Nursing: The Financial Side

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    Nursing has the strong potential of allowing one to make a good life for their family. But sometimes, people just get it all wrong along the way, either in terms of lifestyle choices or upfront in terms of school selection. Let's talk about it.

    Our finances are mostly decided by the choices we choose to make or not. You do not have to be a Wall Street guru (this is also debatable!) or a whiz kid to understand that if you spend way above your income, you stand a greater risk of falling into debt and other financial messes.

    Some situations are simply unavoidable on how one can get into a financial mess (think hospital fees related to lack of insurance or bankruptcy from staggering hospital fees!) and yet others are consciously made with or without thoughts to the long term effects of those decisions.

    Some risk factors that can tip you into a financial mess

    School Loans

    If you decide to pick an Ivy League school for nursing (laughable) or an especially exorbitant one, then please do be prepared to pay the piper when it comes to time to pay the school loan. Except those schools come with a sure guarantee of a job offer after school, it would be your best bet to pick a better affordable school and network like craz before graduation. By all means, do go to that accelerated school, just try and make sure that that expensive accelerated school is at least accredited. Why spend so much money and still have limitations at picking a place of employment?Not a good investment!

    2. Mortgage

    Please explain to me again how a five bedroom house with two and a half baths (with the white picket fence) is the right choice to make for a family of three? Things add up. When you begin to pay for space (or things) you do not need, you take away from saving up for things you do need.

    3. Latest Tech gadgets

    Apple Air is all well and good. Iphone 6 or is it 7? No wait, its 8! Is even more better, but have you checked how much those run and the contract agree you have to add up along with that.

    4. Constant eating -outs (self-explanatory)

    5. Garage Sale

    Out with the old, in with the new! All the time? No you do not need to offload all your clothes from last summer to make new ones for next summer. Pick and choose. You don't always have to follow ALL the latest fashion trends.

    Reducing these risk factors

    1. Scholarships/ Tuition Reimbursements

    There are a plethora of funds out there, take advantage of them. Write that essay if that is what it takes you to get some finances towards covering some school expenses. Keep your grades up (high school students!).

    2. Be frugal

    No, you do not NEED the latest model of the Jaguar. Get yourself, a dependable Honda Accord or whatever else it is that runs well, is good on gas and still looks great, like new.

    3. Cook in!

    This might be tricky for some, but have you ever stopped once to tally how much of your spending goes on constant eat-outs? A lot! Learn to cook and have fun with it. Buy basics and staples and play with it, YouTube it, if you like. It's amazing what comes up on You Tube. Save some money while you are at it and know what goes into your meals.

    4. SAVE!

    Find a way of paying yourself, it could be automatic payments so you have no idea when it gets taken out, much less painful that way. Save for the rainy day

    5. Get some financial literacy.

    "I don't know" is no excuse. Find out and then transfer/instill these good habits into your kids.

    Share your helpful tips & what has worked for you.
    Last edit by Joe V on Nov 20, '13

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  2. About The_Optimist

    Joined Aug '13; Posts: 176; Likes: 336.

    Read more articles from The_Optimist

    29 Comments so far...

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    Consider buying short-term disability insurance, especially if you can get it through your employer. It's cheap, especially if you're young, and it will provide income if you're unable to work for a few weeks. The policy I have even covers childbirth.
    Jay406, The_Optimist, imintrouble, and 1 other like this.
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    Thank you for this post. It offers some great tips on how to hang onto as much of your limited income as possible with the limited time we have in the workforce.

    Yes, our time in the workforce is finite. While we might hear of the 85-year-old floor nurse, who seriously wants to do this backbreaking job well into old age? Live frugally now for a comfortable retirement.
    The_Optimist, VickyRN, and imintrouble like this.
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    learn to live below your means. You never know when that extra money will be needed. Also, take advantage of any retirement accounts available to you. The years pass quickly
    The_Optimist, martinalpn, VickyRN, and 3 others like this.
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    Good reminders for everyone. I just read an article about teaching financial savy to kids. It said that kids usually don't visualize themselves as older people. So they don't relate to the concept of "saving for later." Because they don't identify with their older selves, saving for later feels a lot like giving the money to another person. I think a lot of adults never outgrew that phase of development -- they don't connect with the fact that THEY THEMSELVES will be the ones to suffer tomorrow if they make foolish choices today.

    I have a friend (and a brother) whose life stories have been one foolish financial choice after another. It's so sad. You try to talk with them ... but they just want what they want ... and they want it NOW ... and they just won't consider the long-term perspective.
    Jay406, The_Optimist, VickyRN, and 3 others like this.
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    Oooooh ooooh - I have one

    If your employer offers a matched savings plan.... go for it! This is equivalent to giving yourself a raise. It will also instill a good savings habit. Opting out means that you are leaving money on the table.
    Jay406, The_Optimist, VickyRN, and 5 others like this.
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    Quote from HouTx
    Oooooh ooooh - I have one

    If your employer offers a matched savings plan.... go for it! This is equivalent to giving yourself a raise. It will also instill a good savings habit. Opting out means that you are leaving money on the table.
    A 401(k)/403(b)/457 can be a good idea even if your employer doesn't match contributions. It's tax-free savings, and even a little will add up over time.
    The_Optimist, imintrouble, and OCNRN63 like this.
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    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    A 401(k)/403(b)/457 can be a good idea even if your employer doesn't match contributions. It's tax-free savings, and even a little will add up over time.
    Actually, most of these plans are not tax-free. They are tax-deferred, meaning that you delay the taxes until you take them out of the account to use them. With a "Roth" account, the money you earn is tax-free, but you pay taxes up front on the money you invest.

    I just didn't want people to think their retirement accounts were tax-free when they are not -- and have a nasty surprise when they withdraw the money later.
    The_Optimist, RNlove17, krisiepoo, and 5 others like this.
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    it seems like people in US pretty much live their young lives just to live for retirement... no offense, but just that's what it seems like to me. I probably will live somewhere else outside country when I am old, using my skills to service others;
    kcochrane likes this.
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    I honestly think they need to teach financial management in high school. Kids don't know or understand how to balance a checkbook anymore. So many people make good money but throw it all away instead of saving and planning. I make sure I have a balance. I have learned to save and have fun at the same time. I don't drive a brand new car or have a giant, brand new house but I have no bills either except for utilities. Yes my house is paid for. I am also paying for my schooling out of pocket so I will have no student loans at the end. But that means that I go to a very reputable, community college. You can have it all, you just need to plan for it.
    NurseRies, The_Optimist, martinalpn, and 2 others like this.

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