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Last Updated on January 2, 2024
Nursing is an honorable, well-respected, enjoyable and rewarding profession – but if you’re a nurse, learning some savvy ways to manage your salary wisely can mean that you enjoy what you do even more. Regularly saving money as a matter of priority will give you plenty of further opportunities to do even more in your spare time and enjoy your life, along with taking away the stress that comes with not having any money put away for a rainy day.
While many nurses enjoy a very high level of job security and nurses are always in high demand, it still certainly pays and makes a lot of sense to set aside some of your salary as a safety net in case of emergencies. After all, nursing can be a stressful job at times and the last thing that you need is to have additional money worries in your personal life bringing you down, too.
As a nurse, there are many things that you can do to save money – some of which are unique to nurses, but many of which can be used by anybody in any profession who is hoping to spend less and increase the balance of their savings account. Whether you’re struggling to save money or simply want to save even more, we’ve put together some top tips that might be just what you need to get further to achieving your financial goals.
#1. Study Online
Are you considering furthering your career as a nurse? Maybe you want to learn a new skill in your current field of healthcare, train in a different specialization, or boost your academic achievements by going on to study for a master’s degree in nursing or even higher. Perhaps your main career goal is to become a family nurse practitioner, but the idea of spending even more money on tuition fees, borrowing more student loans, and taking time away from the job you love – leading to earning even less – is putting you off from taking the plunge into advancing your career to the next level.
If this sounds like you, then you might want to consider studying online. The cheapest online nurse practitioner programs, for example, offer a flexible and affordable way to reach your career goals. Studying online means that you can work from home without the need to attend classes – in fact, you can choose whenever is best for you to study, so you can continue working and earning money as normal without the need to worry about rearranging your shifts to suit your studies. In addition, tuition fees for online programs are often much cheaper, so you may benefit from being able to pay for it yourself or at least borrow much less student loans than you would compared to studying on campus.
#2. Use Credit Cards Wisely:
Pretty much everybody has a credit card these days; borrowing money is difficult to get away from. Maybe you got a credit card hoping to have it there for emergencies only or wanted to boost your credit rating, only to find that you’re using it a lot more than you expected. But you’re not alone, don’t worry. However, making lots of small purchases on your credit card could be adding up to more than you expect – credit cards have dues, and using them frequently often means that you end up paying higher fees.
Instead, try to save your credit cards for large purchases only – this could be emergencies or larger purchases that you would normally pay for in cash. Try to only use your credit card for something that you would normally pay for in cash so that you can repay it as soon as possible – this way, you are less likely to get behind on payments and you can save any available credit for emergency items that you wouldn’t have been able to buy otherwise at the time. If you do get behind on your payments, your credit score could be affected negatively. In this scenario it is helpful to find a credit repair company to help get them removed. You can check out credit repair company reviews on Crediful. To keep your credit score high, try and keep your spending to below half the limit at all times – so if you have a $1,000 limit, don’t let it go over $500 at any one time – repay before you spend on it again if you get close.
#3. Download E-Books Instead of Buying Paper Ones:
As a nurse, especially if you are continuing your studies, you’ll probably need to get some books in order to learn about various medications and diagnoses. Some nurses like to keep some books on hand so that they have access to information whenever they need it and can use some of their spare time improving their knowledge so that they can become better at their chosen career. And of course, you might just like to have some books that are fun to read, or self-help books to give you strategies for your mental health, physical health, relationships and more.
Instead of buying paperbacks and hardbacks, it’s definitely worth getting e-books instead. And, thanks to apps like iBooks on iPhone and the Amazon Kindle App which is available for both iOS and Android, you don’t even need to invest in an e-reader in order to get access to the electronic versions of the books you need or want for study and leisure. E-books are usually much cheaper than their paper counterparts and, in addition, much better for the environment as they aren’t made using trees. Plus, if you like to read on the go, having access to books on a smartphone, tablet or e-reader is usually much more convenient than carrying a paper copy with you.
#4. Eat Healthy and Save Money:
Making some positive changes to your diet isn’t just good for your overall health and your waistline – you’ll also be able to save some money by making healthy changes to what you eat. If you find that you’re spending a lot of time eating food from the canteen at work or a local café and grabbing takeout when you get home because you’re too tired to cook, then you’re certainly one of many nurses and other busy healthcare professionals who feel the same way. But, eating like this isn’t great for your health or for your bank balance – all that convenience food can take a toll on your energy levels and make it harder for you to focus at work, plus paying for it all can drain your money.
Instead, it’s a good idea to take some time to prepare healthy meals for the week ahead – many people prefer to do this on a weekend so that it’s easier to prepare for each day of the week and plan what you are going to eat for each meal. Batch cook healthy meals that can be easily frozen, so that all you need to do when you get in from work is warm them up. And for your packed lunches, healthy salads and wraps are easy to make and can last quite a few days if you want to prepare them in advance.
#5. Avoid Spending Lots on Your Day Off:
It can be tempting to spend your days off doing activities like shopping, but while this might sometimes be necessary, it can also lead to you spending more than you’d expected that week or month. So instead, plan things to do on your days off that don’t cost a lot of money, but can be just as enjoyable and rewarding. For many nurses, getting stuff done around the house and being productive is a top choice of ways to spend their day off, as it’s satisfying and means that they can avoid opening their purse. Get some gardening done, do some DIY, or take your dog for a long walk – it’ll be good for both of you.
If you like to spend your days off socializing with friends, then speak to your friends about your plans to spend less and save more. There are loads of ideas for things that you can do with friends that don’t cost money. Instead of going to a restaurant, take turns to host dinner parties at your homes, go hiking together, or plan a movie night at home instead of going to the cinema. You’ll still get to bond with your friends and you’ll all save some money in the process.
#6. Shop Second Hand:
When you do need to shop for something new, don’t underestimate the amount that you can save by shopping second hand. When it comes to clothes or items for around the home, you can find some treasures in local thrift stores – and the best part is that many thrift shops will also donate to charities, so along with getting a bargain you’re also doing something good.
For bigger items like TV’s, computers, smartphones, appliances and large furniture – see what you can find second hand before you head to the stores. You may be surprised at the amount of good quality, fully working items that people sell on sites such as Facebook Marketplace simply because they are upgrading, and you can end up with an item that works just as well as a brand new one for a fraction of the price.
When it comes to electronics, it’s always worth looking into buying refurbished. Items like smartphones and laptops are often sold refurbished and other than a couple of minor things, it’s not often easy to tell that they have been used before – in fact, many electronics are sold as refurbished just because they’ve been taken out of the box in the past and not necessarily because anything has been wrong with them. But if you do buy refurbished, it’s always worth going for manufacturer refurbished and ensuring that you are covered with a warranty, just in case.
#7. Share Your Home:
Living on your own can be expensive, so if you are single and don’t have any kids, it might be worth looking into sharing your living space with somebody else. If you own your home and have a spare room, renting the room out to a housemate can be a great way to slash necessary expenses like your mortgage payment and utility bills, plus you’ll get some company at home, too.
Alternatively, you might want to consider renting an apartment or house with colleagues – if you work far from home, relocating to a closer location and finding somewhere that you can rent with fellow nurses or other healthcare professionals is a good way for everybody to save money. Plus, moving closer to work means that you can also cut costs when it comes to commuting by using local public transport, walking, or cycling to work instead of driving.
#8. Ditch the Gym:
Working out is certainly important for you – but if you’re paying for a monthly gym or fitness center membership that you barely use, it might be worth considering ditching the gym and trying other, free ways to exercise instead. If you only go to the gym once a week or less and you’re paying for it every month, then look into day pass prices – chances are it might work out cheaper for you to just pay per time you attend, rather than pay to have access all month.
Instead of working out at the gym, there are several great ways for you to stay active and healthy. Walking is a great form of exercise and getting out for a walk for just half an hour per day can make a massive difference to both your physical and mental health. You could try yoga at home or get some exercise DVDs to work out along to – you might be surprised at the amount of activity you can get in, and may even find that you are more productive than you usually are at the gym! Or, invest in some workout equipment like a home treadmill, stationary bike and some weights if you have the space and invite a friend to come and work out with you if you like having an exercise buddy.
Taking steps to save money and make your salary stretch further as a nurse can make your career more enjoyable.