Everyone thinks that nurses earn such a great paycheck, but it is nowhere near the compensation we deserve for the work we do. We should be paid more for the stress, emotion, and time we spend on our jobs.
Still, it is important to know how to handle your finances. Nurses aren’t necessarily known for their economic acumen, but a few common sense approaches can help you make the most of your nursing paycheck.
Of course, everyone should budget, not just nurses. Budgeting means that you section off your income to pay the necessities and then to have some partitioned for other needs.
Part of your budget will be for bills. Mortgage, rent, lights, gas, water, cable, and phone are all the necessary utilities that you need to set aside money for every month.
You should also keep in mind that you will need “walking around” money. Sometimes, money just gets spent and you don’t even realize it.
Maybe you stop at Starbucks for a coffee or eat in the cafeteria. All of this adds up, and that money needs to be reflected in the budget or you will come up short.
Set Aside Money for Savings
As part of your budgeting, you need to set aside some money for savings. What if you lose your job or your spouse becomes unemployed?
Calamities happen all the time, and only savings can protect you when you face financial ruin. When you are living paycheck to paycheck, though, it can be very hard to set aside money for savings.
Ideally, you should try to set aside 10 to 20 percent of your check, but it isn’t unheard of to save 30 percent. It depends on how the rest of your budget plans out, what misfortunes befall you, and the other monies you have coming into the house.
One thing to mention is retirement funds, usually given as a benefit by your facility. If they have them, take advantage of them, but if not, consider getting an IRA to prepare for your later years.
Have Some Fun
Finally, you need to have some fun with your money, unwind, and participate in retail therapy. This should be worked into your budget so that you account for the splurges that make earning all that money worth it.
You need to set aside some play money, but you need be moderate with it too. Don’t go overboard because you have a big check sitting in your account.
It is very easy to blow the whole wad of money on fun stuff and not plan for retirement or the future. Everyone needs to unwind from time to time, and that almost always takes some form of monetary expenditure.
If you plan for those splurges, you can make sure they don’t wipe out your reserves or interfere with your responsibilities. Like managing a patient, managing your money is important in reducing stress and preparing for the unexpected.