I'm new to travelling. My husband kicked me out six months ago, I lived with friends and then took a travel job close to home (1.5 hours) in hopes we could reconcile with space. I'm low on funds and have no savings, so I took company provided housing. My hourly rate is okay and I'm basically making what I was as a staff nurse, but I don't have to pay for housing, which is a big relief. I'm extending my contract and found looking for housing to be exhausting and overwhelming, so I asked to extend my housing. I realize that I'm missing out on money that I could be pocketing because the stipend is pretty great but how do you all foot the starting costs associated with moving to a new place? I *love* the housing I'm in - it's a safe community, transit friendly, pet friendly (I have a cat) and I don't have to worry about rent. Am I crazy or does anyone else feel the same way? I feel like I'd have to take out a small loan to afford security deposit/first month's rent and would be paying that back before I could actually save any money left over from the stipend saved from a cheaper place to live.
Paycheck to paycheck survival is not sustainable. The smallest thing happens and you are homeless. There are millions of citizens making half of what you make that save some reserves. I'd suggest looking for a community aid agency locally and getting a financial advisor to give you advice on your affairs.
yes you are missing on housing but maybe consider "out of the box" ideas. Maybe rent a tiny house, commute from further out. AirBNB goes by the week or day but you can do monthly. I live in an RV although that isn't for everyone you often don't need money down and they finance for 15 yrs so payment is low. RV parks do require first month up front but no deposit or anything else. Also to save some you can camp out in walmart parking lot for a week or even the hospital parking lot depending on location. Maybe find a roommate who is a traveler...are you on the Gypsy group on FB? My point is if you can pocket just 1-2 weeks of income you can do it but you do need some savings for emergency so I worry about situations like yours. Call your creditors and tell them you need 1 month hardship, most will let you be for 1-2 months with no payment but interest will still incur.
My first assignment was to Alaska. Like you, it was pretty short notice, and I didn't have money saved up, so I took the company housing. It was a nice 1 bedroom apartment. Nice area, close to the hospital. I really liked it. I decided to extend as well and told the company the only way I would extend was if I was moved because I wanted my pets and I couldn't have them where I was at. So, we redid my contract and I took the stipend. It was a huge difference. Before I accepted the assignment, I knew what my stipend was, but didn't know how much they were paying for my housing. My stipend was about $800 week and they were paying about $500 week for my apt. I went from making $1200 week to $2000 week. I found a short term, month to month apartment that I was able to rent for $1000 month, so I was definitely making out. The first few weeks were rough because all my money went to moving in, and then you have to turn on utilities, furnish the place if it's not furnished, it was definitely a hassle. Then when I left, it was a hassle getting rid of everything. I gave my couch and a few other things to some neighbors and a nurse who I became friends with.
So, if you can afford it, definitely take the stipend. Maybe save up as much money as you can the rest of this assignment and use it for you next one. Try to find a furnished place. Right now I am in a 2 bedroom house from Airbnb. It's definitely expensive, but I don't have to share an apartment and I can have my pets. Good luck
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