One of the benefits of taking a travel assignment is the compensation. In exchange for moving away from the creature comforts of home and friends, you’re often offered a higher salary and great benefits. However, if you aren’t careful, you can easily squander this financial boost on a different cost of living, tax implications of traveling, transportation or treating your 13-week assignment as a 13-week vacation. Here are some simple strategies to help you save the extra money you’re making.
Before traveling to your new destination, learn the cost of living in the area where you’re going. Take into account the housing stipend or corporate housing you’ll be using and plan ahead. Before traveling, you likely used a spending plan to save your money and plan for the future. Your travel assignment should not be different. Making a little extra money is not code for spending a lot more.
Your expenses from home to your travel assignment are not always covered. If you’ll be taking a lot of travel assignments, consider joining a loyalty program through a hotel chain that will allow you to stay less expensively as you’re moving from one destination to the next. Keep your AAA card current to help take care of any unexpected accidents or breakdowns along the way.
Although you are not at your home base, this is not an open opportunity to start eating out more frequently, or even at the hospital cafeteria. Instead, hit the local farmer’s markets and grocery stores to keep your kitchen stocked so there’s food waiting for you at home and something you can pack for lunch or dinner the next day. However, saving for the future does not mean you are not able to enjoy any entertainment! If you start feeling deprived, you won’t enjoy your experience. Be reasonable about how much you spend and set a certain amount aside every week for your activities.
There are several smartphone apps that can help if you’ve never evaluated how much you spend or kept track of how much you make. Your spending patterns have to work for you and although some call this a budget, a spending plan actually helps you save for the future and have money in your pocket for today.
The nurses on your unit are going to know the hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves local fare or the hidden hiking trails, most affordable grocery stores and memorable experiences that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
As a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to pick up extra shifts, thus increasing your paycheck without significantly impacting your schedule.
When you’re traveling to and from your assignment, or even when you’re in your assigned city, it can be tempting to overspend. This actually is the most important time to keep an eye on your spending as it can quickly get out of hand. Although credit cards are a godsend during an accident or an emergency, unless you pay them off every month, the balance can grow quickly, and paying interest on an item you’ve consumed is a bit like throwing money down the toilet.
Travel nurses receive a taxable hourly rate and non-taxed stipends, commonly used for housing, meals and other incidentals. Before traveling, consult with an accountant to determine how to keep track of your income and receipts, so tax time does not leave you with an exorbitant and unexpected bill.
Compensation is only one of the unique benefits of being a traveling nurse, and we’d like to introduce you to the rest. Contact our professional recruiters at Amare Medical Staffing and we’ll get started helping you find your next assignment.