You’re trying to figure out how to save money while on the road as a travel nurse.
Paying for your living expenses — plus your travel costs and your bills back home — it’s all adding up quickly.
You wonder how you can better manage your money, and you’re looking for tips.
With our step-by-step guide, you will learn the best budgeting, earning, and savings tips for travel nurses on the road.
Table of Contents
- 7 Budget Tips for Travel Nurses
- 5 Cost-Minimizing Tips To Help Travel Nurses Stay on Budget
- 3 Ways To Earn Extra Income as a Travel Nurse
- Let Trusted Nurse Staffing Help You Find the Assignment With the Earning Potential You Desire
7 Budget Tips for Travel Nurses
Budgeting tips for travel nurses include creating a budget, tracking spending, and looking for ways to reduce expenses.
Keep reading to receive practical tips for saving money while on your travel nursing assignments.
Do you already have a budget in place for your next nursing assignment?
If so, let Trusted Nurse Staffing help you find your dream assignment as a travel nurse.
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#1: Establish a Comprehensive Budget That Includes Savings
One of the best ways to save money is to be aware of where your money is going.
A comprehensive budget will allocate a category for every purchase you make, which may include expenses for:
- Cell phone
- Entertainment; and
- Transportation costs
Remember to make your savings a priority in your budget, which can give you some “cushion” as you transition to your next assignment or have extended time off of work.
From there, you can make adjustments to ensure your spending aligns with your overall need and lifestyle goals.
#2: Set Clear and Measurable Spending and Saving Goals
Setting measurable spending and saving goals is a vital part of any budget, and it’s especially important for travel nurses. Without a clear goal in mind, it’s easy to overspend on unnecessary things.
Considering the following format for setting clear and measurable goals for your spending:
- I will only spend $X on restaurants this month.
- I will only spend $X on shopping this month.
- I will only spend $X on entertainment this month.
Your saving goals might include:
- I will save $X from each paycheck.
- I will put $X into my savings account each week.
- I will save 10% of my income each month.
Whatever your goals are, make sure they are clear and specific so that you can easily track your progress and make adjustments as needed.
#3: Track Expenses, Evaluate Spending, and Make Adjustments
Before you can budget, be aware of your spending and evaluate your expenses periodically.
Tracking your expenses is a great way to get started. You can then make adjustments as needed.
Sometimes you don’t realize where your money is going.
For example, you may find that you carelessly spend over $300 for snacks at the vending machine at work each month.
By tracking your expenses, evaluating your spending patterns, and making adjustments as needed, you can ensure you are staying on track with your budget and reaching your financial goals.
#4: Pay Off Debt
One of the best ways to save money as a travel nurse is to pay off any debt you may have while on assignment.
Not only will this free up more of your income to save or spend as you please, but it will also help you avoid accruing any new debt while on the job.
If you have …
- Student loans
- Credit card debt; or
- Other types of debt
… consider using some of your savings to pay it off so that after your next travel nurse assignment, you can take that well-earned vacation.
#5: Plan Ahead for Time Off Between Assignments
After a long and rewarding assignment, most travel nurses look forward to some well-deserved time off.
But if you’re not careful, this time off can be more expensive than you think.
Consider these three tips to help you plan ahead and save money while you’re between assignments:
- Make sure you have enough money saved to cover your expenses for the entire time you’ll be off between assignments.
- Try to schedule your time off so it coincides with slower times of the year for travel nursing and find more affordable housing and transportation options.
- Get creative with your housing options and consider staying with friends or family, renting an RV or camper, or even house-sitting for someone going out of town.
It’s nice to take some time to chill and refresh before the next one — but if you don’t plan for it, it might be difficult to afford.
#6: Choose an Assignment That Allows You To Stay on Budget
When you’re a travel nurse, it’s important to choose an assignment that allows you to stay on budget.
For example, if you are considering Hawaii for your next assignment, you need to be sure that your salary will compensate for the higher cost of living.
To help you choose an assignment that allows you to stay on budget, consider these five tips:
- Research the cost of living in your assignment location.
- Make sure your compensation package covers your basic expenses.
- Consider signing a longer-term contract to get a discount on your housing.
- Use your per diem to cover incidentals like meals and entertainment.
- Stay in budget-friendly accommodations like hostels or vacation rentals.
Following these tips will help you stay on budget and enjoy your travel nursing adventures.
#7: Take Advantage of Your Agency’s Benefits
Take advantage of all the benefits your agency offers.
Your agency should offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes:
- Medical, dental, and vision coverage
- Referral bonuses; and
- Travel nursing stipends
It’s important to research these and other benefits before you accept a position, as different agencies offer different levels of coverage.
You should also find out if your agency offers any other perks, such as:
- Pet insurance
- Roadside assistance; or
- Discounted travel rates
Are you looking for a travel nursing agency?
Check out Trusted Nurse Staffing and let us help you find your next assignment with the earning potential and benefits you desire.
5 Cost-Minimizing Tips To Help Travel Nurses Stay on Budget
#1: Look for Coupons or Groupon Deals
When you’re on the road for several months at a time, look for deals and coupons.
Many stores offer deals to customers who sign up for their mailing lists.
Others will have special sales or coupons available online or in-store.
Groupon is also a great source for finding exclusive local deals, such as:
- Events; and
- Fitness centers
#2: Make Your Own Meals and Coffee
One of the quickest ways to deplete your travel nursing budget is to eat out for every meal and make $4 Starbucks runs every morning.
While it’s fine to enjoy the occasional restaurant meal or specialty coffee, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run if you cook most of your meals and make your own coffee.
If you’re not into making your own coffee, consider buying a reusable filter and using grounds from your local coffee shop instead of single-use pods.
If cooking meals from scratch sounds like too much work, consider preparing several meals in advance and reheating them throughout the week.
There are tons of great recipes online for healthy and budget-friendly meals that can be easily prepped in advance.
#3: Use the Agency Stipend
Are you wondering how to best use your stipend?
It’s important to use the stipend for what it is intended — after all, it is there to help cover the cost of your housing and other living expenses while you are on assignment.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use the extra money for other things.
Here are some tips for how to use your stipend:
- Cover the cost of your housing and other living expenses as your first priority.
- Save some money to have a savings cushion for when unexpected expenses may come up.
- Use the extra money for fun activities or souvenirs. When you are only in a place for a few weeks or months, it can be easy to blow all of your money on nights out or activities.
And remember, there is nothing wrong with treating yourself.
Make sure you are also budgeting for souvenirs or other things you want to take home with you from your experience.
#4: Travel With Friends
One of the best ways to save money while travel nursing is to find a group of travel nurse friends and travel together.
When you travel with a group, you can share living costs on things like:
- Groceries; and
- Other incidentals
If you are on a tight budget, traveling with a group can be a great way to save money.
#5: Be Creative With Transportation
There are countless ways to save money on transportation costs while travel nursing.
If the hospital is in a city with public transportation, take advantage of it. Many times, a travel nurse can get a discount on public transportation costs by showing their ID badge.
If the location isn’t ideal for public transportation or if you prefer to get some exercise, consider biking or walking to work.
And of course, there are always ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft.
3 Ways To Earn Extra Income as a Travel Nurse
#1: Take on Per Diem Work
Per diem work is a great way to boost your earnings as a travel nurse.
By picking up a few extra shifts here and there, you can really pad your bank account.
Just be sure to factor in the cost of transportation to and from the hospital.
#2: Work the Night Shift
If you’re looking to maximize your earnings as a travel nurse, working the night shift is a great way to do it. Working the night shift can add up to 50% to your hourly rate.
Of course, working the night shift can be tough. It can be difficult adjusting to sleeping during the day, and you may miss out on some of the social aspects of travel nursing.
But if you’re looking to boost your earnings, it’s worth considering.
#3: Earn a Specialty Certification or Advanced Degree
There are many ways to qualify for higher-paying travel nursing jobs.
One way is to earn a specialty certification or advanced degree in a particular area of nursing.
For example, nurses with a certification in intensive care or emergency room nursing can command higher salaries than their non-specialized counterparts.
While it may take some time and effort to pursue these higher levels of education, doing so can pay off handsomely in the long run for both salary and job satisfaction.
Let Trusted Nurse Staffing Help You Find the Assignment With the Earning Potential You Desire
At Trusted Nurse Staffing, we understand that one of the biggest factors in deciding whether to accept a travel nursing assignment is the pay.
You want to find an assignment that pays well, but you also want to be sure you can manage your finances and make the most of your earnings.
Whether you’re a seasoned travel nurse or just starting out, finding the right assignment can be a challenge.
You want an assignment that meets your needs of …
- Salary; and
… but you may not know where to start.
That’s where Trusted Nurse Staffing comes in.
Our professional team can help you find the right assignment, with the earning potential you desire.
We can also offer guidance and support throughout your career.
Click below to contact us today.