Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
Can I keep the extra money from my Travel Nurse housing stipend after I pay my monthly rent? My recruiter said no, which left me confused. For example, if my stipend is $2,000 per month, and I utilized $1,000 for rent and other housing expenses, am I allowed to “pocket” the remainder? Thank you!
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
I think this one would fall into the category of, “What does your contract say?”
Many Travelers do exactly what you are wanting to do, and keep the remainder of your stipend. However, I have read contracts where the travel company specifies that any overage in housing must be returned. To keep track of this, the travel company often requires invoices or proof of how much was spent each month. However, if your company made no mention of this in your contract, then you could just tell them that your housing does come to $2K per month and that should be that.
“Pocketing” extra money from your housing stipend is the reason so many Travelers elect to take a housing stipend. If you are traveling with a company that takes away this “perk,” then either make them arrange the housing on your next contract or find another company that does not regulate their stipends.
Do be careful on your taxes when you have an overage of your stipend. Depending on your tax situation, the actual amount spent, may not need to be taxed, but I know of very few situations where the excess should not be listed as taxable income.
Hope this helps.