Despite having one of the most important jobs that anyone could, pay for nurses, especially students or juniors, is not always proportionate to their responsibilities. This can often leave a nurse trying to make ends meet or keep their costs low.
While there are fundamental issues at play when it comes to the cost of living, nurses have no choice but to carry on saving lives, caring for others, and trying to manage the money they have.
This piece will discuss some tips on how you can save money as a nurse and what you can do to keep your costs low.
Focus on Budgeting
This is a crucial piece of information for anyone who wants to save money. Budgeting is the buzzword that has earned its place when it comes to finance management.
There are many budgeting methods that can be used when you want to take a greater look at your finances and understand just where exactly it is that your money is going.
One of the more popular ones is the 50/30/20 method. This technique is where 50% of your income goes to your essentials such as rent, food, utility bills, and phone and internet. 30% to your wants like a treat shopping trip or some new books, and then 20% to your savings account to be left untouched. This is perhaps one of the easier budgeting methods to grasp as it is straightforward and does not require a lot of thought. If you are not that good at math, there are also online calculators that are specifically set up for this. You can even open up three separate accounts, so you are able to track what is what more intricately.
If you do face a situation where you are struggling to cover your essentials with 50%, the remaining can be taken out of your wants or your savings. Which one entirely depends on you and how important it is. Sometimes it is best for your savings to take a small hit if your wants are time-sensitive – you never get time back!
Focus On Meal Prep
Nursing shifts are often all over the place, and if you are in a care role and becoming a student nurse, it could also be even trickier to manage studying, exams, and coursework.
Focusing on meal prep for your daily meals will not only help cut your spending on ready meals, but it will also help you stay away from the expensive canteen or have to grab last minute sandwiches from the gas station. While these may all seem little things, 5 dollars here, 7 dollars there, they all add up, and they could all be going to your fun ‘wants’ instead of your essentials.
If you are new to meal prepping, first invest in some sturdy, quality Tupperware that will cope with being put through the dishwasher and the microwave repeatedly. Also, get yourself some quality kitchen utensils, such as a good chopping knife. Many knives will chop, but the difference a good, sharp, quality knife makes to meal prep is astounding. It will also help you save on time!
Think about some of the foods you like to eat that are great on the go and will provide you with some significant nutrition throughout the day. You want to be able to enjoy your meals, but you also need something that is going to support you in those heavy shifts or times where you do not even get a break to keep your body running optimally.
Choose Your Nurse Qualifications Wisely
When becoming a nurse, there are several steps you need to take. It will depend on what role you would like to aim for that will depend on what qualifications you need; however, most higher education can be expensive.
If you do not have a preference for whether you are learning in-person or online, the online option is almost always cheaper. There are some things you will miss out on, as there are pros and cons to everything done online rather than in-person. However, if you are less fussed about the social side of going to college and are more interested in getting your certification so you can advance in your career, the online option might be the best for you.
Not to forget that you can still continue to keep working alongside it.
If this is the route you might be interested in, there are so many courses to choose from. Just take a look at Online Post-Master’s Certs and find one that excites you.
Make Sure You Have the Best Deal on Utilities
While you are busy hustling and bustling away looking after others, you probably do not notice if the rates of your electricity or heating have gone up. When you have some downtime, do a quick comparison search to make sure you are getting the best deal possible on your utilities. You can also get a smart meter installed, so you know exactly what you are spending and when.
Not only that, but you are more than likely not at home as often as others in different professions are, so make sure to check with friends and family how much their bills are and make sure you are not being ripped off or paying unfairly.
Maintenance on your property will also go a long way to reducing your bills. If you have cracks in the masonry or your windows are not properly sealed or have double glazing, you will be essentially just leaking hot air outside rather than keeping your rooms warm.
If you have a leak or a drippy tap, that will also add up in your water bill, sometimes a shocking amount, so it is best to get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid any charges that could have been preventable.
Other little energy-saving swaps can also work wonders for your wallet, such as switching to energy-saving bulbs and using dimmer switches to help control the flow of electricity throughout your home.
It is so much more difficult to follow what you are spending when you are beeping your contactless card for every purchase, especially now contactless payment is quick and simple to use. Keeping all of your spending strictly down to cash can help give you a much better idea of what you are spending and when, and also how much you have left.
Sort Out Your Retirement Plan
You will most likely want to retire from being a nurse at some point, but you will need funds to be able to carry on living.
Thankfully, being a nurse is one of the career paths that still offer a traditional pension which is one less thing to worry about when you go to work each day. That being said, pensions are fast becoming not enough to live on in retirement, and people are living for much longer, so having some financial backups will be important to the quality of life you will have when you finish work.
There are a few ways in which you can boost your retirement savings, some of which include:
Having an additional savings account
As previously mentioned with budgeting, having a savings account that you do not touch can help keep you afloat. If you are not one for manually putting in your savings every month, then there are plenty of apps and options available to you that will do it automatically, so you do not even have to think about it.
They are also very customizable, so you will be able to choose how much you want to go into your savings each month, whether you need to take money out of it at any point, and you can even get in-depth updates on your spending and saving patterns.
Investing does not save money as much as it can make you money. It is easier to invest than ever, and there is a lot of control over how much you can choose to invest with too. This can make automatic investing attractive as a beginner option, as it is done all for you with as little as a dollar. As you become more confident, you can start to look into other investment opportunities. This extra money can be used to go into your ‘want account’ or your savings account!
That being said, your capital is always at risk, so always bear that in mind
Sell Student Items
If you have finished being a student and are now a fully-fledged nurse, there is a good chance that you have an impressive number of academic textbooks and journals lying around that you do not need anymore. Sell them on to make some extra cash and also free up some space in your home.
Also, if you are able to rent with someone who is also in the same field as you or a peer, this can also half your rental fees. It is also nice to live with someone who understands the role of a nurse.
Follow us on Philly2Philly’s Facebook page! And, don’t forget to “like” Philly2Philly