10 Essential Financial Tips for Nurses and Healthcare Workers
As a nurse or healthcare worker, you probably spend half your life looking after others. Your days are filled with caring for the people in your charge, either working with patients or overseeing those who do. There’s a purpose in your role, so you relish going to work and giving it your all each day.
But just because your role is super rewarding doesn’t mean you’re rolling in money. Sure, you’re doing okay and there are enough pounds in your bank account for the odd cup of coffee. Still, you can’t help but wonder if you could be doing more financially to plan for the future.
Financial management for UK nurses has never been more important with fuel prices up considerably over last year, and housing prices through the roof. Whether you’re just getting started in your career or have been in the healthcare game for decades it’s never too late to take a long hard look at your finances.
Here are our 10 essential financial tips for nurses and healthcare workers.
1. Learn To Budget
When it comes to budgeting for nurses, the equation should be pretty simple: Money in is greater than money out. In other words, you should have more coming into your household bank account than being spent from month to month.
If you can draw up a budget that captures the total income and expenditure over a set period, it’ll be the first important step to improving your finances. Put your expenditure into categories like:
- Essential spending (rent/mortgage, utilities, food)
- Non-essential (clothes, entertainment, outings)
2. Pay Off Debt
Debt is no fun for anyone. However, it’s not uncommon for nurses to have student loans, credit card debt or car payments. It’s easy to find yourself in a situation where a good chunk of your monthly income disappears in the form of debt interest payments. The best way to handle your debt is by creating a repayment plan.
Make a list of all of your debts. Then order them from the highest interest rate to the lowest. Using the budget you created in Step 1, identify how much you can afford to put towards your monthly payments. Once you have that figure in mind, you can start working to slowly repay the debt.
The quicker you become debt free, the less you’ll be paying in interest and other fees.
3. Plan For The Future
Financial management for nurses is all about being intentional with money. Ask yourself where you want to be financially and why you want to be there. Do you want to buy your dream home or have money to travel? Do you want to be financially independent for retirement so you can enjoy your twilight years? Either way, financial planning is about figuring out what it will take to get there.
Once you have these goals set, you’ll have something in mind to work towards. If you need help getting your head around setting financial goals and planning how to get there, you could talk to a Financial Planner. Talking to a professional can be a great place to get started on your way to achieving your long-term financial goals.
4. Set Up a Rainy Day Fund
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Some are good (like a lottery win!) and others can be a little less pleasant (like an emergency bill).
Financially, it’s best to be prepared for worst-case scenarios. If you were faced with a large unexpected bill tomorrow, would you be able to cover the cost or would you have to borrow the money? An emergency or rainy day fund gives you a cushion to fall back on when the unexpected happens.
5. It’s Never Too Early To Save
Unlike a rainy day fund, your savings exist for your longer-term goals. Your first house, university funds for your kids or even retirement; it’s never too early to start saving, even if you’re starting off in your career. The sooner you start, the more time your money has to grow.
6. Cut Your Costs
Are you struggling to save any money at the end of each month? It might be a good idea to re-evaluate your budget. Expenses like groceries, eating out and transport can quickly add up!
If you find yourself constantly throwing out uneaten vegetables and ordering last-minute takeaways, it’s time to start being smarter with your hard-earned cash. Here are a few of our top tips for cutting household costs:
- Meal plan – Make a grocery list before you go supermarket shopping, then stick to your plan throughout the week. You can also buy in bulk during sales.
- Meal prep – Instead of buying lunches on the go, save money by bringing your lunch to work. You’ll have a nutritious meal that will save you money.
- Take advantage of discounts available to healthcare workers. Some retailers offer discounts that can add up to significant savings.
- Move closer to your work – Nurses often have demanding schedules and multiple trips to-and-from work can be time-consuming and costly. If it’s an option, try to fisomewhere to livethat isn’t too far from your workplace. This can cut transport and childcare costs.
- Evaluate your providers – like internet, power company and even your gym. There may be cheaper options available that are just as good.
7. Sell Anything You Don’t Need
Whether it’s old nursing and medical books or a spin bike that you bought five years ago, there are bound to be some items lying around your house that are unloved and unused.
Instead of letting them gather dust, why not sell them and gain back some money? Since this money will likely sit outside of your budget, it’s funds that can go directly into savings.
8. Check Your Credit Score
Credit scores are incredibly important in the financial world. Your credit score can impact your ability to purchase a home, get a loan, rent a flat and even get a job.
Request a free copy of your credit report so you can check the score and report any errors. If you find any problems, dispute them immediately so you can keep a clean credit record.
9. Automate Payments
There’s no denying that nurses have demanding jobs. And when you have a demanding job, it can be easy to forget about mundane things like bills and payments!
Luckily, there’s an easy answer: automatic payments. If you set up APs, you can rest assured that your payments will be made on time and you won’t be building up any unnecessary interest.
10. Be Proactive
When working in healthcare jobs, it can be easy to focus on everyone else’s well-being and forget about your own. Don’t just think about improving your finances – start making inroads today.
Whether you’re just getting started in your career or you’ve been working in healthcare jobs for decades, it’s never too late to start increasing your savings and working towards your financial goals.
If you’re thinking about taking the next step in your nursing career, WESolutions’ team of nurse recruitment specialists can help you find your ideal role. To learn more about the UK jobs we have available, get in touch with our team.