As I readied to pay a hefty college bill today, I ran my numbers.
I found myself thankful to an older, wiser colleague who encouraged me to open up a 403B retirement account years ago.
To put a bit of money aside every pay check into one of these accounts is hardly noticeable, and it does add up. That helps later on in life in retirement or when big expenses hit.
I was never too savvy when it come to money. I have always been so busy in life working and taking care of children that I hardly stopped to run the numbers with regard to the money we earn, the taxes we pay, the interest we accrue on loans and our daily/weekly expenses.
Yet, it pays to make the time to pay attention to this as it can help you and your family.
What should you do?
It may sound silly, but no one ever gave me this advice.
First, make a chart of what you make and what you spend each month. You can easily do this by recording your big bills and reviewing your credit card statements and other receipts.
Analyze your expenditures--where do you spend too much and where can you save more?
Think about what you put away, and if you can increase that. Figure out how that will affect your paycheck and your taxes.
Make a long term plan that includes earnings and savings--see where you can possibly make more and save more over time.
As educators it pays to get as high up in on your salary charts as soon as possible--the quicker you get there, the more you'll make.
It's also important to assess how much you spend on the classroom each year, and possibly find other ways to support classroom supplies via grants, advocating for district/taxpayer support, and more.
Many people hire outside agents to help them with this and that can be helpful too.
However you choose to save and take charge of your finances is your decision, but it's best to make time to do this rather than experience financial troubles later on.