In your role as a travel nurse, most of your time is spent caring for others, which leaves little time to handle personal finances or plan for the future. It can also be complicated. We’re nurses after all, not financial planners.
Even though financial management may seem challenging for many, it doesn't have to be. In this article, we’ll look at tips to help travel nurses plan and budget for the future, even while on travel assignments.
Plan your financial future
Financial goals vary depending on multiple factors, including personal goals, family situations, and preferences. For instance, some travel nurses may be more financially motivated about saving for vacations, gifts, or buying their first house. They’re at a different place in their life than someone that’s closer to retirement.
This is why there is no “one size fits all” list for everyone. It’s important to look at your own financial goals and what you want for your future—in both short-term and long-term financial goals.
Even if you’re not thinking of retirement at this stage, it’s something you’ll eventually want to do. Talk with your financial advisor for ways to help prepare, even if it’s many years away. Many travel nurse agencies offer retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans. These are things to keep in mind and ask about when searching for a travel nursing company.
Track your finances
The concept of tracking finances may seem basic, but it's important to know how much money you earn versus how much you spend. This can be eye-opening if you find you spend beyond your means, which could contribute to credit card debt. Spending money you do not have can damage your financial health in the long run.
The key to living within your means is to build a financially feasible budget and stick with it. It’ll be easier to stick to the budget if you create one that’s realistic for your needs and wants.
To begin building a budget, look at what you’ve been spending. Write down all bills, needs, wants, and every expense you can think of. Everything that you spend money on needs its own line item within the monthly budget. This way, there won’t be any surprises at the end of the month. Unexpected expenses and emergencies come up, which is what your emergency fund and savings are for.
Sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you can’t allocate for entertainment or vacations. If that’s important to you, it’s crucial to add that into the budget. You’ll be more likely to stay within your budget if you can enjoy the money you make without feeling guilty.
Travel nursing is a great way to build up extra savings and explore different areas. By keeping these savings tips in mind, you’ll be able to build up savings while still enjoying the adventure.
Invest in your future
Building up savings is vital for travel nurses. This is important for both long-term financial stability as well as for any unexpected emergencies.
Saving money may seem overwhelming at first. This is why it’s recommended to start small and automate it. Consider setting up an automatic method for depositing a portion of your paycheck into a savings account. By automating savings, you can avoid the stress and temptation that comes with relying solely on discipline to save.
Financial advisors often recommend saving up to 20% of your paycheck. It can often be too overwhelming to start off there. Start small and gradually increase the amount you save. For instance, start by saving 5% and gradually increase it by 1% every few months.
With time, you may find that you are able to increase your savings percentage even more. If you find you’re intimidated by the process, meet with your local bank to help set it up for you. Some banks may even offer incentives for regular deposits to your savings account over a certain amount.
Establishing automatic savings deductions will help you to build your long-term wealth while ensuring your checking account is available for spending. This also ensures you have money readily available for emergencies, so you don’t have to use money from your checking account or a credit card.
Bring a travel nurse friend
Grab a nurse friend and go traveling! There are many benefits to doing this. Not only do you have a friend for support and fun, it can save you money.
Having a roommate to split rent with is one of the biggest ways to save money when traveling as a nurse. Finding a roommate in a place you’re not familiar with can be scary and intimidating. However, if you travel with a friend, you have someone you know and trust to be your roommate. Sharing the cost of rent enables you to save some of the housing stipend from your travel nursing agency.
Health Carousel Travel Nursing is in the business of taking care of travel nurses. They take care of travel nurses by connecting them with high-paying travel assignments, everything paid for up front, and platinum benefits. Travel nurses are highly trained healthcare professionals providing an essential service, which is why they deserve nothing less.