Everyone knows teaching is a vital profession, but unfortunately, it can also be one that is often underfunded. This can mean that, as a teacher, you are forced to find ways to make the money you do have go far. While it shouldn’t be the case that teachers are ever forced to make hard financial decisions like this, it is helpful to know how you can save money to help yourself and your students. Here are 8 ways to cut down costs as a teacher.
Put Away Funds for Vacation Periods
While vacations are also pointed to as one of the perks of teaching, they can also bring an extra strain on teachers’ already limited resources. It’s also worth noting that vacations are often more expensive times than when at work, so this can put added pressure on your finances. As a teacher, you may therefore benefit from thinking about spreading your money out wisely and holding some funds for when you are off school. While your situation will dictate whether you are paid a full wage during the vacation periods, it can always be helpful to keep some savings for then.
Consider Tutoring Online as a Side Occupation
Online teaching from home became normalized during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the amount of school missed by many children has increased the overall demand for one-on-one or group tutoring outside of school. If your finances are stretched at the moment, you might therefore consider tutoring in your spare time. The need for qualified teachers for online tutoring platforms is high, so if you have decent experience, you should be able to find business easily. For such tutors, parents will willingly pay around $35-$40 per hour, and some situations may even pay better.
Sell Your Old Teaching Resources
Another way to make a little additional income to supplement your salary is by placing your old teaching resources online for other educators to purchase. Plenty of platforms exist today to do so, and any teacher with a few years of experience should have huge amounts of resources and lesson plans spare from previous lessons. Take a look at some of the popular websites that sell teaching resources and determine what you could earn.
Claim Tax Reductions
One of the easiest yet often overlooked ways to save on money as a teacher is to claim your applicable tax deductions. All teachers should be entitled to claim $250 of money to spend on classroom supplies. This can be a great way to save on essentials such as stationary, tables, and chairs for school.
In addition, there are several other deductions and tax credits available to teachers, including those for professional development, if you are interested in undertaking further training. You may also be able to claim on things like transport and conference expenses, though in these situations, it is always important to check with your accountant first before doing so.
Engage Parents for Donations
Parents are often an untapped resource when it comes to funding for your classroom, so it’s always worth thinking about reaching out to them when finances are tight. If you also make it clear that teachers provide a significant portion of the resources that their children use, you may find that it is easy to motivate them to contribute something of their own. This is important because modern schools rarely provide adequate educational resources for children to excel fully.
Record Your Expenses
An important part of saving money in any job is keeping track of your in- and outgoings. This will help you identify what is costing you the most money and where you can reduce expenses.
Look for Teacher Discounts
Many stores, online and offline, now offer special discounts for teachers purchasing resources for their students. This includes businesses that provide key items for teaching, such as bookstores like Barnes & Noble. It is common now for businesses to provide a discount to incentivize teachers to purchase their supplies there. However, some companies also offer a blanket discount for teachers as a means of support.
Don’t Overlook Free Resources
With the internet offering teachers a huge pool of free resources to take advantage of in class, it’s important to remember that there is a lot of content out there that can be utilized without having to pay for it. While it is important to screen any online content before you use it in your teaching, mixing in some different media can also keep your students interested and engaged.