Finances are a tricky subject for a lot of people. It can be easy to lose track of things, especially for providers who are constantly on the go. Keeping abreast of your financial situation can allow you to save and eliminate the stress that comes when those financial emergencies appear. Here are some personal finance tips along with some tips especially for healthcare professionals to help you hold onto your money.
General Finance Tips
Track Your Finances
A little organization goes a long way. Part of keeping your finances in the black is keeping track of how much you make and how much you spend. You can start by listing all your expenses, their costs, and when they occur. Fixed expenses, like rent, insurance, car payments, and subscriptions, come up every month and cost about the same each time. Variable expenses are random and may be one-time expenses like car maintenance or a recurring expense taken out at various times and amounts. Also keep track of when you will be paid. Knowing when and how much money you’ll need and have at certain points in the month helps immensely with budgeting. Don’t stress if you have trouble keeping track of these on your own! While a calendar and an Excel spreadsheet or a simple pen and paper method works well for some people, there are plenty of computer programs and phone applications to make the process even more simple. Additionally, many financial institutions offer text and/or e-mail alerts to let you know how much money you have, how much you spend, and when your bills will be due for payment.
Time Is of the Essence
Now that you know when all your bills are due and coming up, pay them. As soon as you have the money to cover your upcoming bills, pay them. A lot of people wait until the pay date comes up because they want to hold onto their money, however doing that gives a false sense of how much you actually have, and you may spend more than you should. Late fees, overdraft fees, and declined charges aren’t fun to deal with and are mostly avoidable. Plan for success and use your money and/or credit cards wisely. Sign up for automatic payments to help you pay in a timely manner, but only if you’re sure you will have money in your account. If you find that you have too many bills due at the same time, you may be able to contact the company to change your billing cycle.
Plan for the Future
You may have plans to purchase a house, pay off student loans, or buy a new car. You’ll have trouble achieving these goals without a plan. With your expenses and income tracked and your bills paid, do you have money left over? If you find that you are scraping by each month you must take a hard look at your expenses and see what you can eliminate. Is your rent too expensive? Are the subscriptions services you have worth the expense each month? Are you eating out too much? Nobody wants to feel limited but exercising discipline can be the deciding factor in whether you reach your goals or not. If you find yourself with a surplus after all your bills are paid, set aside a portion of it for your savings. Even if it is a small amount, every bit brings you closer to your goals.
Advice for Locum Tenens Professionals
Lexx Healthcare will happily make your travel arrangements, so you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket. However, expenses like tolls, mileage, car service, and other charges can still crop up. You can be reimbursed for many of these expenses, but we’ll need to have receipts turned in with your work record. The same applies if you book your own travel, but keep in mind that our clients have a budget as well. If you were hoping to stay at the Four Seasons you may be disappointed to find that your stay isn’t covered, so be sure to contact your Lexx Healthcare consultant with any questions about reimbursement before purchasing the item in question. They’ll have more information and help you hang on to the earnings you work so hard for.
Your phone is an extremely useful tool, especially for the locum tenens provider on-the-go. Lexx Healthcare sends your schedule and confirmations, travel itineraries, status updates, all through e-mail. Having your e-mail available on your phone in addition to using an app like Evernote, for example, helps keep you organized with all your information together. If you have receipts, paperwork, or notes that need to be kept together with a certain worksite, you can take a photograph and have access to all your documents on your phone and on your computer.
Locum Tenens providers are compensated for each assignment as contractors, which means we pay your wages without any tax deductions. Because you’re an independent contractor, you’re responsible for federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes. Depending on whether you own a corporation or file as an individual you will use different IRS forms. You may also have to pay tax estimates in quarterly installments. This is so you don’t find yourself with an unmanageable amount after you file your taxes.
If you still have trouble, consider hiring a financial advisor. Yes, this is an added expense but if you can’t seem to stick to your budget you create or have trouble getting everything organized it may be time to call in an expert. They may have some creative solutions for your situation and should at least be able to offer some personalized advice for you.