Staying on top of finances can be challenging when you work a full-time job. It can be even more challenging when you have kids of your own or a home to manage. As teachers are working from home because of school closings due to COVID-19, is it the perfect opportunity to improve their finances. From the time saved from a commute or monitoring students in class, teachers have an excellent opportunity to use that time to work on getting their finances in check. In this article, we are going to cover some steps for teachers designed to improve their finances with their extra time on hand.
Step One: Identify Your Financial Goals
Before getting started on the steps to improve your finances, it is important to identify your financial goals. Setting goals can keep you accountable for your spending and saving, as well as keep you motivated. Whether you are trying to contribute more to your retirement fund or are trying to improve your credit score, take note of every goal you would like to achieve. This could be in a spreadsheet, notepad, or financial planner. Even if the goal seems difficult to attain, still mark it down so you can keep it in mind.
Step Two: Keep Track of Your Expenses
Many teachers find themselves trying to manage a tight budget with their tax-funded salaries. This can be very difficult, especially for public school teachers in states where they may be underpaid. So, it can be very helpful for teachers to keep track of their weekly expenses. Anything that is spent from groceries to seeing a movie with your spouse should be tracked. Tracking can help you identify areas where you are overspending and you may be able to redirect that money to invest in your retirement fund.
Step Three: Create a Debt Payoff Plan
While it is unlikely you will be able to pay off your debt in the timeframe of the current school closings, you can still take action to lower the amount you owe. If you don’t have one already, creating a debt payoff plan can be very helpful to improve finances. Whether your debt is from student loans, a mortgage, or a new car, create a plan to pay it off. There are many ways you can come up with the amount you should pay per month. An easy formula is to take the amount you owe and divide it by the number of months you would like to have your debt paid off by. If you can, set up automatic payments to deduct this total from your account to help ensure you are sticking to your plan. Having a plan laid out can help you stay motivated as it lets you see just how many more months you will be in debt.
Step Four: Set a Budget
Another great way to improve your finances during school closures is to set a budget. At times, and especially now, it is easy to stock up on extra snacks or go online shopping. In moderation, this is not bad, but too many purchases can throw off your finances. However, making a budget can help you manage your spending very easily. This way, you can plan to have more money left over at the end of the month to put towards retirement or debt.
Step Five: Consider Hiring a Financial Planner
Hiring a financial planner to assess your specific situation can be very helpful. They can help you manage your money and give you advice on investments. Our financial professionals focus on helping teachers manage their finances. We have been helping teachers feel more confident in their future and finances for many years. If you would like some help improving your finances, please feel free to contact us today! Our team looks forward to helping you.