Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Money. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How to Make Extra Money as a Teacher

It's well known that teachers are not raking in the dough. We teach because we hope for a better tomorrow, love children, and value education. While teaching is a rewarding career, it is definitely not a profession known for making the big bucks.

If you're like me, I'm always looking for ways to earn extra income. Once upon a time, I proctored the ACT on Saturdays, worked summer camps, babysat, and made slideshows for brides. Now that I have a son, I really don't want to give up anymore of my time than I already do. But what if there was a way to earn money from what you're already doing?! 

About two years ago my mom saw on the news a woman who was making a pretty penny from using a site called Teachers Pay Teachers. She relayed the story to me and while I had seen the site before, I had never really considered using it to sell my own materials.

If you've never heard of Teachers Pay Teachers, it is a site that allows you to buy and sell original educational materials. Teachers spend a lot of time creating their own lessons, activities, and projects. With Teachers Pay Teachers resources can be shared all across the country. It's a collaborative site that allows teachers to share their expertise and benefit financially from the hard word they put into their resources. 

Disclaimer: The link contained in this post is a referral program link offered by Teachers Pay Teachers. By clicking the link and signing up for Teachers Pay Teachers I will receive 5% of the sales for the first two years. This 5% does not come from your portion of the royalty, but rather from what would have gone to Teachers Pay Teachers. I appreciate any support.

After hearing this woman's success story I decided that I would give it a try. I signed up in September of 2015 with the free account. With the basic account you earn 60% of the cost of the item, meaning 40% goes back to Teachers Pay Teachers. In the first three and a half months I sold $103.33 worth of resources and earned $48.43 (0.30 per transaction also went back to Teachers Pay Teachers). 

In the next four months (January 2016- April 2016) I had made $143.43 so at this point I decided it was worth upgrading my account to become a premium member. With a premium seller membership you get to keep 85% of the revenue from each sale. In 2016 I sold $1,170.09 worth of materials, allowing me to pocket $923.80. Don't worry I did report this amount to the IRS, which means this was my gross income, however, that's still a pretty nice chunk of change.

In the last few months, my sales have risen even further (with the exception of June, with school out no one is buying lessons and materials). Last month I made close to $500 gross income from using the site. Pretty nice for passive income! This is not a get rich scheme, but merely a way to share your hard work with others who appreciate it.

I am a high school business teacher and I currently teach Personal Finance and Introduction to Business and Marketing. My Teachers Pay Teachers store is called Business Girl. My best selling resource is a project I created for my Introduction to Business and Marketing course about food trucks. 

Through the project the students write a business plan, marketing plan, financial plan, create a social media campaign, market research survey, organizational chart, sales promotions, advertisements, etc. I sell the project with individual assignments or bundled together for a semester long project.

I sell my products fairly cheap, anywhere from $1-$25 based on the length and depth of the resource. Most products are $1-3.

Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to sell resources from small to large. Even better, you're making a difference in your own students' lives and students' lives around the country.

I love sharing my ideas and would be happy to answer any questions you have about the site. If you're not the creative, but are always looking for new things to try in your classroom, support your fellow teachers and check it out!

Thanks for stopping by, before you go here are some other posts you might enjoy:

100 Simple and Painless Ways to Save Money

25 Signs You Might Be a Mommy

40 Baby Finger Food Ideas for Busy Moms

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

10 Things to Teach Your Teen About Money

Currently, only 4 states require that high school students take Personal Finance. If you don't live in Missouri, Tennessee, Utah, or Virginia your teen is missing out on one of the most important life skills. I am a high school Personal Finance teacher and day in and day out I work with high school seniors to give them the tool set they need to be successful in the 21st century.

If you don't live in one of these 4 states, it's time you started talking about money with your teens. Even if you do live in one of these 4 states, I highly suggest integrating the topic of money into your daily conversations.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

1. Income

Teens as a whole have a huge misconception about their future earnings. 95% of my students believe that they will be in the top earning bracket. While I'm not a dream crusher, this is simply not a reality, particularly when first starting out.

While they may have aspirations of being a CEO, it is highly unlikely that they will be hired straight out of college making a 6-figure income. 

My challenge to you as the parent, is to talk to your child about your income. Explain where you started out and where you are now. Rome wasn't build in a day. Even if you make 6-figures now, chances are you didn't start out making what you do now.

If your teen has an idea of what they want to do when they graduate, have them look up the average salary for that position in the state you live.

2. Taxes

When teens hear that they will be hired making $10/hour, working 10 hours/week they assume they will get to take home $100. Seems like easy enough math? Wrong, even teens pay taxes. While they may get a tax refund, take this opportunity to explain to them gross vs. net pay. 

Time to file taxes? Show your teen each tax form you receive and explain what it for. W-2, 1099, 1095-A, show your teen what all goes into filing your 1040. If your teen needs to file their taxes, sit down with them using your favorite online tax preparation software to help them get the job done.

3. Budgeting

Now that we've talked about the inflow, it's time to talk about the outflow. Be real with your child and discuss the actual costs of various expenses. Explain that some things are fixed expenses, like the mortgage and some are variable, like gas. 

Even if you're picking up the tap for all of your son or daughter's major expenses. Have them add up what their expenses are: sports, clothing, health insurance, car insurance, etc. 

The best thing you can do for your child is explain to them the realities of finances. There is a difference between sheltering your child from the stress of a hard financial situation and making them believe money grows on trees. 

This is also a great time to talk about needs, wants, and values. These things help us to prioritize when we create a budget. For more on budgeting don't miss Budgeting for Millennials.

4. Saving

While you're having that conversation about budgeting, start your child early with the mindset of being a saver. As of 2015, U.S. citizens save about 5% per year, far from the 15-20% that is recommended by most financial experts. 

Saving should be a "fixed expense", meaning each month we pay ourselves first by setting aside a sum of money. Check out 100 Ways to Save for more tips.

Need a little help making saving a priority? No problem, set up an automatic draft following a payday to put money aside for a rainy day, a major purchase, or wealth building.

5. Investing

I think parents largely assume teens are too young to be concerned with investing. The best advice when investing is to start young and maximize your contributions. 

Hit the high points on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and index funds. Head over to Investing for Beginners if you need a quick refresher.

6. Retirement

I know, I know, the concept of saving for retirement is never very fun. Talk to your son or daughter about what type of retirement account you have. 

The thing I always try to stress with my students are the tax advantages of various types of retirement accounts. Don't forget to touch on taking advantage of a 401(k) or 403(b) that matches up to a certain percentage. 

Many young college grads don't realize that a retirement plan can really be like extra income and should not be neglected when comparing benefit packages.

7. Banking 

A common misconception among teens is that online banking will reveal the actual balance of a checking account. While online banking is a great tool, they still need to be aware of delays in purchases displaying and the concept of an outstanding check.

I know the days of reconciling a checkbook may be long gone for most people, but there are some great apps out there that can help keep up with your balance all the same. 

While we're on the topic of banking, I also find that teens believe they're making a profit on their saving accounts. While this may be true, the interest is usually less than 1%. If you expect any growth from these funds, investing is the better option.

8. Insurance

Insurance is gives us peace of mind so that when something actually does go wrong we have the funds available to take care of the incident. Insurance is definitely not a fun expense, but it's a very important part of any budget. 

Discuss with your teen what kind of insurance they have (ex. health and car insurance) and the costs associated. They should be able to differentiate between a premium, deductible, and co-pay.

9. Identity Theft Protection

I once had a student who told me they had gotten a new credit card and posted a picture of the card on Twitter. AHHH! Every parents nightmare. 

Talk to your teen about their social security number, bank account, credit accounts, etc. and why it's important to keep this information private.

While you're at it, toss in what it means to over share on social media and what information should never be posted.

10. Credit

This one is the mother load. Warn your teen that once they turn 18 credit card companies are more than eager to have them sign up and they'll even throw in a free t-shirt!

Teens need to know when and how credit can and should be used. This perspective is different for everyone so I'll leave the opinions to you, but don't skimp on this conversation.

While you're teen may or may not be ready for a talk on types of mortgages, they should know the basics of what affects your credit score. Talk about things you can do to build your score and the things that can negatively affect your score.

Advise them to take care of their credit, it's a lot easier to mess up your credit than most teens believe.

The Reality

Be honest with your teen. They'll be setting out on their own in a short time and if they don't hear these things from you, where are they supposed to get the tool set they need? 

Most certainly, the music they listen to and shows they watch are not the only ones you want teaching your child one of the most important life skills. 

In my course I show Dave Ramsey videos. He's a great public speaker if you need a go-to for your own benefit as well. I use excerpts The Totally Money Makeover in my own class. Further, my dad made me read The Millionaire Next Door and Millionaire Women Next Door when I was a teen so I highly recommend these gems as well.

Let me know what your questions are below! I'm happy to help any way that I can.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

5 Design Hacks to Spice Up Your Living Space for Less

Want to spice up your living space without spending a fortune? Today I'm going to share with you 5 hacks to getting more design bang for your buck. 

Some improvements make more of an impact than others. Loving the space you live in can make a huge difference in your overall attitude. 

I know I'm happier when my house looks goods. It improves my overall mood and helps me love my home.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

My brother is getting married soon and for Christmas this year I bought his fiance a set of throw pillows she had registered for. I joked that the reason I did was because we all know those pillows were really for her, and not for him. 

My husband doesn't care at all about interior design. His praise is limited to "oh, that looks nice".

While my standards are a little higher. I've come up with a few things that make me happy in our home without breaking the bank. 


My biggest tip is to shop around. My favorite stores include Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls, but I've also started to spot some deals in my recent online shopping endeavors. I love shopping online at Wayfair and Target. I have a RedCard, so free shipping from Target all the time! They also do free shipping when you spend over $25 which isn't difficult to do.

With a little money you can update your living space and give it a fresh feel with a few new pieces. 

1. Curtains

I recently purchased new curtains for our living room, dining room, and bedroom. Curtains are a fab way to add color or a design element to your space.

I picked a neutral, patterned print for our living room and dining room. We have an open floor plan so these to rooms are essentially one in the same. The matching curtains help the room flow and easily matched our other accessories.

I selected a blackout grey curtain for our bedroom. Everyone always says sleep while your newborn is sleeping, but I just couldn't make that happen with light bounding into the bedroom. The grey curtains go well with our blue comforter (for winter) and neutral quilt (for summer). 

This upgrade cost about $100 for the four windows plus another $80 or so for the rods. This cost was well worth the expense. 

2. Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are a great way to add a pop of color to an otherwise dull space. Throw pillows are relatively cheap so you can mix them up every so often to keep things fresh. 

We recently converted our sun room to a playroom and I wanted the room to have a lively feel. We have an old couch in the room that used to be our living room couch many moons ago. The couch is beige and came with brown pillows.

I swapped these neutral pillows out for a yellow set and turquoise set. These additions really help brighten up the room.

I purchased the yellow set at Marshalls and turquoise set at Target. Each set cost $25, so that's $50 total for the couch. 

Here's a few of my favorite throw pillows:

Tyra Embroidered Artistic Linen

3. Wall Decor

Some times all you need to liven up your walls is some new wall decor. Wall decor doesn't have to be fancy, particularly if you're into the farmhouse or rustic designs. Often these gems can be picked up at a garage sale and upcycled to fit your needs.

Check out the tutorials for these easy DIY projects:

How to Create a Picture-less Framed Wreath

String Art Tutorial

If you're not into DIY, also check out these adorable pieces:

Abstract Cold

Wall Clock

Sae Wall Decor

4. Back Splash

This project requires a little more work than the others. My mother-in-law actually helped us with adding a back splash when we moved into our home. Whether your back splash is out dated or missing entirely, a back splash is an awesome way to elevate the design of your kitchen.

Before and After:

5. Mantle Decor

Last, but most certainly not least-- spice up your living room by updating your mantle decor. 

Select one focal piece and fill in the rest with objects of various heights. If you're really feeling frisky you can change up your decor based on the season, but if you want to keep your design on a dime choose pieces that will look good all year long.

Try adding items like:

3 Piece Candle Stick Set by August Grove

House of Hampton Hardy Wall Mirror

Happiness is loving the space your in. Utilize these 5 design tips to make your home a place you love. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog, before you go check out:

11 Romantic Chick-Lit Books for Mommytime

Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats 

5 Shoes Every Mom Needs in Her Closet