Travel nursing isn't necessarily an expensive ordeal by definition. In fact, if you do it right, you can cover the majority of your expenses for minimal costs, get your housing paid for with your per diem, and even have quite a bit left over to upgrade your lifestyle and put money back away into savings.
With all of that being saidâ€”it's also true that you can quickly wipe out all of that extra money by spending it on the road (which is probably something you don't want to do).
So in this article, you're going to learn 4 of the most effective, dynamic ways to save money while travel nursing.
These techniques are used far and wide by experienced travel nurses to help them maximize their earnings while also decreasing expenses.
So let's get you started on the path to doing the same thing.
Starting with step number 1â€¦
1. Find Some Affordable Housing
Getting affordable travel nurse housing is absolutely doable.
But you'll need to look around and make sure that you find something that actually works for you.
You can look at corporate housing, extended-stay hotels, short-term rentals, etc.
Heckâ€”some travel nurses even opt to live in a camper or RV.
Some even camp (but we'll be honestâ€”that long-term camping life can get pretty rough).
Here are some rules of thumb to follow to get the most affordable housing possible.
- Find something that costs less than your per diem
- Find something close-by
- Try to shop around and compare deals
- Use online websites to find more options in the area
- Look for housing options before you take the gig
Following these tips should help you to land something that'll actually save you money (or even put a bit more of that travel per diem into your own pocket).
2. Compare Different Travel Options
- Will it cost you more to fly or drive to your gig?
- Will you need to rent a car while you're there, or can you make it work with public transportation alone?
- Will you be able to get affordable flights to that location on a regular basis (if you're going to travel in between shifts)? Or do you plan to just fly once and live in that area for the duration of your stay?
See, planning these things out in advance is crucial to the process of saving money on travel expenses.
For exampleâ€”you might realize that driving is only cheaper when you don't take all of that drive time into account.
Or, you may come to find that different gigs in different cities simply offer better flight, car, and lodging opportunities.
It just really pays to look at all of these things in advance, to help you make the most cost-effective decisions possible.
3. Do Some Meal Prepping
Some nurses literally order delivery food for every shift while they're at workâ€”especially at night when the cafeteria is closed and there aren't any good â€˜on-site' options.
But this can get really expensive really fast!
By contrast, consider planning your meals in advance by doing some meal prepping.
Sure, it'll cost you a bit of time (and money for groceries). But you'll find that you'll spend considerably less (and probably end up with healthier meals to eat as well).
Plus, even though you'll need to take a bit of time to prep for your mealsâ€”it's still going to be worth your time because you'll be able to prepare several days worth of meals all at once.
Then, you can freeze them and take them with youâ€”and your meals will literally all be taken care of.
4. Put Money into Savings Every Time You Get Paid
When those big fat travel nursing checks hit your bank account, your first instinct might be to increase your spending to match your income.
But it's crucial that you avoid the temptation to â€˜income creep' as you bring more money in.
Instead, it's important for you to create a proper budget, and to put money away into savings as soon as the check hits your bank account.
This may seem counterintuitive at first. But it's an important step on the road to securing your future with savings and also saving up for those big purchases (a house, your next car, etc.) down the road.
There you have it.
Everything you need to know about how to save money while traveling nursing.
If you follow these steps, you should be well on your way to getting that nursing money put back and saved (as opposed to spending it willy-nilly on stuff that won't help your financial future).
You've got this!