Changing Careers on a Budget: Money-Saving Tips and Advice for Women

Changing Careers on a Budget: Money-Saving Tips and Advice for Women
  • Opening Intro -

    There are numerous benefits of changing careers, especially if you're hoping to increase your compensation, learn new skills, climb the corporate ladder, or improve your work-life balance.


However, the potential cost of changing careers is one major drawback. In order to successfully land a job in a new field, you may need to pay for job training or a college degree, upgrade your work wardrobe, and print resumes or business cards.

It’s also possible you could lose the vacation time you’ve accrued in your current position and miss out on other benefits such as healthcare and retirement packages.

That being said, there are several things women can do to save money while changing careers. Here are a few helpful money-saving tips from

Make Use of Professional Development Courses

From learning to become a better networker to enrolling in a full degree program in your chosen field, there are lots of great ways to continue your education and build connections when starting a new career.

And while joining business networking groups and obtaining a college degree can be costly (the average cost of a four-year degree at a public in-state college is $25,290), completing one or more professional development courses is an affordable alternative if you already have experience in a particular job field and wish to start a new career in that same field.

As one example, you could choose among medical coding courses available online if you’re ready to improve your medical coding skills and advance your career in healthcare.

Professional development courses in medical coding can teach you everything you need to know to become a medical coder or biller and handle responsibilities such as assigning codes and identifying services claims.

Other affordable professional development courses are available in fields such as digital marketing, human resources, information technology, and K-12 education.

After completing your professional development course(s), you can even complete a skills assessment and share your achievements on social media.

Use Free Tools and Resources for Job Seekers

Changing your career can be expensive, but there are plenty of free tools and resources to help you with tasks such as updating your resume, creating professional business cards, and looking for jobs in your new field.

Free online design tools and templates, for instance, make it easy to create professional-looking resumes that include your preferred colors, photos, and copy — and you can design other materials such as cover letters, business cards, letters of recommendation, and portfolio websites.

In addition to using free online graphic design tools such as Canva or Design Wizard to create your job search documents, job search websites like Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, and Ladders make it easy and affordable to look for work in your industry.

And if you need to create a professional portfolio that showcases your work, you could use free websites such as Journo Portfolio, WordPress, or Behance.

Upgrade Your Work Wardrobe on a Budget

If changing careers means upgrading your work wardrobe, you don’t necessarily need to spend hundreds of dollars on new business attire.

Instead, you could save money by shopping at affordable yet fashionable stores such as H&M or Express or visiting your local consignment shop.

You could also look for coupons, promo codes, and other deals to keep clothing costs down.

Check to See if You Can Cash Out Your Unused PTO

After quitting your job to change careers, you may be entitled to the unused vacation days you’ve accrued in your current position. However, PTO payout laws vary by state, and some employers have their own PTO policies in place.

Be sure to review your company’s employee handbook for specific details, and visit your state’s official Department of Labor (DOL) website to learn more about your local PTO payout laws.

If you do qualify to cash out your unused vacation time, this money could go toward your education or training, new wardrobe, and other career change expenses.

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In the event that you cannot cash out your unused PTO, you could try negotiating for more paid time off when offered a job in your new career.

Changing Careers Doesn’t Have to Cost You

There are many hidden costs of changing careers, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to keep these costs down. Instead of going back to school and completing a full degree program, for instance, you might be able to complete a few professional development courses.

And rather than paying to work with a career coach or graphic designer, lots of free online tools can be used when creating your resume, business cards, and cover letters.

Changing your career can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be expensive if you’re not careful. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to move into a new career without accumulating debt or tapping into your savings. has all the tools and resources you need to save money, manage debt, and improve your finances. Visit our website to start taking control of your financial health today.

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