Yay! All your hard work has paid off, you have job, retirement pention, and more work than you could have ever imagined. On top of that, you're not making a lot of money. If you're like most new grads starting out, you have debt. College loans, moving expenses, and credit cards have mounted up before your first paycheck. Don't worry, you're not alone. It seems like most, if not all, new teachers start out like this. Here are some tips I have picked up along the way:
1. Don't get into the habit of spending more than you can spare. Create a budget. The first few months may be really tight, but so what? You're so busy lesson planning and catching zzz's in between you don't really feel like going out and spending.
2. Curb celebratory spending. You may be making the most money you've ever made, that doesn't mean you should spend your first summer off in France travelling on a credit card or buy a house that you can't afford, but "is a really good investment."
3. Start putting away in a 401(k), 403(b), or Roth IRA as soon as you can. Even 20 dollars a paycheck is worth it.
4. Pay off credit card debt as quick as possible, with our new credit accounts the APR is usually pretty steep and the interest will add up.
5. Don't get me wrong, if you can own rather than rent do it by all means, it is the best investment of your life.
6. Save receipts from your college courses, moving expenses, and classroom shopping. Use them for your tax return.
7. I read this book and highly reccommend it. Suze Orman's Young, Fabulous, and Broke. Check out her site at:http://www.suzeorman.com/