Thriving on a Teacher's Salary #1 - History Gal

Thriving on a Teacher's Salary #1

Woman at computer - Thriving on a Teacher Salary by History Gal

Living on a teacher's salary is hard. It became really difficult a few years ago when an unexpected visit to the emergency room resulted in a huge medical bill. All of a sudden, our monthly budget had to cover a monthly hospital payment. Money that was budgeted for things like buying groceries and paying for our daughter's dance class went towards paying down a huge medical bill. I decided there had to be a way for me to save on our monthly budget and I found several things that actually worked! I'm going to be sharing these tips over the next several weeks and I hope you will find them helpful wherever you are in your financial journey.

Tip #1: Stop Going to the Mall
Before kids, I used to go to the mall frequently just to see what was in the stores. I'd always buy something.  
My strategy is simple: If I don't go to the mall, I don't spend money.
The same goes for the outlet center that opened just miles from my house. It's been open 5 years, I've gone once. If I go to the mall or the outlets, I have a specific purpose and, more importantly, a specific budget.

Tip #2: Stick to a List
Have you ever ventured into Target for one item and ended up with a full cart and a $200 receipt? It's easy to do and it's happened to me many times.

So I make a list and do my best to stick to it.

Tip #3: Getting Paid to Shop Online, really!
I do most of my shopping online. It is easier than dragging my kids all around town. A few years ago, I discovered a site called Rakuten (formally Ebates). It actually pays you back for shopping online! Whenever you shop online, first visit Rakuten. Simply click on the store you want to shop and Rakuten redirects you to the store. Viola! You get a percentage back on your purchase. Percentages start at 1% and can go as high as 10%. Yep. You get money back for buying items you were already going to buy. There are no gimmicks or extra things to do (well, you do have to create an account!). Go to Rakuten first, shop, and every quarter they'll mail you a check or send it via PayPal. It's that easy. If you'd like to sign up, you can use my referral link or just go to Rakuten to sign up.

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  1. Just clicked through from one of your products and burst out laughing. I know this situation all too well. While teaching in Korea I often visited a chain store called Daiso and this place had so much cool stuff for teaching. Everything was all colors and cheap. I could just walk each isle and get new ideas all the time. My only restriction was what I could fit in my backpack and carry in an extra bag. I justified these expenses as my hobby :)

  2. The Target Dollar Spot gets me every time!


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