There are many benefits to being a nurse. It’s fulfilling, and a great way to help others, give back, and learn. It can be very flexible if you find the right position. In time, it can even be a great way to earn a lot of money and grow a successful career. But in the early days, newly qualified and trainee nurses rarely earn a lot of money. Most nurses are looking to save money and make cutbacks at the start of their careers. Here’s a look at some of the best ways to do it.
Learn to Budget
Whatever you do for a living, one of the most effective ways to save money is budgeting. Take a detailed look at your income and expenses and prepare a simple household budget including everything from rent and bills to luxuries, travel costs, and the drink that you buy at the station.
Having a budget written down in front of you makes it much easier to identify where you are spending too much, and where you could easily make some cutbacks. One $4 coffee in the morning might not seem a lot, but when you see close to $100 in coffee shop purchases every month, you’ll see how much difference it makes.
Save Little and Often
If your income is lower than you’d like, the idea of saving might seem like a distant dream. But having savings is one of the best ways that you can save money in the long term. Savings mean that you never have to get into debt for unexpected expenses or to cover holiday spending. Savings also mean that your money is working for you, growing quietly in the background. Even if interest rates are low, it’s better than nothing.
Saving small amounts, as regularly as you can, is often the easiest way to save if you don’t have much spare cash. You might find that using an app to automate saving makes the process easier, and less painful.
Become a Savvy Shopper
The surest way to waste money is to always buy the first thing that you see. Shopping around, comparing prices, making the most of deals and sales, and even comparing the cost per kg or liter, instead of just buying the cheapest outright, can be great ways to save a lot of money over a year.
Another way to be a savvy shopper is to use cashback apps. These are apps that give you a small amount back when you make a purchase after clicking on one of their links. They do this using affiliate links, giving the consumer a small amount of the money that they earn themselves. But remember, shopping like this only saves you money if you’d have made the purchase anyway.
Spend Less on Food
There are some costs that you can’t reduce, and others, like food, that you can save a fortune on. Start by cutting the amount that you spend on eating and drinking out. Start taking a flask of coffee and a packed lunch to work. Eat out less often, and when you do, go to restaurants with special offers and cheaper fixed-price menus.
There are also places to save on the food that you cook at home. First, try budget store brand ingredients instead of more luxury brands. Then, write meal plans and shopping lists to avoid waste. Cooking in batches or bulk and freezing portions is another fantastic way to save money and also to reduce waste.
Explore Training Opportunities
One of the best ways to save money, especially in the long term, is to make more money. The more you earn, the more you’ve got, and the easier it is to steer clear of costly debts and to start to save. Often, the problem with earning more is that the only way to do it is to gain promotions, work in different areas, and even work more hours, which as a nurse who already works around the clock, can be tricky.
Training programs can open up new, higher-paid opportunities. But these themselves can be expensive.
Don’t assume that to become a more senior nurse, or a nurse in a specialized area, you need to take time off work, and so time away from earning, to gain new qualifications. There will be plenty of free, or cheap training programs. Volunteering can also be a great way to gain new experience, and studying accelerated nursing programs online with Baylor University means that you can study around work, without having to lose money.
Find an Easy Side Hustle
Another popular way to earn more money and make sure you’ve got some spare cash in the bank is with a side hustle. It’s thought that one in three of us has a side hustle, away from our main jobs, and the concept of earning extra in your spare time is becoming much more popular.
Like studying, the problem nurses have with side hustles is that they are already busy, and often emotionally drained. You might not have the time, or the desire to spend even more time working and trying to earn cash. So, what you need is an easy side hustle, or a way to make money from the things that you enjoy doing, or the things that you do to relax.
Writing a blog about your experiences can help you to switch off, and once you’ve grown a following, it is a great passive income. Another great option is selling things that you make. Crafting can help you to relax, and homemade goods are more sought-after than ever. Other easy side hustles include online surveys getting paid to surf the net and joining focus groups.
Unsubscribe from Emails
Do you get tens or even hundreds of emails every week from brands that you’ve once shopped with, or websites that you gave your email years ago to get a discount or special offer? Most of us do. These emails themselves don’t directly cost you money. But you are far less likely to visit the websites and make purchases if you aren’t being bombarded by emails telling you to do so. Email marketing can be very effective, so cut yourself off from it by hitting that unsubscribe button.
Stick with nursing and it can become a wonderful career with excellent earning potential. Saving money while you are progressing can help you on this journey.