Money In Your 30’s: Matt, the RN Mentor

Money in your 30's Matt The RN Mentor

Good morning everyone, and welcome to another edition of Money In Your 30’s. If you’re like me, you enjoy learning about the financial situations of other folks similar in age to you. As a 38-year-old, I’m always looking to find and share interesting stories of other people in their 30’s like me!

And today won’t disappoint, as I’ve got Matt here from the RN Mentor to help share his story. Matt is a critical care nurse, which is a profession I greatly respect given my husbands near-death experience.  He has a lot of amazing things going on, and I know you’re going to love meeting him!

So without further ado, lets get to know Matt.

Tell us about yourself!

I’m a critical care nurse at an academic medical facility. I started out as an education major, but made a career pivot into to nursing during the 2008 economic recession. My wife and I met while we were both in nursing school and we’ve been married for six years. We both love traveling, backpacking, and anything else in the outdoors.

We temporarily settled into a domestic lifestyle two years ago, after the birth of our first child, and now we’re with a second. I’ve always been a driven person, and having children forced me to take on new challenges. I’ve thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, biked across the US, and completed an IronMan.

I launched my website after growing passionate about nursing as the ideal lifestyle for someone pursuing FI (CMO Note – Financial Independence). I wanted to help nurses make better financial decisions, enhance their well-being, develop professionally, so they could unlock the potential of our careers.

What is your age, career and location?

I’m a 36 year old critical care nurse in New Hampshire.

What is your salary, net worth, and debt?

My income fluctuates, but my base rate is $70,000. I also get hefty differentials for night and weekend shifts. Overtime and double time shifts are always available, so it’s easy to increase my income. Our current net work is $620k and our only debt is our mortgage, with 85k left.

CMO Note – way to go Matt! We also only have our mortgage as a debt, and I’m looking forward to paying it off. I find it interesting how it’s easy for you to increase your income that way – those of us in the corporate salaried world don’t have that option. I get paid the same whether I work 40, 60, or 80 hours a week

Where do you hope to be financially in five years? Ten years?

In January we calculated that we would be FI within 8 years. However, this changed when our second child was born, and my wife decided she’d only work twice a month so she could keep the kids out of child care.

We recently re-amortized our home to unlock some of the equity we built from aggressive principle payments (15 year 2.875%). Our expenses should drop to roughly $30k per year. It’s difficult to say where we’ll be in 5 years. We can live off half of my base salary, so we’ll still max out our pre-tax buckets.

I haven’t run the numbers to see how this affects our FI timeline. In ten years, our financial situation will depend if I decide to work on side hustles or go to graduate school. I’m thinking of going to school to become a nurse anesthesiologist.

It’ll be upwards of 100k in loans, but I’ll come up with over double my income, and more importantly, it’s something I’m interest in. Even if we do hit FI, I’m not sure if I’ll stop nursing. I love my job. When I first fell down the FI rabbit hole, I felt that most people sought the lifestyle I already have. I work three days a week and have great scheduling flexibility. I can work anywhere in the country, because there’s a national nursing shortage. When our FI date comes, I only need to work twice a week to secure health insurance for my family.

CMO Note – It’s interesting to me that most folks I meet who want to achieve FI have zero interest in not working again. That’s one of the major myths of the FIRE movement. I think most of us who identify with the FIRE movement really identify with the FI part, and not so much on the RE part. We want to make “Retirement Elective” and not necessarily “Retire Early”

What financial questions do you have?

I feel like I have my financial situation on auto pilot. However, I would like to know how other parents handle their side hustles. Is it worth it to chase side hustles while my children are so young (newborn and 2 years old)? How much time do they spend on side hustles? How do they find balance?

CMO Note – Great question Matt! As the mother of older children (15 and 11) as well as a younger one (3), I can tell you that your kids will have exactly zero memory of this time in their lives when they get older. But you’ll also miss their little selves when you’re talking with a teenager instead. Personally, I strictly limit the time I spend on side hustles, because I have a demanding full time job in addition to running this site. It’s much easier to hustle when your kids are older and self-sufficient. I practice what I call “ruthless prioritization” in deciding what to take on.

Bottom line, pursuing a side hustle while your kids are young has the advantage of them not remembering your time away, but it’s easier when they’re a bit older. 

Readers, please help Matt with this question in the comments!

Where can readers find you?

You can find me on my website,, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Or you can e-mail me at!

CMO Here Again

Thanks so much to Matt for stopping by to share his story! And thank you for the work you do as a critical care nurse. I’m sure it’s a difficult field, and I wish you luck on your decision whether or not to become a nurse anesthesiologiest.

Readers, be sure to help Matt with your perspective on pursuing side hustles while your kids are young in the comments!

And if you’re interested in participating in this series, be sure to stop by my form and fill it out. I’d love to feature your unique story!

Be sure to follow my blog for more great posts via e-mail or WordPress, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and say hello! You can also check out what I’m buying or baking on Instagram,  what I’m pinning on Pinterest, or the latest books I’m reading (or want to read) over on Goodreads.

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