While you are taking classes, practicing your nursing skills and working towards your nursing career, you may find that an accelerated nursing program demands total concentration and allows for very little time to work. Even if you do end up working while in nursing school, you’ll have to keep your budget tight.
While your nursing classes will teach you everything you need to know about being a successful RN, unfortunately very few classes exist that teach you how to budget during your time spent in school. However, you can follow these tips to feel financially stable during nursing school in Las Vegas.
Creating a Budget
The first thing you should do when creating a budget is list out all of your expenses. This includes rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, groceries, gas, utilities, phone bills, credit card bills and any other monthly charges. You can count on many of those expenses to remain the same, such as your rent/mortgage and car payments. Others fluctuate, such as electric and water bills, groceries and gas.
When it comes to utilities that you need to pay, such as electricity, it’s better to expect to pay more and save some money than to budget for less and find you are short by 50 dollars. Estimate every bill to be at its highest. You may also find some companies allow you to set up a budgeting option, in which you pay the exact same amount every month.
Set up automatic payments for your bills. Some companies may allow you to change due dates, so you can arrange your payments around paydays and avoid over-draft fees.
Don’t forget to budget for the occasional dinner out, haircuts and trips to the movie. Set aside a monthly allowance for fun. Don’t feel that this money has to be spent, either. You can save up to spend on a fun trip instead of a movie every weekend.
The most important thing about budgeting is actually sticking to the budget. Spending hours working on one is pointless if you end up blowing your budget on a shoe sale or deciding a weekend trip that will use up three tanks of gas.
An easy way to avoid blowing your budget is to use cash to pay for as much as you can. If you budget $150 for groceries, only take $150 in cash with you to the grocery store and leave your credit cards at home.
When it comes to groceries, gas and similar bills, keep in mind that there are various ways to save money. Save on gas by carpooling to work. You can also download an app to look for the cheapest gas prices in the area.
An easy way to save on groceries, besides the standard coupon clipping, is to take more frequent trips. Instead of buying items in bulk every two weeks and then tossing out half of it when it goes bad, go to the store a couple of times a week for smaller trips.
Consider the free and inexpensive entertainment options in your city. If you absolutely must see a movie, consider going to a dollar theater or seeing an afternoon movie to get the matinee price. Some museums are free or have free days. Parks during the summer are a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon with a book and a picnic.
Every new class you start will require some supplies. Your student loans should cover many of the supplies, including books, but don’t feel that you have to blow all of your lent money. Ask your professors if an older edition of a textbook can be used, or consider renting instead of buying. This alone could save you hundreds of dollars.
Even though you may be keeping a tight budget during nursing school, remember that nurses make an average of $65,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Are you interested in starting your nursing career? Learn about Roseman University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program today.