Managing Your Money as a Travel Nurse

by Howard Gerber on March 29, 2018

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nurse managing moneyTravel nurses often have different assignments throughout the year. Salaries may vary, which may make sticking to a budget a little difficult. Plus, different parts of the country have a higher cost of living than others. So, you may be spending more money during some travel assignments than others.

Although expenses and salary may vary, it’s still possible to manage your money effectively. You don’t have to be a financial wiz to handle your money well. You just need to keep a few things in mind.

Plan Ahead

Think about the plans you have and how they affect you financially. For example, do you plan to buy any big-ticket items, such as a car? Consider what other expenses you may have in the future. Do you plan on continuing your education and earning an advanced degree? Do you want to buy a house when you are through working as a traveler? Considering how much money you need in the future can help you with financial planning now.

Put Money Aside

It may be obvious, but it’s vital to save money for a rainy day. You never know when you will have an unexpected expense, such as car repairs. Plus, you may need a little cash if you take time off in between travel assignments. Make setting aside a little money each paycheck a habit. Experts recommend saving at least six months living expenses.

Cut Costs Where You Can

One of the perks of working as a travel nurse is the opportunity to enjoy and experience new places. Trying new restaurants, sight-seeing, and shopping can get expensive. You can still enjoy yourself without spending your entire paycheck. Consider setting a budget for leisure activities. Shop around for deals when going on a weekend getaway. Bring your lunch to work instead of buying meals. Consider taking public transportation instead of paying for parking.

Save for Retirement

Working as a travel nurse doesn’t mean you can’t save for your retirement. The sooner you get started, the better. Regardless of how old you are, now is a good time to save for retirement.

Travel staffing agencies offer different benefits. Many travel staffing agencies offer an option to contribute to a 401K or similar retirement plan. Some agencies also contribute to their employee’s plan. Check with your agency to determine what options you have.

Maximize Your Earnings as a Travel Nurse

Consider ways to increase your earnings as a travel nurse. Travel salaries differ between agencies and assignments. Nurses may also make more money if they accept positions during a crisis, such as a strike.

You can also increase your salary by sighing up to work overtime. Hospital policies differ on how OT is awarded. Permanent employees may have first dibs on overtime shifts, but opportunities may also exist for travel nurses.

Travel nurses can also often earn extra money from their staffing agency by referring a friend who accepts a travel position. Some agencies and hospitals pay an extension bonus if you stay on after completing your initial assignment.

Have you learned any money management tips since becoming a travel nurse? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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