4 min read
In our previous article, we compiled some tips on how to make the most money as a travel nurse. However, once you have secured a better income, you may want to save it rather than spend it.
Saving money doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. You can still partake in the activities you want to do (as long as they don’t blow the budget)! You can still have fun while managing your money. Here are our tips on how to save money as a travel nurse.
Are you really saving money if you’re not budgeting in some way? Having a budget doesn’t mean you have to restrict all of your spending, it just means that you need to rethink how much you spend on the things that aren’t a priority and consider what non-essential expenses you can cut down on.
Different types of budgets work for different people. Many people prefer to put a certain amount in a savings account as soon as they get paid. You can do this in percentages or sums, and if possible, you should aim to put away 10-15% of your paycheck. Of course, you can lower the percentage if this feels overly restricting.
Having a deep understanding of your finances is crucial. How much do you spend on food? Entertainment? Takeaway? Bills? You should familiarize yourself with these numbers before you can set yourself a budget. Let’s say you go through your finances and realize you spend A LOT of money eating out. This will let you allocate a certain amount on takeout per week or month.
If you’re the type of person who is tempted to occasionally dip into your savings, it may be helpful to set up a savings account at a different bank. Then whenever you look at your checking account, you won’t get tempted by seeing the amount in your savings. There are also resources that can help you budget, such as Google Sheets where all you need is a Gmail account.
A tip I’ve always found helpful when going on journeys is planning ahead. Planning ahead could include small decisions, like if you’re stopping for food or taking sandwiches for the road. Although it could also include big things, like planning where you’re staying. Don’t leave it too late, or you may regret it. A typical travel nurse contract lasts 13 weeks, so planning ahead is crucial.
Get a housing stipend
A housing stipend can help to offset the cost of rent and utilities. If you plan this in advance, you will know how much your rent and utilities will cost, and how much you will receive from the stiped. Allowing you to work out the ingoings and outgoings, which in turn will enable you to budget.
Bringing packed lunch to work can significantly help reduce the cost of your meals.
Food expenses can really add up, especially when you eat at the hospital cafeteria on a daily basis. Bringing packed lunch to work can significantly help reduce the cost of your meals. You could bring pre-cooked meals, or a simple sandwich – whatever you prefer. You can even ‘meal prep’ all your weekly meals in one go, so you can relax after a busy work day. Beverages can also add up, so consider bringing your morning coffee in a flask.
Similarly, takeout can be pricey, and it definitely adds up without you noticing. Try to avoid getting it regularly, however tempting it may be.
Money Saving Apps
Here are some resources that could help you reach your savings goals.
- Good Budget: This is an app that can be used for free, or paid for if you want additional features. Good Budget is helpful for those who like to visualize their money. It uses the envelope method and allows you to set aside sums of money on your payday for certain categories such as entertainment, groceries, and bills.
- Digit: This is an app that saves for you. If you don’t want the hassle of working out how much you need to save, Digit might be the app for you. Digit studies your spending habits and expenses, then finds amounts to save that are specific to your situation. So for busy travel nurses, this could be helpful.
- MealPrepPro: If you want to stop spending so much money on cafeteria food, this could be the app for you. MealPrepPro can help you create grocery lists and meal plans, to make it easier for you.
Saving money as a travel nurse is challenging. But, if you’re looking to save money in case of an emergency or any future endeavours, your future self will be grateful that you did it.
Only you know what you can cut down on. But if that’s proving difficult, another great tactic is to put a sum of money straight into your savings account when you get paid. That way, you avoid getting tempted by seeing the extra cash when you see your balance; it’s like it was never there! Of course, not all saving strategies work for everyone, so find out what’s best for you and stick to it.