Starting a new career as an international healthcare professional in the U.S. is an exciting experience, but moving to a new country can be overwhelming and expensive. As a registered nurse or medical technologist working with Conexus MedStaff you will have the essentials of your move taken care of, including your visa expenses, flights, and more. However, to have the best possible experience when you arrive in the United States, we recommend that you have a reserve of around $7,000 in savings to cover any necessary expenses as you settle into your new community. In this article, you’ll find considerations to help you decide on a savings goal, as well as tips to help you save money before your move.
How much should you actually save?
Exactly how much money you should have saved before your move to the U.S. is dependent upon many factors. Consider the following:
The location you’re moving to. Do research on the area to find out how much your daily, weekly and monthly expenses may be in your future home. Take into account things such as your essential spending (such as rent, utilities, groceries, transportation), and any costs for non-essentials that are good to have (such as streaming service subscriptions, entertainment, travel, and so on). Check out our cost of living comparison blogs for inspiration.
The lifestyle you want to lead. Do you want to continue living in the same way you’re accustomed to at home, or would you prefer to change things up? This consideration will help determine your budget.
Downpayments. Landlords, utilities companies and more may require a downpayment when moving into your new home or apartment, or setting up services. Research how much various providers might cost and factor this into your savings goal.
Create a budget. This is an essential step before moving. Once you’ve determined roughly how much you want to save to sustain the lifestyle you want in the U.S., creating a budget for your current spending will help you identify ways to cut back and set more money aside as savings.
Retirement. Even if you already have a 401k, you may want to put extra money towards your retirement funds.
Plan an emergency fund. Emergency funds help cover unexpected events, either for you or your family members. To budget for your emergency fund, determine the cost of potential emergencies.
Tips to save money now
Stick to a budget: Track your income and expenses to understand where your money is going. Then create a budget that outlines your monthly spending limits for different categories. Stick to this budget as much as possible.
Cut down on unnecessary expenses: Identify areas where you can reduce your spending, such as eating out less frequently, canceling unused subscriptions or memberships, and finding cheaper alternatives for everyday items.
Cook at home: Try to cook meals at home as much as possible. Plan your meals in advance, make a shopping list, and buy groceries in bulk to save money.
Reduce energy consumption: Be mindful of your energy usage to lower your utility bills. Turn off lights and unplug electronic devices when not in use, use energy-efficient light bulbs, and adjust your thermostat to save on heating and cooling costs.
Shop smartly: Compare prices, look for discounts or deals, and consider buying second-hand or refurbished items when appropriate. Avoid impulse buying and make sure to differentiate between wants and needs.
Use public transportation or carpools: If feasible, try to use public transportation instead of driving your car. It can save you money on gas, parking fees, and vehicle maintenance costs. Alternatively, carpooling with colleagues or friends can also help save on transportation expenses.
Reduce entertainment costs: Look for free or low-cost entertainment options in your area, such as parks, community events, or local museums. Consider borrowing books, movies, or video games from libraries instead of buying them.
Negotiate bills and expenses: You can often try negotiating with service providers, such as internet or cable companies, to lower your monthly bills, and contact your insurance company to explore options for reducing insurance premiums.
Automate savings: Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a separate savings account each month. This way, you'll consistently save money without even thinking about it.
Avoid unnecessary debt: Minimize the use of credit cards for non-essential purchases and try to pay off any existing debt as quickly as possible. By avoiding unnecessary debt, you'll save on interest payments and have more money available for saving and investing.
Saving money requires discipline and commitment. Track your progress regularly, adjust your strategies if needed, and stay motivated. Remember, it’s never too early to start saving so that you can better manage expenses and successfully transition into your new life as a healthcare professional in the U.S.