I recently had a little come to Jesus with myself.
Actually, my bank account had a BIG come to Jesus with ME.
July/August is an expensive time for teachers! We are beginning to spend on our upcoming new school year and by payday I’m chomping at the bit. If I’m being honest, I also feel that way around Christmas time, Valentines Day and the end of the school year— Ok, all the time?
This week I’m going to tell you about a plan I used to implement but got away from over time. I realize as I go into a new school year, I really want to start it again!
Here’s how I got the idea in the first place. After grad school, my professor hired me to go through and organize receipts and purchases for a university program in case they were to ever be audited. It was a simple system. Get a binder. Organize receipts in chronological order. Total each month.
The job was time consuming though, as receipts were not organized and had been piling up for a while. I decided this was a genius system to use for my spending in the classroom. The key would be to start it from the beginning.
The next year I started it with no budget in mind, just simply said: “I’ll track my spending.” I was so shocked to see how quickly a few products on TPT, a book from Amazon, supplies for science at Walmart, etc. added up! EYE OPENING!
When I went shopping, I wanted my receipt to be independent of my personal purchases so I started checking out separately. I found myself putting things back on the shelf more often than before, asking parents for donations more often than not and spacing out my spending.
When tax time came it was a BREEZE. Mostly because you can only claim $250 and I was WELL over that amount. Regardless, I knew if I were to get audited, I was ready –although the chances are slim, less than 1% in fact.
I’ve included a wonderful article from Turbotax for those of you who might have questions about what is tax deductible for teachers and other helpful tips.
This year I’m going to set a monthly budget I can spend. I can spend it ANY way I choose as long as I don’t go over that amount. Another trick I’ll be using is adding “Classroom Monthly Budget” into my overall personal budget. This summer I started using the “Every Dollar” App. It’s amazing and FREE!
I’ll admit, the system is more “old school” then some. But if you are like me and you prefer pen to paper and tangibility, this could work for you.
Like many of you I’m working on getting out of personal debt–GOODBYE SCHOOL LOANS! I simply MUST be more disciplined with my classroom spending and going further into debt over my job is NO longer an option. I’m excited to have more control over my teacher spending this year. I hope you are too!
So here you have it, an updated Teacher Finance Tracker. There are specific instructions inside as well as helpful hints, feel free to email me at schoolhousesocial.com with any questions!
Follow my TPT store while you are there, I’d love to hear your feedback!
Happy (less) Spending!