Saturday, February 22, 2014

Financial Tips for Teachers



                                                                teachers.jpg

There are approximately 4 million teachers in the United States. There are over 50 million students being taught in the United States plus.  Becoming is a huge sacrifice and teacher requires specialized education, certification and continuing education for elementary, middle school and high school levels.  Many teachers are committed to educating their students despite political, state and local roadblocks. In addition, teachers are not provided with adequate resources, tools and supplies for their students. 

According to research by the National School Supply and Equipment Association public school teachers in the US spent more than $1.33 billion out of pocket on school supplies and instructional materials in the 2009-2010 school year. 

According to a nationwide survey conducted by AdoptAClassroom.org, “This survey of our teachers makes one thing abundantly clear: teachers are not only educating students, but through their out-of-pocket purchases, teachers are tackling major social issues such as homelessness, poverty, hunger and teaching students basic life skills,” said James Rosenberg, founder of AdoptAClassroom.org. 

Many teachers spend money to buy their students necessary supplies such: pencils, papers, pens, glue, arts and crafts, snacks, clothing, toothbrushes, hygiene products, field trip fees, toys, and alarm clocks and spend on average $444 a year. However, they not receive reimbursements and only receive a small tax credit.

The average starting teacher salary is $35,672. Some teachers are forced to obtain part-time jobs to make ends meet and to help cover costs for out-of-pocket expenses for students.  Here are some financial tips to help teachers stretch their paychecks.

Deals for Teachers to Stretch their paycheck
  1. Shop online for bargains. Use comparison shopping websites to find bargains at sites like Amazon, eBay or Bizrate.com.
  2. Used vs. New.  Buy used vs. new items or use recycled items on sites like freecyle.com. You can find many great items still in good condition.
  3. Downsize.  Trade in your expensive car for a cheaper used car with no note.  Downgrade your home to a smaller one to have a cheaper mortgage payment or refinance to get a lower interest rate.
  4. Coupons. Use coupons to save money when shopping. Also shop at discount or wholesale stores such as Costco, Sam's Club or Target. Research days when stores have sales and take advantage of the sale along with coupons to get a better value.
  5. Barter.  Barter services with friends, co-workers or family members who have businesses or who can provide a skill, produce or service that you need.

Student Loan Repayment Assistance
  1. Use caution with consolidation. Consolidating student loans combines your loans into one payment but may or may not provide you with a lower interest rate. Do extensive research before consolidating your student loans. In addition, you may not be eligible for various student loan forgiveness programs if you consolidate your student loans.
  2. Student loan forgiveness programs. Teachers who work in low-income elementary or secondary schools may be able to cancel a portion or all of their federal loan debt.
  3. Make payment arrangements. Contact your loan servicer and make payment arrangements such as forbearance, deferment or economic hardship to assist with paying back student loan debt.
  4. Use discounts and benefits. Use discounts or benefits to pay back student loan.  You can lower your monthly payments for Sallie Mae loans, pay online or through automatic deduction to get a possible interest rate reduction, or link your Sallie Mae account to an Upromise account.

Budgeting/Saving
  1. Reduce Expenses - Find ways to reduce expenses. Catch public transportation or carpool to work. Shop at discount or wholesales stores.  This will help you to stick to a budget and allow you to have money to pay down debts.
  2. Pay Down Debt - Don't ignore overdue bills. Pay more than the minimum monthly payment to pay down debt faster.
  3. Create a Budget - A budget will help determine what you owe, what you earn and what you spend.  A budget will also help you to quickly see what areas you need to make adjustments and reduce expenses.
  4. Consult a professional – ask questions before opening an account and set financial goals with your financial advisor because you will need at least 70% of your income during your retirement years.

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