Financial Tips for the Locum Tenens Lifestyle

Financial Tips for the Locum Tenens Lifestyle Annashae

Financial Tips for the Locum Tenens Lifestyle

As a practicing locum tenens physician, life on the road comes with many benefits.

But before you head out on an assignment, there are some important things to consider. Things that will enhance your experience, help to maximize your paycheck, and save money while on assignment.

The following list provides information to help make a locum assignment as positive as possible.

Don’t Negotiate Until You Receive the Offer

Locum tenens jobs pay much more per hour on average than permanent positions – but also vary by specialty. Pay is also influenced by factors such as location, demand, patient load, skill requirements, etc. Compensation is an important criteria for choosing the right locum assignment – so it’s best to wait to see what’s in the offer before negotiating what you want. The more information you have upfront, the more prepared you’ll be when you return to the table to come to a final agreement.

Organize Your Documents

Once you’ve agreed to the offer, make sure you receive paper copies of your terms and conditions for the assignment. Many experienced locums keep a travel binder for all of their important documents.  It should include your contract, licenses and certifications, tax forms, and any required testing. From the time the contract is agreed upon, until your first days on the job, there will be paperwork and forms to complete. It’s also a great way to keep track of any receipts needed for reimbursement.

Set a Budget

Creating a monthly budget that you can stick to is very important – and you should make one for every new contract. Do some research to get a better understanding of the cost of living in your new location so you can establish reasonable costs for housing, food, entertainment, etc. If budgeting isn’t your thing, here’s a list of several free apps that can help make budgeting less of a chore.

Line Up Your Travel Home

Finding a place to live during your travel assignment is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, and your recruiter can help you every step of the way.  Your first move should be to do some research on the area where you’ll be assigned.  You’ll also want to weigh the cost of the various types of housing, i.e. long-term stay hotels, rooms for rent, etc., against the travel stipend that you’ll be receiving.

Don’t Forget Taxes

As a locum, you’re responsible for Federal, State, and any local taxes. Since locum tenens providers typically are 1099 independent contractors, finding a good accountant is an excellent way to ensure that your tax situation is being taken care of – and you won’t have a big “surprise” at the end of the year. Some locums have chosen to set up a business entity for certain tax advantages, such as an LLC or S Corp. Additional options could include savings plans, 401(k)s, and IRAs.

*This blog is informational only. It does not include financial planning or guarantee any income results. Please consult with a tax professional or a financial professional for specific guidance.

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At Annashae we’re dedicated to the placement of highly-skilled clinical practitioners in short and long-term positions. As a nationwide medical staffing and consulting firm, we provide a range of services that enable our candidates to quickly find the career opportunity that fits their needs. For information on how you can further your clinical career, contact us today.