Monday, March 20, 2017

Are we moving to Colorado?


1 hour hike at the Chautauqua Trail. By the end of the hike, I had all my warm accessories off! And then 10 minutes later put them all back on because it got so windy! Boulder, CO weather is temperamental.
Chile Relleno Burrito with Green Chile Sauce (so good!) at Taco Mexico in Denver, CO.
Panorama view of the Boulder area.
Some local Boulder Pizza slice, huge!

So we took off Wednesday night to spend a long weekend in Boulder to see if we could live there. Hubby has an optional opportunity to transfer to the location, but here are the details:
  • Optional transfer to Boulder, CO, with the expectation that 1,500 employees will be moving to Boulder over the next few years.
  • 14% drop in hubby's salary (which he just got a 14% promotion this year).
  • 40% drop in nursing pay, with little union presence for nurses in Colorado. On the other hand, a Colorado RN license qualifies you for a compact license for 25 states, which is great for my OMG virtual nurse job.
  • Facebook, VMware, Amazon, SendGrid, Sphero, and Google area already in the area with lots of other tech companies moving or planning to move.
  • Denver metro is an up and coming area, with future home values increasing.
  • Denver is a large city like San Francisco only smaller and more spread out.
  • Denver has a university medical community
  • Denver has a National Association of Hispanic Nurses chapter
  • Denver metro has Kaiser clinics (where I work now)
  • My One Medical job can transfer anywhere.
  • 1 hour time difference with Pacific Time.
  • Affordable homes in the Boulder/Denver area- $250,000 gets you a basement home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and about a $1,500 monthly mortage (We pay $1,730 in monthly rent)
    • This is probably the biggest factor in making a determining choice because owning a home can provide:
      • tax cuts
      • equity
      • opportunities for income like home business, Airbnb, rental income, or hosting foreign exchange students.
Of course none of these things mean much to me when I'm pretty happy in San Francisco and I've been here 6 years now and there is no place like home. San Francisco is super expensive to live in but since we have rent control, we pay half the market rate for the area. Most people would take the opportunity to move and get into debt as a home owner because of the nice incentives, but another big plus for me is that I've found some 2nd cousins through www.23andme.com and find it hard to leave family as small as it is (1. because they are so awesome and 2. being Latino family is super important and these people get me, but my immediate family is only a 1 hour flight away or a 7 hour drive home). And there is nothing like family to be there for you when you need them. We have until May to change our minds, but for now it's looking like no. The opportunity to work and make more income here in San Francisco than in Colorado is the biggest pull to stay here in SF. I've since applied for my CO-RN license (we don't have OMG clinics there so it's not useful for work, but... if we move I'll be a step ahead) to see if I can apply for a job or look at the RN job market because from what I've read on blogs it's hard to get a job in CO without first having a license AND first living in CO. So that makes it less enticing to move right away. My only other concern is that adding a debt (home ownership) to my already home loan sized student loan (about $176,000 now) is a little scary, especially when you don't have a job lined up and your husband's pay is decreasing. If his pay would be the same, then I'd definitely be more interested because that would make up for my decreased nursing pay ($35 average in CO, versus $55 in SF- and I'm at above average). So long answer short, the answer is NO. We're not moving in the next 3 months for now, but check back in May 2017 to see if anything has changed.

Kale Green Smoothie

Kale Green Smoothie recipe
I will say that I got this smoothie from somewhere and I've been making it so long that I can no longer remember who to credit, but here's how I make it:

Serves 2 large cups (like in photo, 12 oz maybe)

1/2 frozen banana (unfrozen will work, but it's not as cold)
1/2 large green apple
2 Kale large leaves, stemmed
6 stems of parsley with leaves (I cut the longer portion of the stems and keep the stems with leaves)
1 cup of soymilk/alternatively you can use water, but I try to add protein where I can as a vegetarian.
4-6 ice cubes.

Stick it all in a blender and pour into 2 cups and enjoy the 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables, and about 3-4 g of protein

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Extra Extra, more news!

So January flew by and suddenly we are in mid-February. I have a big birthday month, the double 3s. I was hoping to celebrate big but since our goal is to pay a bunch of my student debt this year, I'm forgoing any major spending (Ideally it would have been a private table at a Latin club for dancing). Anyhow, the good news is that my boss at my per diem job is advocating for me to work 8 hours/week for now to keep my knowledge of my job so that's fantastic because I can keep on top of my student loans. My supervisor at my part-time job also gave me an additional 4 hours bi-weekly (so 8 extra in a regular month), which also adds to my income and helps me feel good about paying off my student loan a little quicker than planned. I'm on the 10-year repayment plan, which brings my monthly total to $2,200/month so I try to pay more when I can.

The other news involved moving, possibly changing jobs and apartments, which really sucks considering how much I'm enjoying my jobs and how quickly things are changing in the positive for me at work and in my research. I'll post more once we make a decision.

Still waiting to hear back from SF State, but with our potential move, I'm looking to apply to another program. Luckily, the deadline is still open until June 2017, I just have to ask my recommenders to send me another letter.

This sudden opportunity has brought about a lot of discussion with my spouse. Most of it has been discussions about finances or rather lack thereof. This opportunity could help us move ahead financially and theoretically the sooner we pay down my student loans the better, right?

I thought I'd never have to struggle much in my relationship, but as you know the 2 things couples fight about are: money and sex or actually the lack of it. Some nights I dream that I'll suddenly win the lottery and that will help pay off my student loans, but the reality is that I think the only way it'll happen is hard work and time. I wish I had some hindsight to be able to have understood how my student loans would have affected my future.