Wondering how to save money as a teacher? With small salaries, big classes, and a lot of financial needs, educators frequently struggle to keep everything under a strict budget. We've created this guide full of money-saving tips for teachers to help you find better educator discounts on everything from 3D printers to field trips to pencils. Get cheaper supplies, attack your college loans, master taxes, and learn new ways to save money as a teacher!
Schools are paying for less and less these days, and teachers who are serving low-income students can't simply ask parents to buy hundreds of dollars of supplies. It often falls on the teacher's shoulders to buy everything from crayons to books to technology. So how can teachers afford it? Where do teachers get discounts?
There are dozens of stores that give teacher discounts with the use of an ID or NEA membership. If you need to buy something, consider buying it in bulk and checking well ahead of time to see if you can get a percentage taken off your order. We've gathered a list of some of the best teacher discounts online to check before you sink hundreds of dollars into necessary books and classroom supplies.
If your administrator unfortunately believes that cutting back on books is one of the top ways schools can save money, then use these resources to work better with the budget you have. English books especially can be pricey, so consider buying in bulk, grouping purchases with other teachers, or buying used.
In terms of budget cuts, tech is usually the first to go. But who gives teacher discounts on technology? Luckily, there are ways to save on the classroom tech that you need. (Note that you may also apply for a Best Buy Community Grant for tech-related classroom help.)
Of course, teacher deals aren't limited to just classroom supplies. With an NEA membership, you can get deals on clothes, toys, and much more. And there are plenty of other ways to avoid spending extra money unnecessarily on your classroom needs.
Remember: Your school projects don't and shouldn't come out of your own pocket. From grants to local fund-raisers, there's plenty of ways for teachers to raise money for their field trips and special projects. Also, don't forget that teachers themselves can save on travel and tickets quite frequently.
Here's an important tip: Save those receipts! Teachers can qualify for an Educator Expense Deduction up to $250 (or $500 if jointly filing with another teacher). Books, supplies, technology, and athletic equipment can all qualify under the guidelines. Also, don't forget to take any deductions for your own student loans.
The financial life of a teacher seems stressful, but once you find a rhythm, it can be quite rewarding. Keep an eye out for any other school employee discounts, such as deals that might show up during Teacher Appreciation Week. Deals might be available during the second week of May for this observance. Look for special deals at stores like Staples, restaurants like Chipotle, and any participating local businesses.
Remember that so many people in America appreciate you every single day!
Getting a teaching position is super-exciting, but it becomes very apparent after a few months that most teachers are strict with their spending for a reason. Learning how to budget on a teacher's salary has as much of a learning curve as most lessons! Here are some tricks for getting started.