There are many ways to save money as a CNA. If you have never worked in the medical field before, it may seem like there is no way to save money without affecting your income. Fear not, for there are many tips and tricks that can help you remain financially stable while still working hard as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA).
1. Bring your own food to work
If you do not bring your own lunch, then you are paying for someone else’s food. If bringing your lunch is not an option, then at least plan ahead and pack some snacks like granola bars or dried fruit in order to avoid having to buy pricey convenience store fare. Also, consider packing some meals and freezing them.
2. Get your work schedule in advance
If you are working different hours each week, then it may be difficult to budget properly. If possible, try to get an idea of how much money you can expect to make each month by requesting a copy of the work schedule in advance.
The sooner you know when your next paycheck is coming, the sooner you can start planning, and the better your chances of staying financially stable will be.
3. Plan ahead
If you fail to plan, then, as they say, you are planning to fail (or something like that).
Take a few minutes each month to go over expenses and determine how much money you need to pay your bills on time.
You may also want to include some entertainment money or money for a hobby such as cooking. Whatever you do with the remainder of your paycheck is up to you, but if you have a plan in place, it will be easier to avoid the temptation of impulse buys and save more money than your peers who never take time to plan their spending.
4. Set a budget for entertainment expenses
Whether you are watching movies, playing video games, or attending concerts, the amount of money that you spend on entertainment adds up quickly.
Create a monthly entertainment budget to ensure that your hobbies do not get in the way of your finances. If your friends want to hang out this weekend but it will require an entertainment expense, then organize something online like a game of cards (for free) or marathon your favorite TV show (free!).
Or if you can afford to do so, consider doing something fun during the week when prices are lower.
5. Be proactive about debt collection
If you have credit card debt, student loans, or even medical bills, then you are probably accustomed to receiving letters and phone calls about your overdue accounts. Rather than ignore these messages or just pay the minimum due, consider contacting the company that is attempting to contact you and see if you can work out a payment plan.
Many companies will work with you especially if they know that your CNA income is not enough to cover your expenses. If you are proactive, then there is a very good chance that you will be able to reduce your interest payments and save money in the process of paying back your debts.
6. Find training opportunities
Many CNA employers offer paid training, which means that you will learn the ropes of the job and receive a pay increase at a later date. Make sure to inquire about opportunities for paid training by asking your manager or scheduling an appointment with HR.
7. Shop around for medical procedures and prescriptions
Whether you are taking antibiotics or need an MRI due to a sports injury, it is important to shop around for the most affordable way to receive treatment. If your employer offers health insurance, consider using their preferred provider as you may be able to save some money by doing so.
If it does not matter where you go as long as you get treated, then find out how much each establishment charges and visit the location that charges the lowest price – just make sure that they provide quality service!
8. Utilize resources
Did you know that there are government programs out there that can help you pay for certain medications, procedures, and even save money on prescriptions?
There are the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) that helps children who may not be able to afford their vaccines. There is also the National Council on Aging (NCOA), which offers access to public benefits at no cost. This organization can provide financial assistance in terms of low-income energy assistance or summer cooling costs, along with independent living information and support services.
9. Apply for seasonal or part-time work
If it is close to Christmas or if flu season strikes, then many companies may need additional help in order to serve their clientele during this time of year. This means that they have more work than usual but not enough staff members to do it.
This typically means that they will hire whoever they can get who is willing to work at the pay rate offered so apply early if you would like some temporary employment with benefits!
10. Ask for raise
If you feel that your CNA income is not enough to cover your expenses, then it might be time to ask for a raise. Regardless of whether it is company policy or not, if you are doing an excellent job, then there is no better way to show this than asking the employer for what you want. If you get denied or told “no”, then consider other ways in which you can save money while continuing to work at your current job.
As a CNA, it is important to be proactive about your debt and find ways in which you can save money on your medical expenses. You may want to consider working with the company that is trying to contact you for payment plans or shop around for treatments if possible. If all else fails, then consider applying for seasonal or part-time work while looking into government programs like VFC or NCOA. It’s also worth considering asking for a raise if you feel underpaid! Good luck to you!