5 Tips for Maximizing Savings While You Travel


5 Tips to Maximize Your Savings While on Assignment

By Leigh Morgan, contributor

As a travel nurse, you're paid a premium for your willingness to accept short-term assignments in locations all over the country. If you focus on saving money and reducing expenses, you can end your next assignment with plenty of money in your bank account, giving you a cushion to get you through any financial emergencies. Keep reading for valuable tips on maximizing savings while you travel.

1. Focus on saving

One of the most common money mistakes is focusing too much on paying down debt and not enough on savings. Getting rid of debt is important, but you need to focus on saving money if you want to create a financial cushion. The National Endowment for Financial Education recommends putting aside money as soon as you get paid rather than waiting to see what is left after paying bills and covering your living expenses. One of the easiest ways to save is to set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account.

2. Open multiple accounts

If you keep all of your money in a single checking account, it's easy to justify going out to eat or buying new clothes on a whim. According to Citizens Bank, this is a good reason to open multiple accounts. Having more than one account makes it easier to save money and budget for expenses, which can help you with maximizing savings while you travel.

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3. Look for ways to save

No matter how frugal you are, you still need to spend money on food, utilities and other basic expenses. Fortunately, it's possible to save money in almost every spending category by doing a little research and planning ahead before you make a major purchase. If your priority is maximizing savings while you travel, try out these tactics:

  • Time your purchases carefully, as some items go on sale at the same time each year. If you need a new computer, for example, September and November are the best time to buy. In November, you can even take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, according to Kathleen Elkins of CNBC.
  • Take advantage of savings programs sponsored by your utility providers. Many electric companies charge a lower rate for off-peak usage, enabling you to save money without having to turn off all the lights or avoid doing laundry. Some companies even pay customers to reduce their electricity usage during peak periods, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
  • Plan your meals carefully to take advantage of in-store sales and seasonal prices. Eating before you shop can also help you avoid wasting money on items you don't need, according to Kathleen M. Zelman, a registered dietitian.
  • Use coupons, rebates and savings programs to reduce the amount of money you spend on everyday purchases.

4. Follow a written budget

If you don't have a written budget, it's easy to spend a lot of money without knowing where it's really going. Budgeting is not a punishment, but a process that can help you identify ways to reduce your expenses and make sure more of your money goes directly into your savings account. Financial expert Dave Ramsey refers to budgeting as "telling your money where to go." When you set up your budget, be sure to account for the amount of money you want to save from each paycheck. As a travel nurse, you may also want to budget for things such as meals from the hospital cafeteria, nursing scrubs and extra gasoline for traveling from one assignment to the next.

5. Choose the right assignments

Some hospitals have such a great need for travel nurses that they're willing to cover your housing expenses or give you a bonus upon successful completion of a contract. You can easily maximize your savings if you receive a housing stipend and do not have to pay your rent entirely out of pocket. A sign-on bonus can also help you increase the amount of money in your emergency fund.

Travel nurses are well-compensated for their skills, experience and willingness to accept assignments in high-need areas. The extra compensation can go a long way toward helping you reach your financial goals, but only if you focus on saving money on reducing expenses along the way. Following these tips can help you reach your financial goals, especially if your main goal is maximizing savings while you travel for your nursing career.


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