Content courtesy of IntelyCare
From the moment you decided nursing was the path for you, you’ve dedicated countless hours to studying, training, and spending time caring for others. But it’s also essential to take care of yourself, not only mentally and physically, but also financially.
While many nursing roles provide job security and competitive pay, some nurses may not feel confident and in control of their personal finances. And stress around finances can only compound the additional stressors you face at work and at home.
Here are some tips to help you save, earn more, and finally find financial freedom.
Financial Freedom Begins With Managing Debt
Nursing school is expensive — and frankly, so is life. Like most nurses, you have to dip into your savings or take out a loan to pay for the expenses that come with a nursing degree. And even if you land a high-paying job, the thought of digging yourself out of debt can feel daunting. But paying off that debt isn’t impossible; here are a few key practices to help you chip away at it:
Seek Help for Student Loans
If you’re considering nursing school, you may have questions about its financial feasibility. There are various nursing school assistance programs you may be able to take advantage of that will help you pay off nursing student loans.
Scholarships offer another opportunity to pay for nursing school without the interest of school loans. While your nursing school of choice may offer scholarships of their own, there also are plenty of external nursing scholarships you should consider.
Find Per Diem Side Gigs
If you work full time but need a little extra income to help pay down your debt, consider working as a per diem nurse. Unlike full-time work, per diem nursing gives you the freedom to work where you want, allowing you to explore new units and facilities, which adds new experiences to your resume and gives you higher income potential.
Plus, there are easy-to-use apps out there that can make finding and picking up shifts when and where you want painless and lucrative. With tech-enabled nursing apps, you can apply, browse, and pick up shifts all from a mobile app and choose the days, times, and facilities that work for you.
While not all per diem employers are created equal, many offer W2 employee benefits, like direct deposit and next day pay, health and malpractice insurance, 401(k)s, and employer-paid taxes.
Save for Your Future
Saving for your future can be difficult when you have bills to pay. Thankfully, there are plenty of budgeting strategies and tools you can use, like online banking and budgeting apps, that can help keep you on track to your savings goals, no matter how small or big they are. Aside from budgeting, there are many other ways to cut costs to make saving that much easier.
Start Saving for Retirement
While there are many expenses in your early years as a nurse, you should consider saving for retirement at the very beginning of your career to maximize your saving opportunity and start working toward financial freedom. Many traditional full-time nursing roles offer 401(k) plans with employer contribution, and in recent years, other non-traditional roles such as per diem employers, have started to follow suit. This typically is a great benefit option because it’s “free money”. Max out your contributions if you can.
Find Free Ways to Destress
Practicing self-care is integral to managing your stress. But some self-care products and hobbies can come with hefty price tags. It often seems like you have to choose between your financial health and your mental or physical health.
But there are ways to engage in stress-relieving activities that are low-cost or even cost-free! Going on a walk, joining a book club, knitting, and gardening are all examples of low-cost activities that can help you de-stress and take your mind off of work in a fun and relaxing way. You also might consider wellness apps such as the Calm app or TaskHuman, which provide low-cost alternatives to expensive services like yoga and meditation.
Ask the Experts
Contrary to popular belief, financial experts aren’t only available for the ultra-wealthy. Many employers offer free or discounted access to online financial classes or consultants, who can provide tailored advice to help you manage your finances. For example, TaskHuman can connect you to financial wellness coaching directly from the mobile app.
Achieving financial wellness is not an impossible task for any nurse if you have the right tools at your disposal. Follow these tips to set yourself up for success and finally find financial freedom.
With IntelyCare, you don’t have to choose between a work-life balance and great pay and benefits – you can have it all. Want to see for yourself? Join the movement and become an IntelyPro! Check out more content from IntelyCare here.