So, my first year as a public school teacher I made $26k and change. Seeing my first paycheck as a working professional back then I though I had seriously hit the jackpot! Something you should know is that I didn't grow up in a house with a lot of money. I was a trailer park kid and lived in only one house for a few years that wasn't a rental.
Keep in mind, my parents were good parents, and took care of my sister, and I. However, my Dad's parents suffered very serious health issues early on in the 50's and my Dad's money went to help them the best they could. There were never conversations about retirement, investing, planning for the expenses of college - nothing like that. The one phrase I kept hearing my whole life growing up was, "Matthew, you need to learn a trade skill." That meaning, become a plumber, and electrician, a carpenter - something with benefits and a union. I knew what none of that meant, but it always felt like it was deterring me from going to college. That may be one of the main reasons I went. Typical teenager mentality, right?
Once I made it through college I had $18,000 of student loan debt, got my first job making $26,000+, and had no idea what to do with my money from my first paycheck. I thought, I should just pay off my student loan, but then realizing I wasn't really getting $26,000+ in pay. There were taxes taken out, and I also had rent, gas, insurance, car repairs, an electric bill, a phone bill, and that pesky nuisance...food. All of this was coming out of that paycheck I thought was a winning lottery ticket.
There was a lot of growing pains over those first few years financially. I needed a plan, and the internet wasn't quite what it is now so I had to ask questions to actual people and figure out a plan. That's when everything started to click for me. I knew that this was just math, that there were variables that could change, and all I needed was a financial road map to follow.
So I made one, and now it is available for you to use!
There is a paper version for those of you who like to calculate your own numbers, and there is also a version available via Google Drive that does the calculations for you.
I've used this with dozens of student teachers over the years and this resource will ALWAYS be free in my TpT store so the newer generation of teachers will always have a resource to use to get them on a path of financial success.
There are also links for a student loan calculator, a retirement calculator, and a first-year teacher salary average by the NEA. Everything they need to get a better grasp on their finances early on in their careers.
From the simplest things like a morning coffee at Starbucks to how much they could have for retirement. It's all included!
I'd like to thank my friends at www.classtag.com for helping me promote this resource for the betterment of our newer teachers coming into the field. This resource also works great if you're not a newer teacher, a teacher at all, or are simply someone who has ever budgeted their money.