The benefits of a travel nurse far out weight that of being a perm nurse, at least in my eyes. Of course it takes a certain personality to be able to carve a successful career out of being a traveling nurse and for some, being stationary is exactly what they want to do. However, if given the opportunity to take my skills on the road for 13 weeks at a time all the while receiving paid housing, insurance, per diems, etc. you can bet your sweet bippy I’d be the first to sign up. There are numerous benefits to a traveling career that one can take advantage of to secure themselves, vocationally and financially.
I’m sure most of our readers are well aware of the current state of job availability and it’s effect on the economy. The business of travel nurses is somewhat down but it seems to be making a slight rebound and there are more jobs available every day. To make the most out of being a traveling nurse these days you must be open, very open to any and all jobs that are out there. Sure it may not be the most glorious of locations but you can still reap the benefits, just without a beach that is within reach. It all depends on what you’re willing to sacrifice and during times like these, it’s not wise to be choosy. Now is the time to make the most out of any situation and prepare yourself financially for what may seem like an uncertain future.
Most staffing agencies have similar benefit packages available to their travelers, so whoever you choose, make sure what they offer is at least comparable to the others you’ve been investigating. One of these benefits that you must enroll yourself in is a retirement matching program (401K, investment plans, etc.). It’s basically free money to you and all you need to do is contribute at least enough to utilize all of the matching available. The money is taken out of your checks before taxes and applied towards your retirement and what’s best is you’ll never even know it was missing.
Another financial best practice for traveling nurses is to bank and pay your bills online. Many of the credit card, banks and utility companies offer some sort of incentive for using the online method of transactions and these can all add up to significant savings. Banking online is a huge time saver, no more digging through piles of statements and whatnot. Instead you can log-in to your account and monitor your account any time of day and see exactly where and how you are spending your money.
As a traveling nurse your next position may not come that easy and there’s a chance that there could be a gap between employment. The best thing you can do to prepare yourself for this situation is a “rainy day fund” or savings account. It’s already hard enough out there, so why not make yourself a little security blanket for just in case?
The mobile lifestyle of a traveling nurse is fast paced and often exciting! There’s so much to see and do that you haven’t done before and it’s easy to want to do it all in the little time you have. Of course the smart thing to do would be to pace yourself. A lot of things you may want to do and try come with a price and it would be wise to not live above your means. Take care of your credit card balances and checking account first. All these activities and events can add up quickly and drain your pocketbook in no time.
These simple practices can go a long way in helping you save and prepare for what is to be bright future for traveling nurses. Employing these techniques into your lifestyle can work wonders for your peace of mind and more importantly your cash flow. You work so hard already and you deserve the opportunities to enjoy the fruits of your labor – but maybe not all the time. Be smart with your funds and soon you’ll learn that living securely is far better than going all out on the weekends and struggling to make it to the next check. Trust me, I’ve done that!
Check out our Travel Nursing Salary Calculator which enables you to compare salaries to that of perm nurses around the country. This tool will help you gauge what you should at least be making when traveling to different cities during your travel nursing career.