3 Ways to save money before going to graduate school
Graduate school can be a great way to boost your career. However, most people know it can also be an expensive two or three years. Many students are bogged down by student loans because they can’t afford the hefty bills that come with a top-tier education. While some students attempt to make ends meet by getting a second job, there might be a better way. If nurses are currently fully employed, setting aside a few dollars may be the smarter way to help get yourself through graduate school.
You might be eager to leave your undergraduate program and want to hop right into a nursing program. However, it might be smarter to wait for a few reasons. Getting a few years of nursing experience under your belt will help you figure out exactly what type of nurse you want to be and will allow you to truly get a hands-on education before you dive into the field. Giving yourself time before school also helps you save money. More than 50 percent of all graduate students will give themselves a three-year gap before heading back to school for their second degree, so don’t feel guilty for waiting! With time, you can save money and gain experience, which is definitely a win-win.
Yet saving money is hard, so what are you to do? Consider these tips on how to best save money before going to graduate school.
1. Look into tuition reimbursement
Many companies and organizations may help their employees out if they are interested in going to graduate school. Tuition reimbursement is one great way to help you avoid investing in too many student loans, as you only have to worry about a small portion of your overall payments. Employers might also reimburse for school items such as a new laptop of books, which can save you a lot of money in the long run. Ask your employer about what kind of perks you might get if you return to the hospital or medical facility after you attend school.
2. Get a 529 plan
Essentially, 529 plans are the best type of savings deal a graduate or pre-graduate student can get. They help you by allowing you to defer taxes for a few years without having to deal with penalties down the road. Luckily, you can get these types of accounts well before you head to get your master of science in nursing. You won’t have to worry about losing money, though you won’t you get a tax return either. Money that you take out from this savings account for your education also doesn’t count toward your income, helping you in the long run.
3. Make a budget
As many nurses begin to look into their future well in advance, it’s important to make a budget. Making a budget allows you to plan out exactly how much money you have in savings right now and how much money you will need in order to afford your college tuition. Some programs may be less costly than others, and some schools may give out student scholarships and grants which can help you along the way. Budgets also help you see the big picture. You can find out how much money you have that you need to spend on other important expenses, such as housing, car payments, family responsibilities and so on. It is important not to forget these expenses when you have your eyes set on graduate school, as you can get yourself in deep financial debt. Most importantly, budgets help keep you on track with how much you need to save each month so that you don’t fall off the rails.