5 Ways To Save Money As A New Grad Nurse

May 23, 2021

Alexa, play "For The Love Of Money - The O'Jays"

So you've secured your first nursing job, passed NCLEX, and you've burned all your nursing school notes.

Now what?

It's time to make some money!

Geoffrey Dancing to "Money" The Fresh prince of Bel Air on Make a GIF

10 points for Gryffindor if you get this reference.

But once you start making the money, what do you do?

I’ve put together 5 things I’ve learned the hard way and started implementing over my last 10 months of working as a  New Graduate Bedside RN.

  1. Live within or below your means. The way you lived in nursing school should resemble the way you live during your first and possibly even your second year out of school.  My checks as a PCT in nursing school were horrible - we're talking $400-$500 every 2 weeks. And somehow I managed to make that stretch. The saying "mo money mo problems" is painfully true. Even though I work 2 jobs and have the money I behave like I'm broke. I want a new car BADLY but I'm trying to set aside money so that my car note can be minimal and possibly even nonexistent. Treat yourself every now and then but don't blow your whole paycheck the same day it deposits.
  2. Move back home or get a roommate. There shouldn't be a rush to have your own place. If you lived at home all through nursing school stay an extra year or two. Pro-tip: pretend like you're paying rent and set that money aside into a HYSA, invest in stocks, or a Roth IRA. If you absolutely cannot live at home, get a roommate! While you won't be saving as much you are still saving more than you would be if you had a 1 bedroom apartment. 
  3. Get a second job. I recently started working a second job! (More details on that in a separate post) Any money earned from this job is my fun money. For me, fun money looks like saving for a vacation, social gatherings with friends, clothes, or maybe just treating myself. I do also use this money to make double monthly payments for any consumer debt I have. Know thyself and your limits. I didn't start working this job until March - by then I had been off of orientation for 3 months and was suuuuuper burnt out. It provides a nice break from my ICU job but also gives me more wiggle room with my money. If you don't want to get a second job consider picking up just one extra shift per week at your full-time job. You'll definitely see a difference in your check and it won't go straight to taxes the way picking up 2 or 3 extra shifts would.
  4. Formulate a proper budget. The first month or two of working I found myself living paycheck to paycheck. I was making substantially more money but the money wasn't lasting as long. Why? I didn't have a budget. I'd get money and spend it as soon as I got it. I was buying things that weren't a necessity just because I finally had the money for them. Now I exercise the mindset of "is this a need or a want? how much use and I going to get out of this?" and I also use the "zero-based budget" method. Let me know if you'd like a detailed blog post on this! My money not only lasts longer but I find myself exercising more discipline with where my money goes.
  5. Utilize your company's employee retirement/savings account. The hospital system I work for matches your retirement contribution up to 4%. So if you're putting in $10 each check the hospital will contribute $4. It may not seem like much but biweekly for at least 1-2 years, it begins to add up. Even if you're not planning on staying with the company forever I still encourage you to do this. 1)It's free money 2) It comes out of your check before you even see it, so it softens the blow. 3) If you leave the company they'll mail you a check that you're free to do whatever with. 

Hopefully, you found these helpful! That's all I've got for you today. Let me know if there's any topic you want me to cover in an upcoming blog post!

Until Next Time,

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