Finance for Teachers, 101, is the course I’d love to teach.
So, when I came across an article called 8 Financial Truths That Can Change Your Life, by Laura Adams, I thought it would be time to dust off my notes and see if I can relate some of the things in this article to us, as teachers… thus, Finance for Teachers.
Some of the basic Finance for Teachers truths that jump out at me include:
- Spend less than you make. This is the single most important financial truth you’ll ever learn. If you can do this one single thing, you’ll be happier and ready to embrace most of the downturns in life. Yet, sadly, most of us can’t master this one. I know, I know… easier said than done, but not impossible! Dave Ramsey, financial guru, has written thousands of pages and created even thousands more hours of radio shows, videos, and live speaking engagments, yet his message can be boiled down to those five words: spend less than you make. Spend. Less. Than. You. Make.
- Pay yourself first. Before you spend a dime of that next paycheck, put a few bucks away into an IRA, 401-K, or other retirment account. The magic of compound interest goes to work for you, and the younger you start, the better. $50 a paycheck? More? As much as you can get away with, but it’s important to start now. To steal from an old adage, “what’s the best time to start investing in your future?” Answer: 10 years ago. “What’s the second best time?” Answer: Right now. The Million Dollar Saving Calculator will show you how much you have to save monthly to create a million-dollar retirement package. It’s simple to use — just plug in a couple of factors, and you’ll see what kind of regular savings will lead to your nest egg.
- Stop doing the same thing over and over. Yeah, you know that one: Repeating the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results, is the definition of insanity. So, if you’re not liking where you are, you may have to make some changes: share expenses, cut out some luxuries, drive a cheaper car or take mass transit, look for less expensive housing, or grow more of your own food. Complaining won’t get you where you want to go.
- Embrace that money doesn’t buy happiness. Don’t get too stressed out about living like the Joneses. It just isn’t worth it. If you have a job, friend, or family that you love, or you’re devoted to a calling that gives you special meaning… money r-e-a-l-l-y won’t matter. So, put things into perspective. After all, if you love the teaching profession, and you’re engrossed in it for most of your waking hours, you are far ahead of most people on the planet, regardless of how much you make.
Finance for teachers in summary form: Spend less than you make, start saving early, switch things up if you’re not happy with your finances, and focus on happy instead of the dough.
What do you think? What would you do differently?