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.

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MrChicagoRN, RN

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care. Has 30 years experience. 2,589 Posts

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.

Definitely.

And everyone should have flex spending account that allows you to pay for prescription Rx, co-pays and deductibles, glasses, dental work all on a pretax basis.

And regarding 403b/401k and taxes, if you are offered a Roth option, your investments will be post-tax dollars, but every penny you earn will be tax free forever & ever.

The_Optimist

The_Optimist

4 Articles; 176 Posts

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.

I very much agree with you on financial management being taught in schools (high-school) to colleges, I am also of the mindset that parents can make a positive attempt in modelling the behavior to kids. I also understand that some parents don't have that opportunity either hence school comes in.

Whatever the case may be, financial management is of the essence.

kcochrane

kcochrane

1,465 Posts

You have some really great ideas to share. I'm with the other poster that said she was not going to retire. I don't plan to either. Both my partents are 70 something and still working full time. But as life has shown me, sometimes things don't go as planned. I probably spend too much money on eating out, but I spent 20 something years raising kids and barely getting by. So I'm going to have some fun. I also enjoy spending my money on my grown children. They need it now, not when they are 60 +. I still contribute to my retirement so I will have choices when I'm 70. There is a happy medium with everything we do, but we also need to enjoy life.

I also think it would be great to have financial classes for kids. Wish i would have had them. Perhaps some of my follies would have been avoided.

Edited by kcochrane
spelling error

bloodorange

bloodorange

136 Posts

Definitely.

And everyone should have flex spending account that allows you to pay for prescription Rx, co-pays and deductibles, glasses, dental work all on a pretax basis.

And regarding 403b/401k and taxes, if you are offered a Roth option, your investments will be post-tax dollars, but every penny you earn will be tax free forever & ever.

So true! My FSA is saving me a few hundred bucks this year. I have a chronic condition requiring meds, so it's easy for me to plan my medical spending.

ALSO, handy tip: Roth accounts are awesome, just like the quote above says, but you can also plan a tax-deferred account to provide you with the first $10,000 or so of annual income during your retirement. The first ~$10,000 of your income is not taxed by the federal gov't anyway, so getting that income from a tax-deferred account means actual tax-free money! Just takes a bit of planning and balancing.

Oh, last thing: I'm young and have always been a saver, but I live in NYC and it's very hard to come out ahead with the cost of living here. (not a nurse yet, either, so making less than I hope to in a couple years' time!) There's a nifty software program called You Need A Budget that's been very helpful for me. (I am not affiliated with the YNAB people in any way.)

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 2,418 Posts

Random point: plan for excess spending in terms of vacations and things like that, so you can have fun and still save. It's great to live frugally for "retirement," but if you have a debilitating stroke or heart attack at age 64 right before you get out of the workforce, you're just going to be rich and disabled. At least make some really good memories so if you end up unable to do anything at all when you retire, at least make sure you have good memories to look back on. I have seen this happen with my patients. It sounds to me like their biggest regret was not making memories and having fun while they had the ability to. Money is not the be all end all if you are too disabled to spend it.

allybear

allybear

22 Posts

On a very practical note, I have found the website http://www.mint.com to be very helpful in managing my finances. It works really well if you use your debit card for purchases (which I do). It links up with my account and adds my purchases to categories (there's no actual purchasing when you use mint, it just keeps track of all the transactions that happen in your bank account). That way, I can see exactly how much I'm spending on things like groceries, fast food or coffee shops and set budgets for different categories too. It is way too easy to spend money without realizing where it is all going, and i have found this method of managing my budgets to be extremely helpful. Thought it might be helpful to someone else :)

sc128

sc128

19 Posts

Ditto @allybear on mint being a lifesaver for budgeting. I use their desktop app and have the app for my phone so I categorize items as soon as I purchase them. It's also helpful to see the student loan debt slowly being chipped away (all available to view on the main screen for mint). For budgeting newbies like myself it's a good starter program/app.

jessi1106, BSN, RN

Specializes in Adult Acute Care Medicine. Has 7 years experience. 486 Posts

Great ideas!

If you can find time...use coupons. My local grocery store will double them....so every week I get something or things for free. Last week it was toothpaste. I can't pick the brand, but hey, its free.

I also shop resale for much of my growing kids clothing.

NickiLaughs

NickiLaughs, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care. Has 13 years experience. 2,383 Posts

One thing to add to the eating in. You HAVE to meal plan or else you will still way overspend on food and throw away a lot of food. Pinterest and other sites out there will definitely help you waste less. My grocery bills were always insane and I threw so much away until I figured this out. Plus many of us tend to overbuy food today.

2015

2015

140 Posts

I believe in living a nice comfortable life: driving a nice car, living in a big house and going to a reputable university. I have seen my mother live such a frugal life and I really wonder when she's ever going to enjoy the good things in life. I worked fulltime to pay for my college so that she did not have to worry about me. I also plan to take care of her in her old age because of all the sacrifices she has made. I don't want to be 80yrs old with 300 million dollars in the bank but bed ridden. As someone said, just balance the balance sheet and invest wisely. Go back to school. It is another good way to create disposable income.

2015

2015

140 Posts

Something else I wanted to add. Eat healthy and exercise. That's one way to save money and have a high quality of life. Loose weight if you are overweight. That's money in your pocket. Make good memories with your family as someone said. Teach your children good values by being a good example. Let your children see you being generous and kind to others. As a mother, babysit your grand kids when you can. All these acts of kindness are almost equivalent to having a retirement fund.

OCNRN63, RN

Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website. 5,978 Posts

On a very practical note, I have found the website www.mint.com to be very helpful in managing my finances. It works really well if you use your debit card for purchases (which I do). It links up with my account and adds my purchases to categories (there's no actual purchasing when you use mint, it just keeps track of all the transactions that happen in your bank account). That way, I can see exactly how much I'm spending on things like groceries, fast food or coffee shops and set budgets for different categories too. It is way too easy to spend money without realizing where it is all going, and i have found this method of managing my budgets to be extremely helpful. Thought it might be helpful to someone else :)

I used to love to get a double-shot vanilla latte every morning from a local coffee shop (along with an almond biscotti dipped in dark chocolate). One day, I added up how much my little addiction was costing me a year--$1500! That could have gone into my retirement fund.

Edited by OCNRN63