How to Save Money When You Earn a Teacher’s Salary

If you have a low-paying job (teacher, social worker, childcare worker) these tips for saving money on a teacher’s salary will help you create abundance.

These budgeting tips are from teacher Danny Kofke, author of  How to Survive (and Perhaps Thrive) on a Teacher’s Salary. You may not earn a huge salary as a teacher because it’s definitely not one of the highest paying jobs for college graduates, but you don’t have to feel deprived.

“The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher inspires.” ~ William Arthur Ward. No matter what kind of teacher you are, you need to eat and pay your bills. And, perhaps even buy your own house. To learn how to get the most out of your paycheck, read Danny’s How To Survive (and perhaps thrive) On A Teacher’s Salary. And here are his tips for surviving on a teacher’s salary…

An average teacher’s salary varies depending on where and what subject you teach. The median teacher’s salary is approximately $40,000 annually.

Can you own your own home on a teacher’s salary?

Yes, you can.  My family actually just refinanced our mortgage to a 15-year loan — and we’re on one teacher’s salary. My wife is a stay-at-home mom. You can save money even when you don’t earn much.

3 Tips for Surviving With a Low-Paying Job

A teacher’s salary may not earn you what Tiger Woods does, but you can still retire with a sizable nest egg on a teacher’s salary.  In addition, according to a recent social survey, teaching ranks among the Top 10 most gratifying jobs so many teachers do not feel the need to overspend. They don’t buy materialistic things to get happier, since they get such great satisfaction from their jobs.

1. Write down everything you spend

After Tracy and I were married for a few months, we took a pen and paper with us everywhere and wrote down all of our purchases.  Yes, this was time consuming but well worth the effort.  I think so many people are in financial trouble because they do not know where their money is going. They don’t have a financial budget, and that’s imperative when you’re surviving with a low-paying job.

For many teachers and others with low paying jobs, it’s not the big ticket purchases that cause trouble. Rather, it’s the $5-$10 purchases (eating lunch out, drinking coffee out, buying sodas/snacks from vending machines, etc.) that add up over time.  To live on a teacher’s salary, write the purchases down so you can see how much you are spending on these items.

2. Use cash to make all your purchases

After creating a spending plan or budget, use cash to pay for your purchases.

how to save money teacher salaryAfter analyzing your expenses, you’ll be able to see how much you need each week for items such as food, transportation, entertainment, etc.  Let’s say this amount is $300.  Every Friday (or whatever day works best for you) take that amount out in cash.  This will be your budget for the week.

When you run out of this cash, you will have to eat in or wait to buy something until the following week.  This may be tough at first, but it helps you get a better control of your spending.

3.  Analyze your monthly expenses

We have all of our monthly expenses (mortgage, phone, utilities, etc.) written down – you would not believe how many people have no clue how much their house, car and utilities cost.

Tracy and I look over our expenses every so often to see if we can cut back anywhere.  A few years ago we realized we were paying too much for our phones.  We changed the plans on both our cell and house phones and saved over $75 a month by doing away with things we did not even use.  We never would have realized this if we hadn’t analyzed our bills.

Do you regret your decision to be a teacher? Read Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone.

If you have any questions or thoughts on surviving on a teacher’s salary, I welcome your comments below…

Danny Kofke, currently a special education teacher and author, resides in Hoschton, GA with his wife Tracy and daughters Ava and Ella.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *