There probably are few teachers like me, teachers who have not always been wise consumers, teachers who have been trusting that agencies and operations would look out for their benefit and do what is right and good by them. The truth is that all of those agencies and operations are made up of people and people make mistakes. Therefore teachers, like everyone else, have to be wise consumers.
I have a heightened interest in this today since I did my taxes yesterday and found out about an error in my paycheck today. Hopefully not like most teachers, I don't always check my paycheck to see if it's accurate and I'm receiving the pay due me. This is not smart.
Way back, early in my career, I decided to withdraw a certain amount of money for a 403B savings account. I never checked to see if was actually being withdrawn only to find out that the money was never withdrawn for those years. I lost out on a considerable amount of savings. Of course, if I had checked my paycheck I could have remedied the situation. It pays to check your paycheck each week.
It also pays to be thoughtful about how and where you spend your money, to keep track of what you buy and what you buy it for. To take time to create a budget and live by it, and to think of those big dollar items you are planning for such as your children's educations, home repairs, and perhaps a vacation now and then.
Unions are one place teachers can reach out to for help in this matter--unions have people who are skilled in these areas and people who will offer advice and support.
It's in educators best interests to be good consumers who understand the financial underpinnings of the work they do and salaries they earn. This is important to the good work we're able to do for ourselves and the families and students we serve. Onward.