One of the sad realities of being a teacher is trying to survive the summer months on a budget. So here are some ideas to help you make it through the summer with as little financial stress as possible.
Tips For Teachers To Financially Survive the Summer
- Prepay your bills. During the summer I would always call ahead and pay my bills for the entire summer. Pretty sure it drove the cable company crazy for me to have a credit, but it helped me with budgeting to not have the money in my checking account. For my credit cards, I would move over the money to my savings and not touch it.
- Ration your money. Each summer, after I set aside my bills, I would split my money in half. Half was for June and the other half was for July. Depending on how much money was leftover, I might even take some out for August as well. This money would go into an envelope and was not touched until it was time.
- Save all of your gift cards for the summer. I did this for many years – any gift card I got for the holidays or my birthday went right into an envelope and saved for the summer.
- Use coupons. I hate coupons but if they save you money and you need more money this is a great way to keep some of that dough in your pocket.
- Have a garage sale. I love to clean out closets and cabinets and get rid of stuff. We have tons of teacher things we don’t use as well. And there are many apps and websites now that help you to sell things without having to sit in your driveway at 4 in the morning. My family has had success using these apps in the past so hopefully, you will too.
- Keep track of your spending. Be very cautious from the start with your money. Every decision you make in June will affect your ability to eat in late July. Write everything down.
- Cutback on things you may not need. The cable and the gym are great, but they can be expensive and not really necessary.
- Take advantage of stores incentive systems. Our local grocery store offers more fuel points for gift cards purchased. So we purchase many of our items with gift cards so we can save money on fuel. If we need groceries, we get a gift card for the approximate amount and then spend it right away on our food.
- Talk about it with your peers. Most teachers have been in your situation and these people will have some wisdom and encouragement for you. There may even be an opportunity that presents itself, maybe someone knows of a place you can pick up some extra income tutoring or whatever. I have several friends who have found amazing summer jobs this way. (Don’t be ashamed – we have all been there.)
- Opt for a summer paycheck. You will most likely have had to elect this at the start of the year, but it is a great option to have you have for the summer. If you are feeling the stress now and did not opt for this year, make sure you do next year. (You can even talk to your school district and accountant about changing your tax bracket for that last paycheck so you can keep more of it. Again – talk to people because there are little tricks like this that can help you.)
- Shop bundles for back to school. It’s inevitable – you are going to want to spend some money on your classroom over the summer. Many sellers offer bundles of their top-selling materials at a highly discounted price. Check out the Simply Kinder Bundles here – we always keep our prices low because we know teachers work hard for their money!
Ways to Earn Extra Money Over the Summer:
- Open up a store on Teachers Pay Teachers.
- Start a blog.
- Work at a bookstore, craft store, or teacher store. (Somewhere with a good discount so you can take advantage of it. Check out these stores that offer great teacher discounts.)
- Sign up to teach summer school.
- Find some kids to tutor.
- Teach swim lessons or lifeguard.
- Work at a summer camp or summer program.
- Find some online work. There are many services online where you can freelance your time and knowledge as an educator. Google how to make money online – and tons of articles pull up with ways to freelance your time or make money on social media.
One thing I would NOT suggest is taking out student loans to live on. This is a hard lesson learned for me that I am now paying for. Each summer I would load up on classes so I could take the extra money and now that the money is due I am SO regretting it. Not smart. Don’t do it.
Summers, although relaxing, can be a very stressful time for teachers financially. Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you to survive the summer on a teacher’s income.