This is a loaded title. But an easy second place title is: Happy Teachers Balance Their Budgets, or Happy People Balance Their Budgets. Teachers are not going to magically get paid more this year. And next year doesn’t look any more promising. With Christmas right around the corner, it’s hard not to overspend. In fact, since 2008, the average American has continued to spend more each year for Christmas. This is a problem for teachers because many teachers make under the median income in the U.S., and many teachers are facing a pay freeze. Furthermore, money continues to be a stressor for most Americans.
What A Balanced Budget Does For You
- Reduces migraines.
- Increases overall health; including lower blood pressure.
- Reduces depression and anxiety.
- Increases your ability to meet goals.
- Decreases your risk for burnout by reducing stress.
How To Do It
- Track your spending. Figure out what you’re spending your money on. Down the last cent.
- Classify your spending into categories (Bills and types of bills, food, dates, outing, vacation, travel, insurance, debt, etc.)
- Determine what spending is flexible and which areas are critical.
- Create an area of your budget for savings. Without savings you will never be free of debt. It keeps you from living on borrowed money in an emergency. Pay yourself first!
- Determine your long term goals. Is there something specific you need to be saving for (travel, retirement, home, investments, car)?
- Determine if you need to spend less to meet your savings goals. Look up blogs on meal planning, go out to eat less, shop at different stores, don’t spend any extra money for one month, shop around for cheaper options (cell phone plans, apartments, insurance payments, cable/internet), or even look for things that could be sold second hand.
- Then make a monthly budget for your areas (food, housing, bills, etc.). Trust yourself to not go over each area. Make it a game. If you can do for ____ amount of time, have a small treat for yourself.
- BONUS: Christmas! Keep from overspending by creating a specific amount of money you can’t go over. Try buying things second hand, keep things simple, and shop around.
Wrapping It Up
Christmas time is difficult to spend less and follow a budget. But it will statistically help you feel happier, save more, and be able to a more awesome teacher in the classroom. Remember there are a TON of resources online about money management tips. You can find a system that works well for you.
Let me know what your favorite money saving tricks are!