As a traveling physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech pathologist, your next adventure might fall under “yet-to-be-determined,” but that doesn’t mean your financial future has to be. You can keep your nomad status and still take care of your personal finances without making any drastic changes. Continue reading to discover how our 4 travel therapist personal finance tips resonate with you as you build a solid financial future.
1. Figure Out Where Your Money is Going
The first tip might sound obvious, but you may be surprised how quickly small swipes of your credit card add up during your travel physical therapy adventures (along with day-to-day expenses). Before you can budget, you have to learn where your money is going. These days it’s easy to track expenses with applications like Mint and LearnVest. Once you connect your payment accounts, you’ll be able to sort transactions into different categories. Break it down and find out where you’re seeing the most deductions – it might surprise you. Plus, these apps will capture those sneaky hidden fees and old automated expenses you no longer need, as well as give you insight on where you have some wiggle room to cut back.
2. Automate Your Savings
“Set it and forget it,” isn’t just a popular mantra of late-night infomercial hosts, it’s also the best way to save! If you haven’t yet, designate a portion of each paycheck for savings only. Use direct deposit or automate a transfer from checking to savings each pay period and then watch your savings add up! Whenever you find areas of spending where you can cut back, try to take a portion of that expense and send it to your savings. Small changes add up quickly, and money saving apps like Qapital, Digit, Acorns, and Chime can get you started with more savings today!
3. Make Your Travel Therapy Jobs Work for You
You’re traveling the country, you have access to incredible mentors in facilities across every state, and you’re getting paid to go on adventures. That in itself is a dream job, which is why it is easy to forget about your travel therapy benefits package, and how you can make it work for you. Interested in increasing your knowledge and potential pay without spending a dime? Utilize your staffing company’s free CEUs to advance yourself. Something that’s a little more hidden but worth investigating is your health insurance provider. Many health insurance providers offer points or cash back for healthy habits, gym memberships, and more!
The biggest portion to making your money work for you is to contribute to your 401(k). Even if you can only afford a small contribution, it’s better than nothing. Plus, employers like CoreMedical Group offer matching 401k contributions, so with each penny you put into your 401(k), you are getting free money for retirement!
4. Learn Something New
Last, but certainly not least, get out there and learn what you don’t know. If you’re confused about how a certain benefit works, or how to better organize your personal finances, ask the questions! Due to being on the road every 13 weeks with each travel PT job (or OT or SLP job), it can be tough to navigate the more formal, face-to-face world of banking. Luckily, now there are tons of online resources available to upgrade your personal finance comprehension, including free mini-courses and podcasts like the ones listed below.
- The Core Four of Personal Finance, Udemy
- Personal Finance 101, Udemy
- Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making, edX
- Financial Literacy, Alison
- My Financial Mountain: Understanding Your Path to a Solid Financial Foundation, Skillshare
- Personal Finance, Missouri State University on iTunes
All CoreMedical employees, including our travel therapists and travel nurses, have the unique opportunity to discuss their retirement needs with professionals at The Ketchen Group with UBS Financial Services. To learn more about this benefit or get in contact with our financial advisor Chris about investment goals, saving, borrowing, and more, please reach out to your recruiter today!
Explore the processes, qualifications and state-to state licensing changes that both current and aspiring travel PT's should understand! Download our Travel Therapy infographic to plan your next adventure.