Working as a nurse is one of the most rewarding, but also stressful, jobs that anyone can do. The last thing that nurses need is money worries on top of the usual stresses of their job. Below are four areas where nurses can easily reduce their spending and start making serious savings.
Keep Small Purchases Off Your Credit Card
Remember, every time you buy something on your credit card, you are essentially taking on debt. Even if you have the money to cover an individual purchase, it is worth getting into the habit of avoiding putting small charges onto your credit card. Instead, try to pay for things with cash or a debit card where ever possible. When you use these payment methods, the item will be paid for at the point of purchase and there is no debt to consider.
Remember that you have to pay interest on your credit card debt, so if you are making regular small purchases, then you are going to be constantly pushing up the amount that you need to pay. Reserving your credit cards for big-ticket items makes it much easier to manage the associated costs. It is also much easier to plan how you will pay off your credit cards if there are only a small number of items on there.
Reduce Your Lunch Bill
When you are a busy nurse, working long hours doing important but often difficult work, the last thing that you want to do is stop to prepare your own food. It is much easier to just go to the hospital canteen, or to the local store to pick up a prepackaged lunch. However, this ends with you paying for more for your food every week than you need to. This is by no means unique to nurses; most of us could save quite a bit of money if we changed our eating habits just a little bit.
Here are some simple things that any nurse can do to reduce their spending on food.
- Pack your own lunch: When you compare the cost of purchasing individual sandwich ingredients to making your own sandwich with the costs of buying a prepackaged sandwich from a store, there is no comparison at all. It is much more cost-efficient to make your own sandwiches, and given how little effort is involved in doing so, it is more than worth your time. If you are willing to take the time to prepare your food at home, you can enjoy whatever kind of lunch you want at a fraction of what it would cost to buy from the hospital canteen.
- Avoid pre-packaged food: There are lots of good reasons for steering clear of prepackaged food, and the fact that it will save you money is just one advantage. For one thing, prepackaged food tends to be less healthy, and more full of sugar and fats than food that you prepare yourself.
- Cook in bulk and freeze: It isn’t just the lunch that you bring into work where you can save money. Instead of cooking individual meals for yourself, consider cooking up a large batch of food that will last you for a number of days. If you follow this advice, you only need to cook a few times each week. You can then freeze the resulting meal and defrost and eat it at your leisure. If you cook a few different meals, you can alternate what you eat as the week goes on.
Reduce the Costs of Your Education
One of the great things about nursing as a career is that nurses are free to advance through the ranks at their own pace. Whenever you are ready to progress to the next level, you can begin to study for the relevant qualification, and it is up to you when you do this. Unfortunately, education tends to be expensive, especially in the United States. However, there are a couple of things that you can do to reduce these costs and save some money.
- Buy textbooks secondhand: As any student can tell you, textbooks are frustratingly expensive. No matter what subject you study or where you study, there is nearly always a number of textbooks that students are expected to buy. Buying these directly from publishers or through the usual channels can cost a small fortune. However, if you don’t mind your textbooks being second-hand, you can save yourself an enormous amount of money.
- Consider studying online: Not only will you have to cover the cost of your textbooks, but you then have to pay the fees to study the course itself. If you want to reach the highest echelons of the nursing profession, you will need to turn a number of degrees along the way. Whether you are studying a nursing MSN or a doctorate of nursing degree, choosing to study through an online university can save you a lot of money. Not only this, but online universities enable students to complete their studies on a part-time basis. This gives you more flexibility over when and how you complete your course.
Try Walking or Biking to Work
Transportation costs are one of those small expenses that many people view as a necessary evil, even though they aren’t necessary at all. So, when you wake up early in the morning and slide out of a warm bed into the cold of day, the last thing that you want to do is hop on your bike and pedal to hospital, especially when there are public transport options open to you. However, if you are willing to get up a bit earlier so that you can walk or bike to work, you can save yourself a huge amount of money over the course of a year.
Most of us could benefit from a little bit of penny-pinching in our lives, but few of us are as pressed for time as nurses are. Nurses do a particularly difficult job in a unique environment. It is therefore even more understandable than normal that many of them choose to pay a bit more if it saves them some time.
However, if you are willing to make just a few minor lifestyle changes, then you can completely turn the tables on your personal finances. Once you see the results, you will wonder why you didn’t start saving money sooner.