5 ways to take control of your finances as a travel nurse

2.5 minute read

As a nurse, the demands of your job may cause you to put your personal needs, including financial planning, on the back burner.  

Finances can have a significant impact on your current life and future, so prioritising them means you will be able to secure your long-term financial position. 

Here are 5 key strategies that you can use to more effectively take control of your personal finances. 

1. Set goals

The first and most important thing in goal setting is figuring what you want to accomplish, and why

It is crucial to set goals on what you want to accomplish in your personal finances and to understand what is important to you in the immediate, medium and long term.   

For instance, do you want to save for a new car or holiday? Or maybe you want to pay off some credit card debt to eliminate your stress, or save for a deposit for your first property purchase. 

Whatever it may be, you will set yourself up for successfully achieving your financial goals with a solid, achievable plan. This will let you know exactly where to allocate your money while you are travel nursing. 

To save yourself time, consider hiring a financial planner to help you organise your finances or to help you set a budget. 

2. Set up an emergency fund

Financial planners often recommend that you set aside enough money for emergencies, with 3-6 months of living expenses as a goal.

Seeing large, unforeseen expenses exit your account can feel devastating during your journey to reaching financial goals, like an expensive car repair.

To help build your emergency fund, consider paying for purchases in cash rather than credit cards so you can better control your spending. It makes a big difference spending physical money versus ‘invisible’ money.

3. Think about retirement

One of the most important recommendations is to save diligently for retirement.  Saving for your retirement early means that you have more years to accumulate a good retirement nest egg and make the most of compound interest.

Australia has some of the most advanced superannuation laws in the world, with the minimum employer contribution being 10.5%.

You may elect to make additional contributions to bump up your account, but always get expert, financial advice if this is best for you, as there may be tax rules to be aware of.

A salary sacrifice arrangement can be a useful option for increasing your long-term super savings. Possible benefits include tax savings, potential participation in the First Home Super Savings Scheme (FHSS), and more money available for your retirement.

Expert tip: save money on administration fees by consolidating all your superannuation accounts into one, preferred fund.

4. Pay off your debt and budget

Paying off debt will give you more freedom with the money that you have, so you can reallocate your goals.  

There are numerous methods to do this – you can pay highest interest rate credit cards first (known as the avalanche method), all the way through to paying off the smallest balance first, then moving to larger balances (the snowball method).  

An important part of paying off your debt is to work within a budget. Resist putting purchases on your credit card and evaluate your purchases and determine if you really can’t live without it.

5. Talk to a financial planner

A financial planner looks at all your finances and helps you make the best choices to reach your short and long-term goals.

Many planners offer a complimentary introductory meeting, and can help you review your assets, liabilities, insurance coverage, investment or tax strategies.  

Some will also not charge you any fees for their services, as brokers they will receive fees from financial institutions if you purchase any of their products.

By making time to sit down and become more knowledgeable about budgeting and financial planning, the more confident and empowered you will be to take control of your financial future.  

Ready to earn agency rates and hit your financial goals? Register with Affinity today!

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