Gang violence had been rampant at the inner city school I taught at, so I feared the worst when I heard Ms. White's scream.
I rushed into her room. She sat, arms crossed, head down, sobbing uncontrollably. “What’s wrong?" I asked. Without speaking she motioned to the paper on top of her desk.
It was her paycheck.
If this seems like an all too common scenario, these basic financial success principles will help you become a wealthy teacher. I've used them in my own life and live quite comfortably on my paltry teacher's salary.
Where’s All the Money?
For years educators have clamored for more money, yet have only enjoyed slight pay increases. Well, I for one am tired of teacher's excuses. As long as we depend on others to raise our financial status, we will continue to be disappointed. It’s time to create the amount of financial success we desire.
How did the rich get rich? It's not because they had money thrown at them (at least not for most) it's because they have adopted a wealthy mindset. The advice in this article will look at the fundamental mindset and actions of the wealthy and then explore specific strategies for teachers:
One’s financial success can be traced ultimately to his or her financial blueprint. In other words, your beliefs about money determine your actions toward money, which determines your amount of money. We will explore philosophies on the mind-money connection as well as an easy money management system that will help even the most destitute educator increase wealth.
First of all, the basics. Do you have debt? Do you not have anything in savings? Most experts advise to first save up a $1000 emergency fund (at least) and then focus on paying down your debt. In addition to making a plan to pay off any debt, you should continue to add to your savings account. It's recommended to have enough in savings for three to six months' living expenses in case something should happen to your job (do you have tenure?)
Teacher Traingin: Personal Money Management Websites
Each of the following websites has a personal finance section that will help you get started. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Search and find one you like. I would strongly discourage getting your financial advice from an insurance website. They encourage low-yielding, high-commissioned products.
CNN: Sections on personal finance, real estate, technology, and its partnership with Fortune Magazine make CNN an excellent source for the wealth seeker. It also has the most attractive and most easily navigable site on the web. I have used this site to help students learn financial literacy.
MSN: Sections on personal finance, investing, and taxes, without the super hyped headlines of other financial news sites, make MSN Money a popular site for many. The information is comparable to CNN, but the layout makes it tough to navigate.
Yahoo: Yahoo’s done a great job of landing well known personal finance experts such as Ben Stein and Suze Orman, who give solid, independent advice you may not hear from a broker trying to earn a commission. Yahoo’s real estate section and its investing section are the best on the web.
Natalie Pace: Natalie’s newsletters contain solid, reliable, and wealth building information. She deals with investing basics, specific stock picks, and the wealth mindset. She has created a niche with her focus on green technology and socially conscious investments. I rarely make an investment without reading her insights.
Bankrate: Bankrate cuts through the hype prevalent on many of the financial news networks. I consult Bankrate whenever making an important financial decision.
Roth IRA: Go here before starting any retirement account.
The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton: The wealthy barber teaches anyone how to become wealthy regardless of income. One of the first books on personal finance I read, it got me started on the road to wealth and helped me establish sound investment habits.
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach: David Bach stresses the same basic principles contained in The Wealthy Barber and teaches you how to make it automatic. The entire premise of the book is many people are too busy to become wealthy, so he gives basic information on how to make investing and other financial activities automatic.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley: Stanley surveyed hundreds of millionaires to discover what they had in common. You’ll be surprised at the answer. After reading this, I realized I, too, could become a millionaire.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki: Kiyosaki enlightens readers on the principles behind accruing wealth. I’ll warn you. Kiyosaki is not a big fan of the public school system, citing its failure to promote financial literacy; however, I am a fan of being wealthy, so I read his book.