Money matters

Too much month left at the end of your money?

An updated RCN money guide gives nursing staff quick and easy access to advice says Claire Cannings, RCN Senior Welfare Adviser

HCAs work in tough and demanding roles but this isn’t usually reflected in their salaries. At a time when the cost of living seems to be continually rising, financial challenges can be considerable, even for the most financially savvy among us.

Maximising your income should be at the top of your list if you’re finding there’s just too much month left at the end of your money. In fact even if you’re not concerned about your cashflow, making sure you’re making the most of what you’ve got is always a good idea. 

Even if you pride yourself on already being financially aware, it would be worthwhile you taking a look

A regular review of your personal financial circumstances is something everyone can benefit from. To help busy, professional staff get quick access to the most helpful information the RCN has updated its money guide for health care assistants, health care support workers, assistant practitioners and trainee nursing associates.

It’s been designed to be quick and easy to use. By answering simple questions that initially focus on your current attitude to your finances, you’ll learn some really practical ways of increasing your spending power and useful budgeting tips. 

Working through the guide will help ensure you are receiving all the money available to you through extra benefits, child care schemes and other government initiatives, as well as providing some great tips for saving money on your day-to-day expenditure.

Even if you pride yourself on already being financially aware, it would be worthwhile you taking a look because the ever-changing financial landscape and increasingly complicated schemes available mean that you might find out something new. And if you don’t you can be assured you’re already doing the right thing and can perhaps encourage others to take your approach.

Money matters

Becoming savvy with your spending will help you to cut costs where possible and make the most out of your pay packet each month. In tough times, even small changes can make a big difference and help reduce the stress of making ends meet.

Here are some top tips to help you make the most of your finances.

Leave the credit card at home

Only use credit for planned purchases, after you’ve had time to think about how you’ll pay it off. Try to avoid taking it on nights out and shopping trips.

Close up of several credit cards

Become bank-wise

Many banks offer attractive introductory offers to tempt you to switch. Some will even give you up to £150, so it pays to check out different options. Visit www.moneysavingexpert.com for the latest deals and advice.

Woman putting bank card into an ATM

Flash your staff card

Many stores, especially independent shops, will give a discount to NHS staff so remember to show your staff card just in case.

A building with a large NHS sign on the outside

Avoid food waste

In the UK we throw away £13 billion of food every year. This website has lots of great ideas for avoiding food waste, including shopping and cooking tips and recipe ideas: www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

A pan full of pasta

Don’t forget RCN perks

As an RCN member you get access to a whole load of deals, discounts and bonus points through RCNXtra. From cinema tickets to utilities, there are many savings to be made. Visit www.rcn.org.uk/xtra to register at no extra cost and start saving straight away.

Find out more

Download The RCN Money Guide for HCAs, HCSWs, APs and TNAs (updated for 2018). 

If you're struggling financially, the RCN's welfare service offers information on benefit entitlements, debt advice and more.

Read next...