Managing Your Money While on a Healthcare Traveler Job

by Howard Gerber on August 7, 2014

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travel-nurse-budgetThere are many benefits to working as a healthcare traveler, such as new opportunities, meeting people, and exploring a new city. A good salary and paid housing are also reasons some people choose to work as a traveler. Regardless of your reasons, managing your money on the road is a must. Consider some of the following suggestions:

Start with a budget: Developing a budget and doing your best to stick with it is a great first step to manage your money. Set aside money each pay period for essentials, such as food, gas, and recurring monthly bills. Allow money for entertainment, clothing, and unexpected expenses, such as car repairs. If you have trouble keeping track of what you spend, consider using cash.

Develop financial goals: As with all areas of life, if you set goals, you are more likely to succeed. Consider what you would like to achieve financially. Do you want to save to buy a house or payoff school loans? Having something in mind to achieve can motivate you to skip buying things you don’t need or always getting takeout on your way home from work.

Sign up for a retirement savings: Retirement may not even be on your radar right now. It may seem like a lifetime away, but life has a funny way of speeding by. Before you know it, you may find yourself in your 40s or 50s with retirement right around the corner. Plus, the earlier you save, the better off you will be. Many healthcare travel jobs offer an optional retirement saving plan. Talk to your recruiter and determine your options.

Put a little away for breaks between assignments: In some cases, you may have a break between travel assignments. Having a savings account can get you through any downtime between assignments. Having a cushion will ease your mind and prevent you from taking any assignment just to have a paycheck coming in.

If you are working as a healthcare traveler, you likely have paid housing as part of your benefit package. Saving on rent may allow you to save a little money each pay period. Even if you only put away a small amount each month, you will get in the habit of saving.

Take advantage of your tax write offs: When tax season rolls around, be sure you understand what expenses you can right off. Everyone’s situation is different, but common expenses may be uniforms, continuing education class fees, and union dues. Talk to a tax professional to make sure you are taking all the tax right offs you legally can.

Enjoy the freebies: Find out how you can save money in your new city. Look for ways to reduce spending on food, entertainment, and clothing. Activities like concerts, street fairs, and festivals may be free, and they are a great way to have some fun. Check out local thrift shops or swap meets to find great deals on clothes and household items. Consider taking public transportation when getting around town.

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