With pay for many health care staff falling in real terms, and living costs on the rise, there has never been a better time to re-address your relationship with money.
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, taken from The RCN Money Guide for HCAs, HCSWs, APs, Trainee Nursing Associates and Nursing Apprentices, 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.
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.
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.
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
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
If you're struggling financially, the RCN's welfare service offers information on benefit entitlements, debt advice and more.