Being a travel nurse certainly has its perks. From exploring new cities, meeting new people and trying new foods, travel nursing adds many valuable benefits to your life and career. As you move from one contract to the next, you may also find that your income fluctuates. That’s why it’s important to budget your money wisely. Keeping track of your expenses doesn’t have to be a daunting task. We’re here to share our top five budgeting tips for travel nurses!
1. Create a Budget Breakdown
The first step to learning how to manage your money is to create a budget breakdown for yourself. This will help you keep track of your money and see specifically how it is being used. You will want to understand how much income you earn on a monthly basis, as well as how much you spend on things like food, entertainment, and any other extra activities. Establish your needs versus your wants and think about how much money you need to set aside for each category.
An easy way to keep track of your spending is through an app called Mint. Mint is a user-friendly budgeting tool that helps you understand the full scope of your spending. Through the app you can sync all your accounts in one place, such as checking and savings accounts, bills, loans, investments and more. Mint will also automatically track and categorize your spending so you don’t have to! Use the separate categories to set spending limits on areas of your choosing and Mint will notify you once you start to approach those limits. Tracking your finances has never been easier!
2. Utilize the 50/30/20 Rule
The 50/30/20 rule is a staple when it comes to budgeting. First, you need to calculate your monthly income after taxes have been taken out. Next, divide your income into three segments—50% of your income should go toward needs, 30% on wants, and 20% will go to savings or paying off debt. This method ensures that your needs and wants are met while still setting money aside for your savings account.
3. Research Free Things to Do
While on a travel nursing assignment, one of the best ways to save money is to find activities that are free to do during your time off! Parks, museums, hiking trails and local events are always fun options and are typically free or have a low cost. Make sure to do your research by utilizing Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor and social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. These sites will give you a list of all the best things to do and sights to see in your area. If you utilize this tip, it can quickly become a budget friendly way to help you explore the city you’re visiting!
4. Learn How to Meal Prep
Some of us spend more money on eating out at restaurants than we’d like to admit. A good way to break that habit is to meal prep! Find a few recipes that you would like to have during the week, make a list of everything you need for your meals, and head to the grocery store to purchase enough ingredients that will make leftovers last for a few days. If you aren’t prepared to dive straight into cooking a week’s worth of food, meal prepping can even be as simple as skipping your daily Starbucks run and making your coffee at home instead. While planning your meals ahead of time requires more preparation, it will save you time and money in the long run!
5. Find Coupons
It’s no secret that couponing is a great way to save money, but what’s the best way to get your hands on those deals? Make couponing a breeze by utilizing a tool called Honey! Honey is a browser extension that you can download for free on Google Chrome that automatically searches the internet for valid coupon codes. This takes the stress away from spending time searching the internet and testing different coupon codes that don’t end up working. An additional perk is that Honey will also notify you if you already have the best available deal.
Another great way to find deals is through Groupon. Groupon is a virtual coupon book that finds the best deals in any location, whether you’re looking to grab a bite, go shopping or go on an excursion. They also provide customer reviews on their site to make it even easier for you to find great local businesses. One more resource to keep in mind are local newspapers as they will often have their own set of coupons listed for restaurants and other activities in the area.
Getting started with budgeting might be a little intimidating, but with these five tips it should give you a good grasp on how to get started! To make things less overwhelming, you can even try to implement the tips above one step at a time. This will help you ease into properly budgeting your money as a travel nurse. Along the way you may even discover some new methods that work for you! Have more budgeting tips? Share them with us in the comments below!
Travel nursing with Favorite Healthcare Staffing gives you the opportunity to advance your career, develop new skills, and experience new things. Take a look at our open travel nurse assignments and start exploring the country today!