As a nurse, you must think about many things once you start practicing. Financial planning is one of the most important but often overlooked aspects of being a nurse. You want to be able to have a solid financial foundation so that you can focus on your career and helping others. Whether you're just getting started as a nurse or are looking for better ways to manage your finances as an experienced nurse, here are 17 crucial financial tips to consider:
Perhaps, the biggest hindrance to your sound financial planning as a nurse is the lack of sound financial planning knowledge. Talking to a certified financial planner can be a great way to get started if you don't know where to start. A good financial planner will help you understand your current financial situation and give you personalized advice on how to improve it.
They'll also help you plan effectively for future financial expectations and significant purchases like home buying. So you can avoid making common financial mistakes and achieve your long-term financial goals.
It's never too early to start saving for retirement. The sooner you start, the more time your money has to grow. Pension alone has proven ineffective for nurses looking to live a comfortable life post-retirement. Invest in good savings plan to help you save enough for retirement.
You should also talk to your employer about contributions to your retirement account, such as the 401(k) contribution, so you can know how much you should be saving on your own.
Nursing can be a demanding career, but that doesn't mean you ought not think of other opportunities outside your routine to make more money. Nurses can do many flexible side jobs to supplement their income. You could start a small business, offer freelance writing services, or even walk dogs in your spare time.
The most important thing is to find something you're passionate about and won't dread doing after a long day at the hospital.
You know the saying, "Good things come to those who wait." And it's true! To make sound financial decisions, you need to learn to be patient.
Just because you have the money doesn't mean you have to spend it. Start by evaluating your goals and figure out what you can live without in the meantime. You may have to wait a little longer to get that new car or take that dream vacation, but it will be worth it in the end.
This is also not the time to use your pay slip for acquiring expensive loans to meet the pressure of a high and mighty lifestyle from your nurse colleagues. Rather, you should concentrate on offsetting your student loan or building an emergency fund.
Another crucial step to creating wealth is to have a positive cash flow. This means that your income should be higher than your expenses. You can achieve this by tracking your spending and adjusting to ensure that you are living within your means.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a budget and stick to it. You need to figure out what you spend in a month and track where every penny goes. This will help you see areas where you may be able to save money.
There are many ways to create a budget, but one of the most effective is the 50/30/20 rule. This rule allocates 50% of your income to essentials, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings and debt repayment. Your financial planner should help you with such budget plans but remember it's your sole duty to stick to any plan you choose.
Grocery bills can add up, but there are some easy ways to reduce expenses. One way is to meal plan and make a grocery list before you go shopping. This will help you avoid buying things you don't need. It would help if you also tried to buy in bulk and take advantage of sales.
If you're the type that can't stay away from adding a few extra items to their cart, you can be well off with a grocery delivery or pickup service. This way, you'll only buy what you need the most and nothing more.
If you're a first-time nurse, you're still struggling with a few debts, including student loans and credit card debts. The best way to handle your debt is by creating a repayment plan.
Start by listing your debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. Then, create a budget and see how much you can realistically put towards your monthly payments. Once you have that number, you can start chipping away at your debt.
This will help you become debt-free faster and avoid accruing interest. You can talk to your financial planner about the best way to create a debt repayment plan that works for you.
As a nurse, it's crucial to keep polishing your nursing skills to keep up with the changing medical landscape. However, taking nursing continuing education courses can be expensive. A great way to get around this is by subscribing to free or cheaper online courses.
There are plenty of websites that offer free or discounted online courses for nurses. All you have to do is research and find the right one for you. This way, you can keep your nursing skills up-to-date without breaking the bank.
Also, you can take advantage of training and learning opportunities organized and sponsored by your employer. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs to help their employees cover the costs of taking nursing continuing education courses.
The nursing career is full of eventualities; in some weeks, you might be called upon more often than in other weeks. This means you'll be making several trips to and from work, which can be costly in terms of time and money. If you can, try to find a place to live that's closer to your workplace. This way, you can save on both transportation and child care costs.
If you work in a big hospital that offers staff accommodation, you can also take advantage of this perk and save on accommodation costs in your early days as a nurse.
You can also save costs by renting a room with fellow nurses or health care professionals. Not only will this reduce your expenses, but it will also give you a built-in support system of people who understand the demands of your job.
Another way to save money as a nurse is to take advantage of the many discounts available to healthcare workers. Many retailers offer discounts on everything from clothing to groceries, and you can even get discounts on travel and entertainment. All of these discounts can add up to significant savings, so take advantage of them whenever possible.
Professional nursing organizations offer many benefits to their members, including access to exclusive job postings, networking opportunities, discounts on continuing education courses, and much more. These membership fees are often very reasonable and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
You can also take advantage of these organizations' many free resources, such as online journals and articles, educational materials, and career development tools.
While having a good credit score is essential, using cash instead of credit whenever possible is a great way to save money. For example, when you use a credit card to pay for a purchase, you're essentially borrowing money from the bank and then paying interest on that loan. However, if you pay with cash, you're not paying any interest.
Also, according to research, you're more likely to spend more money when using credit cards as opposed to cash. So, next time you're tempted to pull out your plastic, consider using cash instead.
Nurses often prefer take-outs and fast foods due to the demanding nature of their work and the irregular schedules that most nurses are on. However, take-outs and fast foods can be pretty expensive, and they're not always the healthiest option.
A great way to save money is to cook meals at home and bring your lunch to work with you. Not only will you save money on food, but you'll also have more control over what goes into your body. As a nurse, you need to be in tip-top shape to perform your duties more seamlessly, thus taking your meals more seriously.
You may have amassed a lot of nursing and medical books over the years, but chances are you no longer use most of them. Instead of letting them sit on your shelves and collect dust, why not sell them?
Many websites and platforms allow you to sell used books, so take advantage of them. This money can go a long way in kicking you off your new life as a practicing nurse as you settle down into your career.
If you're looking for affordable scrubs and nursing shoes, your best bet is to buy them wholesale. Trends in scrubs and nursing shoes don't tend to change as often as trends in other fashion lines. This means you can buy enough pairs to take you through a couple of years without spending much money.
You can find a lot of great deals online, so make sure to do your research. Many brick-and-mortar stores offer discounts if you purchase in bulk.
Your credit score is essential. It can affect your ability to get loans, rent an apartment, and even get a job. If you're lucky to have landed your first nursing job despite a poor credit score, now is the time to take steps to improve it.
One of the best ways to do this is to check your credit score and report any errors. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year.
If you find any errors, dispute them immediately. This will help improve your credit score and put you in a better position financially.
When getting a new nursing job, it's crucial to have your negotiation skills brushed up. You want to ensure you're getting paid what you're worth and not a penny less.
You can do a few key things to ensure you're getting the best possible salary. First, do your research and know what the average salary is for your position in your area.
Second, be prepared to negotiate by coming up with a range you're comfortable with. Finally, don't be afraid to ask for what you want. A good rule of thumb is to let the company name its figures first. This will save you from underquoting or overpricing yourself.