0Dec 12, '12 by jlamarevHey guys I was just wanting to get people's perspectives about how to make the most out of a nurses' paycheck. I am a RN of nearly 3 years and I needed some advice on how I can stretch my dollars. I don't live an extravagant lifestyle but I get paid on Fri but am nearly broke on Mon!
1Dec 12, '12 by whitecat5000, RNI use Mint.com to help manage finances.
I love it because I can list when my bills have to be paid, how much, and I can set a budget. It pulls charges from bank accounts and credit cards and automatically sorts them into proper accounts.
I think the first step to money management, personally, is figuring our where all the money is going.
I'm a single new grad with no kids, with new grad pay, with a house, car, and loans and I manage to save about 10-20% of my monthly income a week for emergencies without working overtime.
5Dec 13, '12 by NF_eyenurse, BSN GuideA few years ago a good friend (who is also our "tax guy" or CPA/financial planner) introduced me to a book called "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. Reading this book and listening to his (Dave Ramsey) radio show made a big difference on how we spend and save. We (me and hubby) now only pay with cash. We no longer have credit cards (last one is just about paid off ). The only thing I will ever pay interest on again in my lifetime is a home mortgage, otherwise everything is paid for. So much less stress this way.
2Dec 13, '12 by tewdlesI agree with above posters...
say no to credit cards of all kinds,
buy used cars,
pay cash for what you need,
take advantage of any pre-tax medical, child care, etc plans that your employer offers,
eating out should be a special event,
pack your lunch,
seek your joy in life and contentment not in the things you have but in the relationships you enjoy.
0Dec 13, '12 by brandy1017Read some books on personal finance All Your Worth by now Congresswomen Elizabeth Warren (budget book) and Deal with your Debt by Liz Weston and How to Improve Your credit score another book by Liz Weston who is on MSN money. Make improving your credit score a top priority as that will allow you to save money on everything... mortgage rates, credit card rates, car loans and even insurance. A person with a bad credit score will pay in the tens of thousands more over a life time than someone with an excellent score. Some of it is common sense pay your bills on time, monitor your credit report and score, keep your debt down, but some of it is almost like a game, you learn the tricks and can raise your score giving you more financial flexibility and better rates for loans, etc. You would think nurses would have good credit since we get paid twice as much as a CNA/secretary, but in fact, I know many nurses with poor credit who get fleeced when they need a home or car loan.
In the meantime use credit unions as much as possible for loans as they give better rates than banks. Learn to negotiate with credit card companies, cell phone, cable and internet providers to get the best deal and be willing to switch providers if necessary. On a side note I'm surprised with how much people are willing to pay for cell phones. Single mom CNA's paying over $100/mo for a cell phone for example, that is just throwing good money away!
I also use mint.com to monitor my income/expenses and Dave Ramsey is great for people with serious debt problems, although I think he takes being debt free a little too far. I'm for a more balanced approach allowing debt can be useful at times if you get a fair loan with good terms and don't get in over your head. Debt isn't the enemy, rather bad loans, or too much debt and student loans are the worst because they have no consumer protections.
I caution people to avoid student loans, especially private ones and not to get over your head in student loan debt!Last edit by brandy1017 on Dec 13, '12
2Dec 14, '12 by amoLuciaMy folks lived paycheck to paycheck. So longterm planning and saving was pretty much nonexistent as I grew up. As an young adult/new nurse, I never grasped the need for good planning - never figured that time would keep on marching. But it did and boy, do I know it now!!!
Best thing I ever read to do was to start a "Saving For Retirement" savings account. Totally separate from the usual savings account you might start. One you DO NOT TOUCH --- EVER. A regular amount from your takehome pay is put into that account EACH paycheck. EVERY paycheck. You manage on the rest of the paycheck as you would do anyway.
It could be a set amount or a figured set percentage, but it would ALWAYS be done each and every paycheck. It could be set up as an auto-deposit, split out of your check by your payroll dept. As time would go on, you could increase or decrease it as necessary, but it would always be done and not touched. And as that little nestegg grew, you could then really determine better investment options for the amount saved.
I truely wish I knew then what I know now. In healthcare, there's no realistic expectations for employer-provided bonuses and generous pension or retirement programs. When it's you and your others, you'll really need to plan well, and all the recommendations offered by the other posters are excellent money management strategies. My focus is on including retirement into your plans now rather than down the long away time that I miscalculated. Thinking long term for you.
2Dec 15, '12 by kennybania, BSN, RNAgree with the above poster about The Total Money Makeover. Best money management book I have ever read. The best advice I can give you is to start doing a written monthly budget and stick to it! That way you know where your money is going each and every month. As for retirement, I would suggest putting the money into a company funded 401k if your employer matches or a Roth IRA. A savings account only earns about half of one percent of interest nowadays, whereas a Roth IRA invested in a good index fund will draw around 8-12%. But start with the basics and do a budget so you can see where your money is going.
0Dec 15, '12 by MrChicagoRNLike any business you have income/revenue, and expenses. You know what's coming in, but you need to know what's going out. Record ALL money spent for the next month. Then you'll be able to determine where it's going, and you can develop a budget, or at least identify costs that can be cut.
0Dec 15, '12 by amoLuciaI missed bringing up the recommendation that OP kennybania did, and that being to take adantage of 401s or other IRAs. Employers do contribute a portion to the fund, so it is very advantageous to paticipate.
I brought up the bank savings account because it is something easily manipulated by you. You, yourself, can easily add to or decrease your deposits without much fuss. When you have the opportunity later on, you could better move around your monies for improved returns.
If I had the chance, I would do both. I know things are tight in the beginning. Good luck.