a tight month for my money | Budget with Me March 2021 | Teachers Talk Money

Hey readers,

It’s budget day, and things have shifted a lot in my life since my last budget post. Here are some of the changes:

  1. I decided that, upon completion of my 15-credit certificate program, I won’t be adding on the 18 credits needed to earn my Masters degree. The past few classes have been so time consuming and difficult to fit into my already busy schedule with teaching and coaching, so I started looking for more flexible classes to advance my education and my position on the salary scale. While I really learned a lot from my program and would love to continue, it made little sense when I felt stretched too thin. Also, I’ve been able to find much more affordable classes, and my timeline for advancement will speed up drastically.
  2. I’m getting my commute back. March is the beginning of the in-person Girls’ Volleyball season (our seasons are very weird this year due to COVID), and I’m covering the JV team this year since one of the coaches is on maternity leave. This means that I’ll be driving the ~40 minutes back to my school (and longer on the way back when traffic is rough). In addition to the time this will take, it also means I will finally need to start paying for gas again. We won’t be having 5 practices/week, but we are aiming for 3-4, so I needed to add some money to my gas budget.

Here are the numbers:

As you can see, I’m planning to contribute $178 to my education fund this month. That’s the cost per 3-credit course, and I’m planning to sign up for as many as possible this coming summer. In order to fund this AND put ~hopefully~ enough money aside for gas this month, I slightly lowered the following categories: Travel ($50 lower), business ($30 lower), gifts ($5 lower), and other ($20 lower). This makes my savings slightly tighter and gives me less wiggle room to make discretionary purchases, but I’m considering it a worthwhile trade-off considering I *need* to have money for gas and the extra money towards my education will pay out so much in the long run, when I am able to advance to the highest salary scale as quickly as possible.

This is all still a bit subject to change; I may have an even lower take-home, as our health deductions are changing slightly soon. So, either way, it’s going to be a tight month. This may be the first time I’ve felt restricted by my budget in over years, but I’m honestly not all that stressed about it. However, I may decide to lower my 457b contributions if I find these numbers to be too restrictive in future months.

Thanks so much for joining me for this month’s budget! If you’d like more commentary on the numbers, watch the video above!

🙂 Rachel


If you want to use this template, I have it available for free.

If you need more guidance in your money journey, I created my Money Map Workbook just for you.

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