Financial planner Shelby Green knows that the last year and a half have been hard for everyone, especially for nurses. Those working in healthcare face challenges like never before, supporting people through some very scary times, and working to support their own families through it all. Green works with nurses through his company SAG Financial Group to help repay student loans and focus on their overall financial future and offers the following guide for nurses who need to live on a budget during the pandemic.
- Have an Emergency Fund - Build an emergency fund that can cover all your bills and expenses for 3 months, keep this fund in a separate bank account. Try to consistently put a small amount towards this fund.
- File for unemployment checks if furloughed or laid off.
- If Coronavirus has affected your job, you can use the money in your IRA's/401K'S/403B's without a penalty due to the CARES ACT.
- Call student loan and credit card companies to ask about delayed interest.
- Adjust your budget for extra people at home using utilities and eating groceries.
- Reallocate personal financial resources by taking dividend payments from your investments as cash instead of reinvesting them.
- Immediately stop extra expenses for non-essential products and services
- Limit snack consumption and purchases, snacks end up being 25% of an average person’s grocery bill. Practice self-discipline and stop those impulse buys at the checkout counter.
- Turn your electric items including the air conditioning and lights off when you are not at home or using them to save on electric bills during this time.
- Downgrade to cheaper brands until your income is back to normal, try and buy in bulk to save money.
- Gas is the cheapest it has been in a while, try to fill up your tank before the prices go back up.
- This is a great time to cook or learn to cook, as it can significantly reduce your monthly food expenses. Even though it is easier to just hit the drive-through on your way to the hospital, try packing a lunch instead, it saves money and is better for you!
- Make sure you check your bank accounts and credit cards at least 3 times a week to check for expenses you forgot about or fraud. Fraud has gone up during quarantine, and no one is immune to some getting their information and taking advantage of it.
One thing that Green advises for everyone is to try and keep a resilient mental attitude, things can change at a moment’s notice, being a problem solver and having a mindset that is resourceful, able to problem solve, and take action will go a long way, no matter what happens. Prioritizing self-care is a must. Find the support and personal resources you need to keep yourself in a positive mental space. This is especially true for nurses who have been at the forefront of treating COVID-19. Find that outlet you need to keep your mental state happy, and resilient. It is easy to simply care for others and forget about yourself, and right now is not the time to do that.
Green works with nurses, nurse practitioners, PA, physician’s assistants, nurse anesthesiologists, and more in areas of finance, student loans, debt, budgeting, investment, retirement, and more through his company. For him, it is a personal mission of giving back, as a child he spent a long time in hospitals, and nurses were the people who got him through it. Seeing how underappreciated they were, he wanted to give back and make their lives easier. Connect online or through social media to book an appointment with SAG Financial Group to see how Green can help you!