If your nursing school journey is coming to an end, odds are personal finances aren’t the first thing you think about. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for nurses is expected to grow between 16 and 31% through 2024, which will lead to many job openings for nurses. However, financial planning and setting goals are one of the most important steps for you to achieve future goals. Here are some Tips for Setting Yourself Up for Financial Success After Nursing School with steps you can take to ensure you are on the path to financial stability.
Create a Budget
Nursing is a field that is in high demand and can offer very good salaries. However, being responsible with your earnings will help you pave the way for success with both managing money and your career. An important first step is to create a budget for yourself. For many people, managing the flow of money can be challenging and stressful.
Additionally, you have the added pressure of working in a high-intensity environment with long, busy days. Having a hectic schedule can create a breeding ground for impulsive spending, since it’s easy to justify that you deserve a treat. It’s important to prioritize needs over wants and build a budget that ensures you have the resources to pay for your basic expenses. If you struggle to create a budget, there are many resources available, including YouTube videos, courses, budgeting apps, and prepared spreadsheet templates. Don’t let stress about budgeting prevent you from creating a future you are excited for.
Write Down Your Goals
Having a vision of the future you dream of can be an incredible motivator when trying to get your finances in order. Putting pen to paper and writing about your dream house, the future of your family, and travel plans can help align your mindset toward putting money where you need to.
Talking about your goals with your partner, friends, parents, or other trusted resources can be very helpful. You may learn budgeting or investing tips that you never would have thought of on your own. Leaning on the support and accountability that sharing your new plans can give you the strength to stay the course when tempted to spend unwisely.
Focus On Debt
Student loans are a major financial burden for so many graduates, and nursing students are no exception. The average nursing student carries between $20,000-47,000 of debt, and many students exceed the upper limit of that average. You might be drawn to only pay the minimum amount each month or to elect to defer your loans if possible. However, ignoring debt only makes the problem grow and grow due to the interest your debt will accrue. Here are some strategies to help you pay off your loans and be free of your debt:
- Pay over the minimum amount each month: This will help you to tackle your debt faster by consuming a portion of your debt each time you make a payment. Check with your loan provider to see if your payments will be applied to the principal balance, or toward interest.
- Update your repayment schedule: If you have federal student loans, you can apply to structure your payments differently. Try setting a lower minimum monthly payment then to consistently overpay each month.
- Refinance your loans: If your credit has improved since you borrowed for your loans, you might consider refinancing. This will help you to lower your interest rate and slow the growth of your debt.
Understand Your Options with a Financial Advisor
Another way to elevate your understanding of your finances is to seek out the help of a financial advisor. The guidance of a financial advisor can help you to invest according to your own risk tolerance, all while growing your money faster.
Having an advisor as a resource can help you plan for financial emergencies. At work, you will most likely face people experiencing emergencies every day, and it may make you think of ways to be more prepared in your own life. A financial advisor can discuss options such as how to borrow against your retirement funds, how to get cash through equity built in your home, or how to tackle accrued debt such as student loans that may spiral into an emergency. Allowing a financial advisor to give you the tools to grow your wealth is a great way to secure your future.
Nurses are some of the most special and important people on the planet. You deserve to have fun, enjoy life, and go on hard-earned vacations, and you can do so while still being financially responsible. Prioritizing your future self as an equal and setting them up for success is key to a stable, happy future.