How do you survive on a teacher's salary?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by sweethearttx, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. sweethearttx

    sweethearttx Rookie

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    I want to return to teaching, and I have an interview at a great school tomorrow. But upon doing the math with the district salary, and looking at the medical benefits (cost, coverage)...I'm saddened to realize I can't even accept the position because I don't know that I will be able to pay my bills. This is one of the lower paying districts in the area, but a good one, and is only a thousand or so off of most other districts (I live in a major metro area).

    I live alone so there is nobody to share the bills with. I have some medical issues and am finding that, more and more, the healthcare plans cost more and cover less. To the point where I don't have office visit copays anymore and sometimes no prescription copays either, and full cost due for both until you meet the deductible. And these are not HDHP plans either, they are regular ones.

    How do you make ends meet? When I taught, most teachers were married. Is this how you do it? Just wondering. I feel blue :(
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    What is your current source of income?
     
  4. sweethearttx

    sweethearttx Rookie

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    I'm an instructional designer in a corporate setting.
     
  5. sweethearttx

    sweethearttx Rookie

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    For what it's worth I'm having the same issue with medical costs in my current job. But my high salary is enough to allow me to pay for it and still live life.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Got it. I was just curious how you were dealing with the medical expenses now. :)

    For my area, I make earn a good salary. If I lived alone, I could live comfortably. I could live in a new 2,000 square foot house on a few acres and enjoy life. That said, I don't have medical bills and my insurance is free (minus extra policies such as cancer coverage).

    I hate that you'd have to take such a drop in pay. It upsets me, honestly.
     
  7. sweethearttx

    sweethearttx Rookie

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    Yeah. I'm talking a 25k drop in pay. I make more than I need right now. I don't need or want to be rich and don't need all that I make right now. But that far of a drop puts me in a bad spot the way things are so expensive these days. Was just wondering how people could do it.
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'm considered a part-time employee where I work 4, sometimes 3 days a week. Thank God I can afford a nice apt in a great, yet high cost of living city! And thank God I started my 1st year of salary all the way to the right of the payscale due to having a Masters already! I'm unmarried & don't have any kids. A spouse's salary would of course help. If my car wasn't already paid off, I wouldn't have been able to swing it without dipping into my savings. Eventually though, I'll have to pay back my student loan from my 2nd grad degree that I'm working on now. I've got a nice amount of money socked away too.
     
  9. sweethearttx

    sweethearttx Rookie

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    The car payment doesn't help does it? Mine was paid off too, but was totaled in a hail storm in April. So now I have a car payment again and higher insurance. Doh!
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sure, I could change to full time status & make about $10K more a year, but I'm extremely swamped w/ grad school work along w/ my job, so I need my extra days off for my sanity! Even once I graduate, I hope I never have to go to full time status. I want to go on weekend getaways & enjoy life a little you know!
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Ms. I, I would love to be part time. Honestly, since my husband makes more money than I do, it would be a great situation for us. Maybe one day.... :)
     
  12. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I don't know what you could do to account for a difference of $25,000!

    Honestly, if you're not unhappy in your current job, or you think you'll still have that job in the future- stay.

    Want a classroom fix? Volunteer once a week in a school!

    You simply can't really make up that much of a difference. Even if you cut your rent, cut cable, gym memberships, and shopped at Costco or discount places, that wouldn't total $25k.

    Even if you make more than you need now, you won't likd making less than you need!
     
  13. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I married money.

    Well, not really, but he makes twice what I do.

    And our school benefits are very inexpensive.
     
  14. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    I could not afford to work at the school I work at now if my wife was not a teacher in a public school. It is a bit easier for us than you as we started out with this salary so we did not get a house/car that would be unaffordable.
     
  15. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    That's a great decrease in salary.

    I think one would have to look at the life style they're living and want to live, and evaluate if you are willing to make adjustments.
     
  16. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    My father in law is a computer programmer that makes close to 100k. He really wanted to become a teacher but it would mean such a change in lifestyle. He now still works as a computer programmer, but he teaches twice a week for students that are at risk of not graduating. You can tell a big difference between when he comes home from that job, compared to his computer job.
     
  17. McParadigm

    McParadigm Companion

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    I feel your pain. I actually did the opposite...four months ago I was wrapping up my tenth school year. I got an offer to come and work as a curriculum adviser / instructional designer (two jobs for the pay of one! sweet!) for a local university, and thought "Well...that would be an adventure. And I might pick up some new things that I could bring back with me." YOLO and all that crap. :lol:

    Now I just want to get back to the classroom :|
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    If only more of us ladies had a rich man, we wouldn't have to work at all if we don't want to! Of course I'm just saying this for fun, I'm not a shallow person. But, it sure would help that's for sure! Going to work never thrilled me.

    Yes, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my schedule! If it meant me keeping this schedule & staying in an apt longer as opposed to buying a house sooner, I'll keep my schedule!
     
  19. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I'm excited about marrying my novio and moving back to the USA. He's going to make a boatload. And hopefully in a couple years he'll make so much I won't have to work! I'll never "love" my job. For now it's fine though.:)

    Anyways, living expenses here are the same or more expensive than back in the USA and I make less than half. I don't have medical issues, but if I did there is national health care here so I could get it taken care of no problem. The bottom line is it is possible to live on very little. But is that what you want?
     
  20. sweethearttx

    sweethearttx Rookie

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    Well, thanks for the replies even though they are pretty disheartening! The overwhelming theme is, just stay where you are. Which is probably what I'll have to do.

    No, I don't want to be broke. But I'm used to it. I've been broke most of my life, I was unemployed for 13 months from 2009-2010. I just want to be comfortable, that's it. Be able to take a trip every so often, pay my bills ok, and get what I need.

    Bottom line is that right now, I'm not sure I can do that. I guess I need to save up more money and just stay where I am. All of the women on here who get to marry wealthy men...you're lucky! I'm dating someone but he is just your average joe. So if we do get married someday I would still have to work. But that's ok with me because I love him.

    I'm just tired of working corporate when I've always hated it. I have been in it almost a decade now, with the exception of a year unemployed and a year teaching before I got laid off from the teaching job.
     
  21. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I've been broke for a very long time too, and let me tell you- it's really nice not being broke! You don't like your job now, but if you move to teaching you won't like your *life*. You see? Is there some other field you could look into that pays better?
     
  22. sweethearttx

    sweethearttx Rookie

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    Well, the other reality is I don't like my *life* now because I don't feel like I have any purpose or am doing anything I want to be doing.
     
  23. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Can you tutor for extra money?
     
  24. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I have to work a PT job. 6th year teaching and I barely make $31K.
     
  25. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    When I was single, I could not afford to live on my own as a teacher. I paid rent to my dad.
     
  26. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    I make a nice salary now (over $50K/year) so I am able to live pretty comfortable. When I first began teaching it was a struggle and still had my parents helping me financially.
     
  27. sweethearttx

    sweethearttx Rookie

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    I'm really sad. Because my interview went great. The school is awesome. They want to hire me. But because I don't think I can pay mx bills, I don't think I can take the job. I'm just heartbroken. I feel like I'm stuck in corporate for the rest of my life and can't follow my dreams.
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Is there any way you could keep the corporate job for another year or two and bundle money away for the future? You could even try to live on just the "teacher salary" and put everything else in savings...you'd be piling up your money in the bank and letting yourself see what you can actually do with the lower salary with the added safety net if you wanted to.

    My other suggestion if you're desperate to take the job now would be to get a roommate. Your living expenses would be split in half. I live on my own and I do live on a teacher's salary, but my insurance is free and I don't have school loans.
     
  29. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    What??? are you in a private school?
     
  30. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Well, what made you LEAVE teaching in the first place? Something didn't sit quite right with you to leave education for the corporate world. Are you 100% sure whatever drove you away won't be an issue when you go back?

    Things have changed in the last ten years. Expectations are getting ridiculous while the pay is decreasing.
     
  31. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    I'm in my 3rd year of teaching and while I'm not striking it rich I think I do alright. I get by with budgeting the best I can and prayer.
     
  32. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well, that sure is a huge decrease in salary. If you absolutely can't do it, then I would stay where I was.
     
  33. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    It is a struggle but I pretty much live pay check to pay check. I'd love to get myself out of debt, but it is impossible on my salary. As much as I love teaching I'm not sure if it is a career that I can continue especially if I stay single. What teachers make a year in my state is absolutely disgusting for all the additional time and effort we put in. I've considered a PT job but honestly with all my school responsibilities there just simply isn't enough time. As it is I spend nearly 10 hours a day at work. I'd say if I averaged it out I'm literally making a little more than $10 an hour.
     
  34. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Marry someone with a much BIGGER salary!;)
    Rebel1
     
  35. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I do fine on my salary. I own my own home. I bought a new car. I do keep cars a long time. I have everything I need and most of what I want. I was able to support two people for the 11 years I was married.

    Salaries are variable by ocation. Cost of living makes a huge difference as well. In my rural high poverty area teaching is one of the top jobs.
     
  36. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    I teach at a Catholic school. I'm single, have two roommates and am blessed to have no debt or car payment. Sometimes I wonder whether I'll be able to continue doing this, as I couldn't even take on a car payment right now. Even so, I work at a great school and would definitely like to stay in the education field.
     
  37. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I know people who raise families on teachers' salaries. For me, teaching is mostly a ministry, and as such, a LOT of my salary goes right back into my classroom. I am truly blessed because my husband makes a good living, and this allows me to provide more for my students.
     
  38. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    If you enter without debt, and don't have "expensive" tastes, a teacher's salary will be enough to "pay the bills". The first year or two will be the most difficult. As your pay increases (even though it will be slow at times) you will find out finances will get a bit easier.
     
  39. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I am the main money maker for my husband and I. We are pretty comfortable. When I was the only one bringing in money about five years ago it was challenging. With the moving up the step and columns it would not be as challenging now. I think though it is easier to fit with gaining more money than losing a large chunk of your income. If I was back at a beginning district salary it would be painful due to what I am used to spending.

    The district I work for also covers medical insurance for employees and their families almost completely which takes away a huge expense.
     
  40. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    I have $10,000 in CC Debt, that's how we do it. UGH!
     

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