As a travel nurse, finding the right budget for housing can be a bit challenging. Factors like location, season, and the availability of short-term rentals all affect the cost of furnished housing. This can be especially frustrating for new travel nurses who are trying to determine the right price for their temporary accommodation.
Making Comparisons Easier
Fortunately, there is a useful tool called the Housing Stipend Calculator by Furnished Finder that simplifies the process of comparing housing costs in a specific area. Unlike most websites that cater to traditional renters or vacationers, this tool focuses on the types of rentals that travel nurses typically seek. It provides a comprehensive breakdown of available options, common amenities, and average rates for private rentals and renting a room.
With the Housing Stipend Calculator, you can easily compare fully furnished spaces with monthly rates and short lease terms, which is the standard practice for travel nurses.
Setting a Budget
Experienced travel nurses generally recommend spending a maximum of one-quarter of your monthly income or one paycheck on your short-term rental. This allows you to allocate the remaining three-quarters of your income towards savings, expenses back home, or simply enjoying yourself. This approach ensures that you can live comfortably while securing safe and comfortable housing.
Determining a fair price for the area you’ll be living in depends on your personal preferences. For example, if having a washer and dryer in your unit is non-negotiable, your idea of a fair rate may differ from someone willing to make trips to the laundromat.
Considering the Cost of Living
Start by looking at the pay packages in the area for your specialty. Unfortunately, the offered pay may not align well with the local cost of living. It’s a good idea to ask your recruiter(s) for a rough range of salaries in the city you’re interested in and base your housing budget on that information.
Create a list of your desired housing amenities and non-negotiables. While this list may evolve during your search, it’s helpful to have a general idea of what you’re looking for.
Utilizing the Housing Stipend Calculator
Once you have a city in mind, input it into the Housing Stipend Calculator. Determine if your preferred amenities, pay rates, and average housing costs align with one another. It’s advisable to have at least five or six housing options within your budget, as accommodations tend to fill up quickly. Instead of relying solely on securing the one “budget” space after confirming your travel nurse assignment, ensure you have multiple viable options.
Adjusting Your Expectations
Throughout your search, you may find it necessary to adjust your expectations or budget. Sometimes, the pay rates simply won’t align with the housing costs and other expenses you need to cover back home. Don’t be discouraged if this happens; it merely means that it’s not the right time to travel to that particular city or state. Broaden your search, and the right travel nurse assignment at the right price will come your way eventually.
In the end, establishing a specific price range for short-term housing across the country is challenging. Additionally, everyone has their own idea of what constitutes ideal housing. Set your expectations, be flexible, and view every obstacle as a valuable learning experience for the future.
Remember, if you’re planning to embark on a travel nurse adventure, the team at DHPL Travels is here to assist you every step of the way.