that just means more and more shifts to fill.
I did my first shift a week ago Thursday evening 5-9pm. It actually went pretty well I think. It got a bit hectic in the last hour or so and I was still muddling my way through the computer system but I managed (with the help of my one-on-one IT support person who was with me the whole time).
My next shift wasn't scheduled until 6/16 but I decided I needed to work before that to keep up on the learning curve so I picked up an open shift last night, also 5-9pm. That went much more smoothly than last week. I felt a lot more comfortable and confident in what I was doing. My IT guy was with me again and I made sure to work with him to clarify some specific workflow routines on the computer and I took good notes of the processes so that on future shifts when he isn't there anymore, I'll be able to know what I'm doing.
Right now, the 6/16 shift is the next one I've got booked. I was going to possibly pick up more but we got some bad news this morning as a very close relative was just diagnosed with colon cancer. He's in the hospital now getting worked up and will likely have surgery in the next few days. My wife and mother plan to fly down to Florida to be with him. My daughter and I will stay home. I don't want to commit to any more shifts until I have a better idea of what's going on with him. If not for that, I'm all set to jump into the new position on a regular basis.
The question now becomes what to do with my existing job. I'm still working full time there. My partner and I have already talked about me possibly reducing my office hours so that I can split my time more with the Urgent Care. Part of me really hates to leave the practice as I like what I do for the most part, but personally, professionally, and financially for sure, the new job has a lot of advantages. I don't think I'm going to make any decision for at least a couple of months but I've got a lot to think about. So for now, it's just a side gig and some nice extra money.