March 4, 2022

How to survive financially as a teacher

Use teacher discounts, apply for housing aid, budget smart, buy instead of leasing a car and more.

It’s gratifying when neighbors and politicians acknowledge that teachers are underpaid. But practical advice can be hard to come by. In fact, financial literacy built especially for teachers is still in its early days.

Here’s 7 tips for getting by as a teacher. 

1. Use teacher discounts

The vast majority of teachers (93%) pay for classroom supplies out of pocket. But teacher discounts are everywhere, from national chains to local retailers. 

2. Apply for Teacher Next Door

Housing is more expensive than ever. The Teacher Next Door program offers grants and assistance with down payments, with no application fees.

3. Budget smart.

Review your expenses and see where you can cut back. Follow the 50/20/30 rule, a proven budget breakdown that works for just about anybody, with any income:

  • 50% for essential needs
  • 20% to savings
  • 30% on wants and unexpected expenditures

4. Buy instead of leasing

Instead of leasing, buy a car and hold onto it. Once you’ve paid it off, you’ll have more room in your budget.

5. Look for districts with higher pay.

If you live in an area with multiple school districts, shop around. Look for districts with higher salaries. 

6. Start a side hustle.

Gig work is everywhere and can often accommodate your full-time schedule. Consider doing something completely different, from handyman work to communication consulting. 

7. Watch how others live well on less.

Financial well-being involves more than cash. It’s about balance, planning and finding your own path. Find inspiration from others, in and out of teaching. Podcasts can be an especially easy way to understand how others cope, prioritize and manage finances. 

Bright gets teachers.

We can help you make ends meet. Bright studies your spending habits and moves funds and makes card payments when it makes sense for you. 

Bright finds the fastest, smartest way to get you debt free, while boosting your credit score and building more savings

It only takes 2 minutes. Just download the Bright app from the App Store or Google Play. Link your checking account and your cards, set a few goals and let Bright get to work!

Recommended Readings:

Reasons to avoid teacher credit unions: 8 myths

Financial Planning for Teachers: 7 smart tips

Pranay Chirla
Technical Content Writer
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