Being a nurse means being ready to take on and manage many tasks and high levels of physical and mental stress. In return, they receive high levels of compensation. Even earning more than the median household income of $61,372, though, you may find that as a nurse who’s paid your dues and high costs (or currently holds them as a debt) to get to where you are, it’s hard to get ahead!
You must be ready to take on and manage your money in the same way that you manage your many tasks in order to get ahead financially as much as you have in your career. Luckily, as complicated as your life may be, accomplishing this skill doesn’t have to be!
As a nurse, your scrubs and footwear can be a big (and frequent) out-of-pocket expense. You’ll want to shop to find the best prices, but always be on the lookout for deals on scrubs and shoes and buy them in bulk when you do find them! Just remember: Discount scrubs don’t mean poorly made scrubs. You’ll want to look for discounted scrubs from trusted quality brands that are worth buying in bulk (or better yet, buying at all)! If you shop online, keep in mind that there are normally opportunities to create your own discount prices through the use of coupon/discount/promo codes. When it comes to shopping smart, though, your biggest trick will likely be to know when the best sales of the year happen and where!
Schedule Certain Shopping Sprees
Along with knowing certain key shopping times and scheduling them into your shopping plans, you’ll want to schedule big purchases for certain times as well, whether they coincide with these sales or not. Big purchases should never be made hastily anyway, but by planning out these purchases beforehand, you’ll be able to avoid a backlash of financial struggles, ensure you’re happy with the purchase you’ve made, and maybe even see a way to coordinate your purchase with a good sale. Along with major purchases, this could also be applied to seasonal purchases and hauls — for example, stocking your wardrobe with wonderful and warm scrubs for women when it gets cold!
Meal Plan Mindfully
Good food is as (or more) essential to you as a nurse as your ensemble and, unfortunately, just as (if not more) expensive, too! Just as you do with your shoes and scrubs, be on the lookout for deals on food and buy it in bulk when it makes sense to do so. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it will undoubtedly make it more exciting to prepare meals and eat better while also making it easier to avoid fast foods. While fast foods can be cheap, they can also add up quickly and break the bank — not to mention your body!
Be Book Smart
While you may be out of school already, you’re undoubtedly going to come across opportunities and requirements when it comes to advancement and recertification when it comes to nursing. Sell your nursing textbooks once you know that you’re good and done with them. Even if they’re outdated at the point that you’re ready to let them go, they will always be wanted and appreciated pieces.
Utilize Public Transportation or Carpools
Using public transportation or carpooling will not only be helpful for your finances but potentially even for your friends or family as well if you convince them to get in on the initiative! Along with putting more money in your pockets, utilizing public transportation or carpooling can have a tremendous impact on the environment, too. If this is a possibility for you, we highly recommend it!
In today’s world, it’s become far too easy to find yourself paying a ton in monthly subscriptions that you don’t even use, let alone know what exactly they’re for. Monthly subscriptions to streaming services, creative apps, gaming apps, and the infamous subscription boxes, along with monthly memberships like those to the gym, should be reviewed every couple of months and cuts should be made. If you’re someone who neglects this step, consider turning off any auto-renew options that may exist.
While it may not save you money directly, unsubscribing to promotional emails is always a good idea as well. Email marketing has come a long way and things like flash sales, gifts, and exclusive coupons riddle the inboxes of the masses — and tend to perform incredibly well! To unsubscribe and save yourself the space in your inbox and the expense of spontaneous buys.
Cash Over Card
Though we can only speculate on why research shows that cash should be your go-to payment method if you’re trying to save. We’re more likely to spend more on a card, whether it be debit or credit, than we are with cash, so next time you use it, do so to pull a bit of cash out of your account. This is also a great way to go about enforcing your budget. For instance, withdrawing what you’ve budgeted for things like snacks, entertainment, and gas and separating these amounts into their own envelopes will help you see things — like when you’re running low and need to take it easy in an area or if you run out and have to grab from another envelope — and what you’re robbing yourself of.
Turning Simple Hacks Into Successful Habits
After putting the time, money, and effort (or blood, sweat, and tears) that you have into graduating from nursing school and starting your career, you want to wear your cute cotton scrubs proudly and feel fulfilled both emotionally and financially at the end of each day. But just like your career and every step toward it, it’s going to mean being mindful of your (financial) habits and finding ways like those listed above to help you improve upon these habits and create healthier ones.