After 5 years of completing one credential right after another, all of that education is finally paying off. Yes, I am getting a raise! Of course, some of this is due to timing. Our school district has finally ratified an agreement that gives its teacher’s a 10% raise over the next year, some of which is retroactive. Can you say, “Cha-ching!?” But, I’m also able to celebrate this achievement because I completed the education I needed to hold on to my job, which also put me at the top of the salary scale. (For those not in the know, most districts pay teachers based on the teacher’s level of education and units completed.)
As eager as I am to see that larger pay check and spend it on fun activities, like traveling, I also have to keep a level head and put my money to work. For starters, my retroactive check will be applied towards two goals: three-quarters of the amount will be applied towards a long-term wealth building account and the other quarter will go towards paying off school debt. I’m working hard at saving a large pile of cash for a down payment on a house (even though our housing market it NOT playing along!) I also have to start paying off my student loans by the end of the year and plan on starting with the interest payment. This check will give me a head start. On a side note, I’m not in a huge hurry to pay this down quite yet. That will be a separate and new goal for the 2016-2017 year and I am formulating a plan for that as well.
On top of the retroactive check, each of my pay checks will also increase by a few hundred dollars a month (this figure is closer to $650 additional a month). Half of the additional amount will be applied towards long-term wealth building and the other half will be applied towards student loans. Since my budget is already based on our typical monthly income, nothing else is really changing – at least not that I know of at the moment.
I know this doesn’t sound very exciting. I’d love to say that I’m going to travel or spend money on frivolous items, but that’s just not the case. I have a few financial goals that I’ve been plugging away at for the past couple of years and this raise will definitely help move those plans along, like buying a house in the future if the market ever gets within a reasonable price! California is in a class of its own when it comes to real estate. It’s very frustrating.
How do you put your raises to work for you?
Sometimes the least exciting actions have the most impact. In your case, it means that you are focused on the ‘long term’ which is exactly the right move given what you’ve laid out. Good work!