I’m wondering about saving money, too. How do you save for big items, like your bedroom furniture or camera? How do you make yourself say no to purchases or things you want? Do you have an actual budget or does Noah do it?
For big purchases, we just have kind of a “slush fund” that goes towards that. Originally, it went towards paying the credit card when I was still in school. Now that we have a little bit more flexibility, we use it for those bigger purchases. That being said, we very rarely pay full price on those big items! Our bedroom furniture was on sale, my camera was a refurb off of eBay, etc. Once again – if you ask for a deal and/or look around for the best deal, you will usually find it!
We do have a budget, but we’re not perfect about it. I am an over-obsessive planner that HAS to have some kind of budget. However (and a BIG however I mean), Noah is in insurance sales – meaning his income is NEVER that same from month to month. So following a budget every month is next to impossible. We base it off of an average income, so if we’re doing good one month, we put that in savings, if we’re doing not so good one month, we draw from that savings. It works pretty well actually! There are times we have to not necessarily say no, but hold off on things we want. It might take a few months to save for something, and that’s ok with us. But Noah and I are both pretty headstrong that once we get our minds on something, we are probably going to get it. It might not be soon, but that’s just something to work for!
Most of our income right now is going towards paying off debt (i.e. my students loans) and building a savings. We are (usually) fully able to live off of Noah’s income, so my income goes towards those things. And sidenote – I am a big believer in the wife having knowledge of financial matters in the household too – whether she has a money-making job or not (because I’m also a HUGE believer that stay-at-home-moms have a full-time job too…but that’s a different post for a different day). By knowing what kind of income your family has, how you can stretch it, and what limits that income has, you are much more responsible with that money. Plus, God forbid something happens to your husband, you aren’t completely in left field in how to deal with the finances.
What kind of Magnet School are you at?
I am at a project-based magnet school with a technology emphasis. That basically means that each thing we learn is based on a larger higher-thinking question and structured around answering that question. We are so incredibly lucky (especially in the economy right now) to have the things we do in my classroom – just to name a few things, we have a Promethean board, 6 desktop computers, a Mac laptop for each teacher, a Flip Video Camera, and an Elmo in each room (google them if you have no idea what I’m talking about). It’s really cool to teach 6 year olds how to use all of that!
The school I am in has elementary and middle-school students from all over Tuscaloosa. They were accepted into the school based on standardized test grades and recommendations from their teachers last year. So needless to say, I’ve got a pretty awesome job. 🙂 I’m not going to say there aren’t challenges – like I mentioned earlier, being a first-year teacher that has zero textbooks to teach from can be a challenge sometimes. But I wouldn’t be teaching at this school if I didn’t feel it was the best educational opportunity for these students…it’s really pretty awesome!
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