How a 25-year-old Boston-based middle school teacher spends:

  • SALARY: I make $57,000 per year as a middle school teacher based in Boston. My contract is negotiated by the local teachers’ union. I don't have the ability to ask for a raise.
  • SAVINGS: Honestly? Like $3.63 is in my account right now. It's tough for me to save right now, although I'm hoping to begin once my contract ends and I move to a different salary step next year. 
  • MONTHLY EXPENSES: I pay $875 for rent, plus another $140ish for utilities (I live with my best friend!). Teachers in Massachusetts don't get social security benefits, so we have a separate retirement plan that I pay into each paycheck. I'm still on my parents' health care plan. I pay for Netflix, Hulu, the New York Times and Spotify, which averages to about $50 per month. My phone plan is $100. I have USAA insurance (renters, car) that's $160. My car payment is $207 a month. 
  • DEBT: I have some credit card debt, but the biggest challenge is my student loan debt. My payments are around $1,300 a month. I knew they'd be big and had savings set aside so that I only pay about $500 out-of-pocket a month.
  • INVESTING: I have not started investing yet.
  • SPENDING VICTORY:  My best friend and I went on a vacation to London and Dublin over the Christmas/January break and it was so much fun and worth every penny.
  • SPENDING REGRET: I eat out too much. Like, waaaay too much.
  • CHARITY:  I make monthly donations to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
  • SIDE HUSTLE: I do school-related things. I coach cheerleading and work summer school. I also teach over some vacations. I make about $14,000 a year from side-hustle stuff. 
  • IF I WON THE LOTTERY: I'd pay off my student loans and then I'd pay off my parents' mortgage.
  • GOALS: Obviously, getting my student loans squared away, but I'd definitely like to own a house at some point. I think ideally I'd like to be comfortable enough to make monthly contributions to my savings account and also be able to take the summer to travel and relax instead of teach!

- She Spends Issue #54

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