Author Topic: Slightly Better Income  (Read 6194 times)

kmb501

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Slightly Better Income
« on: August 05, 2015, 06:49:18 AM »
Hi,

I'm the "poor school teacher" who attempted to post a case study here a little while back. I was making only about $800-$1200 dollars per month at my job and spending about $1000 per month on certain expenses, like:

Car insurance: $70
Cell Phone: $35
Internet: $35
Rent: $500
Groceries: $100
Gas: $100

Total: $840 per month out of $800-$1200 per month...

The suggestions I was given for fixes for this included finding another cell phone and / or internet carrier, selling the car and getting bicycle, and finding a roommate. 

Well, I got another job on top of the substitue teaching assignments. I now make $300 more per month to go with that $800-$1200 per month. Plus, I have a master's degree, and I might get a "raise" from $11.25 an hour to about $14 per hour. (Really, I'm planning on working for another school that pays everyone better.)

Best case scenario:

I will now be looking at about:

$1800-$2300 per month. This averages out to about $16,200-$20,700 per year (Okay, that's still kind of low, but it's much better than I was doing.)

Plus, I've managed to pick up at least one tutoring job at $30 per week. I suspect my tutoring assignments will pick up as school progresses. If I could pick up three such jobs, I would be making an extra $90 per week, or about $360 extra per month.


Also, I'm thinking about maybe becoming an Uber driver after I trade in my car and save enough for a decent newer model, at least a 2006. My current car is a 2006, but I don't think I would trust it to drive people around; it has some body issues, as it's a rebuilt salvage vehicle. It was cheap, under $3000, but now I know why. In the meantime, though, I think I'm just going to repair my car for $250 and the cost of whatever lurking minor repairs that have yet to be discovered and continue to drive it until I can either convince someone to buy it or trade it in to a dealer as part of my downpayment. I need a vehicle of some kind, though, because I work at night, and the buses do not run past 7PM in my neighborhood. Plus, sub calls do happen at the last minute, and a bus that takes 45 minutes to get me where a car could in 10-15 isn't necessarily reliable transportation. I am planning, though, to take the bus a few days out of the week so that I can save on gas. Either that, or I'm planning to let my car work for me by signing up to be part of the citizen taxi service via Uber. I'm imagining the salary I would be able to make with Uber would at least offset the cost of upkeep and fuel for a newer vehicle.

The question I have, though, is saving up for a newer vehicle really worth it?

I would be looking at paying around $4000-$6000 for a semi-decent somewhat high mileage newer model car (bought through an owner). I'm not guaranteed I would not need to make repairs on it, and full-coverage insurance would be a bit more expensive than the liability I carry now. (I imagine I would need full-coverage insurance so that I could legally carry passengers. I also think Uber requires a special kind of insurance.)

Also, since I MAY have a better income this year, what should I start doing if I want to start investing? What's the smartest way to do this? I've thought about maybe saving up to purchase what I would need to start a small franchise, maybe a learning center of some sort, but I'm not really sure about the details.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 10:54:35 AM by kmb501 »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 07:03:45 AM »
At your income level I would look at tax optimization. You might be able to get the saver's credit. Do any of your jobs offer a 401(k) plan? If you can spend a few years at your old spending level but your new income level, you can have a serious savings rate and have a good stache before taking riskier steps like opening a business.

kmb501

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 09:49:56 AM »
Neither of my jobs offer a 401K, because they are "part-time," but I guess I could look into a separate system through a bank, maybe stocks and bonds, 10 year CDs, or IRAs?

If I start making this much, I'll also have another concern--my student loans. I owe around $100,000. My payments would be around $1200 per month if I weren't on an IBR plan. On this plan, I don't pay more than fifteen percent of my monthly income, but last year I qualified to pay nothing, because I was only making $1200 per month. If I'm able to increase my income by nearly two times the amount, though, I wonder if I'll still qualify. I also wonder if leaving visible investment accounts will help me, as a high-yield account may be considered a potential additional source of income.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 09:52:34 AM by kmb501 »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 10:27:35 AM »
What's the interest rate on those? Maybe working on crushing them is what you should be doing.

DCKatie09

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 10:43:52 AM »
Assuming those loans are federal, if you're planning to stay in education, and if you can get a full-time teaching job instead, then you'd be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness after 10 years of IBR payments. Something to look into. But you do need to be in a full-time position to be eligible, otherwise you're just chugging away towards potential forgiveness in 20-25 years.

kmb501

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 10:53:22 AM »
Assuming those loans are federal, if you're planning to stay in education, and if you can get a full-time teaching job instead, then you'd be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness after 10 years of IBR payments. Something to look into. But you do need to be in a full-time position to be eligible, otherwise you're just chugging away towards potential forgiveness in 20-25 years.

They are all federal loans, and I currently work as a teacher. The problem, though, is it's a private institution, and it's only a part-time position. All three of my jobs, teaching, tutoring, and substitute teaching, count as part-time jobs. Plus, the only thing I do in the public schools, as of now, is substitute teach, and substitute teachers are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness.

pbkmaine

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 10:58:56 AM »
What do you need to do to be eligible to work in public schools?

waffle

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2015, 11:04:46 AM »
What does your income potential look like? It seems odd to me that you have a masters degree and still make so little. I'm assuming based on the 100,000 in loans that you went to a pretty good school.

kmb501

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2015, 01:07:18 PM »
What does your income potential look like? It seems odd to me that you have a masters degree and still make so little. I'm assuming based on the 100,000 in loans that you went to a pretty good school.

Had it all gone to tuition, my college cost would have been a lot lower, but I lived on it at least part-time. The $100,000 figure is for about eight years of college, plus the interest that accrued on unsubsidized loans, plus about five years' worth of not-so-frugal living expenses. Long story, I guess, but I started college shortly after a natural-disaster related fire that helped destroy my parents' house. Mom was battling cancer at the time, and although we did get FEMA money for the house, it wasn't enough to rebuild, so my mom used it for whatever she needed, rent payments, gas to the hospital, and other concerns. It didn't help that she was living with her corrupt and abusive boyfriend and being expected to pay way too much, either; my dad left the picture a few years back because the stress of everything happening at home was too much to cope with. Plus, my parents let their home owner's insurance lapse shortly before this mess, so there was no chance of rebuilding.

I decided that my best course of action was just trying to start over fresh and pretend nothing ever happened. Well, I could only find low-paying food service work that didn't even help me pay for an apartment, so when the money ran out, I applied for financial aid and started college. My grades in high school were average, and I kind of doubted I would even do well. I flourished my first year and decided to pursue a degree as an excuse to keep a roof over my head and stay off of couches of friends and relatives. I barely paid attention to any of my financial aid information, what kinds of loans I was receiving, the interest rate on those loans, what I could have applied for instead of student loans, ways to reduce my spending, etc. At the time, it looked like I had no other option; it was my first time out on my own, and I didn't have anyone else to help me. Many of my classmates' decisions were guided by their parents, but I didn't have that luxury. I had to find the best way to survive on my own, and I already messed up once by renting a cheap apartment in a very dangerous neighborhood and nearly getting killed. I thought staying in the dorms was the safest and most cost-effective option. (I learned later that I could have rented a two-bedroom apartment for the price I was paying to live in the dorms.)

I also learned my last year of graduate school that I suffered from Autism Spectrum Disorder, so that perhaps explained some of my problems getting along with other people and issues holding down employment. I continued to work part-time as a substitute teacher after I graduated and found that my wages were adequate to live off of now that I didn't need to worry about paying for tuition, fees, and unexpected school-related expenses not covered by financial aid (such as buying or renting a car to get to internships.) On the whole, I hate what I did, but I didn't realize it, or see an alternative, until it was all over.

Rural

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2015, 01:30:54 PM »
Assuming those loans are federal, if you're planning to stay in education, and if you can get a full-time teaching job instead, then you'd be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness after 10 years of IBR payments. Something to look into. But you do need to be in a full-time position to be eligible, otherwise you're just chugging away towards potential forgiveness in 20-25 years.

They are all federal loans, and I currently work as a teacher. The problem, though, is it's a private institution, and it's only a part-time position. All three of my jobs, teaching, tutoring, and substitute teaching, count as part-time jobs. Plus, the only thing I do in the public schools, as of now, is substitute teach, and substitute teachers are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness.


You do have to be full time or equivalent, but most private schools are eligible for the PSLF Program. They just have to be non-profit 501(c)3 (most but not all are).


Also, you have to work 30 hours a week, but it can be at several different employers. In the link below, look at "What is Qualifying Employment" and "What is Considered Full-time Employment."


https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service

jba302

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2015, 01:31:30 PM »

Also, I'm thinking about maybe becoming an Uber driver

From an insurance perspective, I would advice against this for now. There's a lot of legal stuff going on with respect to liability and coverage issues for Uber (and Lyft) drivers. Your personal auto policy will flat refuse to pay for an accident if they find out you were "on the clock", and Uber is fighting a slowly losing battle against covering drivers under their policies. There are also some states that will require you to obtain a CDL if you drive time exceeds a set number of hours per week.

kmb501

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2015, 02:28:10 PM »

Also, I'm thinking about maybe becoming an Uber driver

From an insurance perspective, I would advice against this for now. There's a lot of legal stuff going on with respect to liability and coverage issues for Uber (and Lyft) drivers. Your personal auto policy will flat refuse to pay for an accident if they find out you were "on the clock", and Uber is fighting a slowly losing battle against covering drivers under their policies. There are also some states that will require you to obtain a CDL if you drive time exceeds a set number of hours per week.

On that note, would there be any advantage at all to just getting a chauffer's license and using that insurance? I imagine it might be more trouble and expense than it's worth, but at least I wouldn't have to rent a taxi on top of all of that. Cab drivers have to pay a lot of overhead, because, on top of all of the special licensing and insurance, they also have to have special vehicles that count fares and provide a certain level of safety for passengers. I'm guessing using my own car would offset some of the expense.

This is down the road, though. I was debating whether or not keeping the car could somehow be cost effective, maybe even beneficial, but I'm beginning to see too many drawbacks. For one, the car I currently own cannot be used because it has defects that affect the operation and appearance of the vehicle. I pay around $75 per month on repairs to the car, (Yeah, that's expensive.) but I have to have a car to get to one of my jobs. It's just not paying me back, though. I want to eventually move into a more cost-effective option.

Here are a few things I've considered:

Take a chance and just ride a bike. It's a busy road with few bike paths right next to major traffic thoroughfare, but I guess I'll never know if it's a risk worth taking until I take it. Of course, I also need to worry about transferring my teaching supplies from my house to the school.

Get a bike with an electric motor, like a Vespa scooter. I should be able to find a good used one for under $1000. It might provide more safety on a busy road than a bicycle, because it can keep up with traffic, but it's also more fuel efficient and capable of holding light cargo. The only issue here, though, is that I would need a motorcycle license, and I haven't gotten around to getting one. I think to get an "M" added to a license here, you have to pass the test with 90 percent accuracy. I have yet to be able to successfully do that. Someone suggested I take a biking class, but I don't know if I have time.

Save up to buy a decent newer model used car that I can also use to work as an Uber driver during the few hours per day that I'm not working. It did look like a good idea on paper, but I do agree that I should check on the insurance and licensing issues before I get myself in trouble.



waffle

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2015, 03:53:17 PM »

Get a bike with an electric motor, like a Vespa scooter. I should be able to find a good used one for under $1000. It might provide more safety on a busy road than a bicycle, because it can keep up with traffic, but it's also more fuel efficient and capable of holding light cargo. The only issue here, though, is that I would need a motorcycle license, and I haven't gotten around to getting one. I think to get an "M" added to a license here, you have to pass the test with 90 percent accuracy. I have yet to be able to successfully do that. Someone suggested I take a biking class, but I don't know if I have time.


If you get a scooter that is under 50cc. then you wont need to get a motorcycle endorsement. At least not in any state I know of. Most smaller scooters are 49cc so that they come in under that limit.

lbmustache

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2015, 04:09:52 PM »
Hey OP, I want to ask what field you are in? Or where you live? Is this a very LCOL area aka the middle of nowhere?

I teach city college with a master's (look into it, it is the only qualification you need) and make $50-$60 an hour, starting. I also do private tutoring and make $25/hr which is on the very low end (I stay because I like my boss and the environment), but the avg pay is $40-$50/hr. Your numbers, with a Master's degree, sound very low to me.

kmb501

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2015, 04:18:50 PM »
Hey OP, I want to ask what field you are in? Or where you live? Is this a very LCOL area aka the middle of nowhere?

I teach city college with a master's (look into it, it is the only qualification you need) and make $50-$60 an hour, starting. I also do private tutoring and make $25/hr which is on the very low end (I stay because I like my boss and the environment), but the avg pay is $40-$50/hr. Your numbers, with a Master's degree, sound very low to me.

This place isn't the middle or nowhere, but it's also not a big city, maybe not even a mid-sized city. Plus, we don't have a large population of English Language Learners, and I have almost no experience compared to the people who do apply for these jobs, at least that's what I think. Plus, I suspect that finding out I have Autism Spectrum Disorder has stopped some of my main connections, former professors, from letting me know about potential openings.

Considering all of that, I would assume that jobs like that are difficult to come by around here. For one thing, my specialization is ESL, so I would need to teach at a college with a large population of international students. That dramatically narrows down my possibilities. The university where I graduated did have a possible ESL instructor opening, but I felt strange about asking about it. (I was still working on my master's at the time and didn't want to apply for a position while underqualified.) As for my other options, junior colleges around here don't even look at you if you don't have a few years of full-time teaching experience. Instructor positions at the university level are the same story, and there's no shortage of qualified applicants.

« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 05:04:30 AM by kmb501 »

DCKatie09

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2015, 04:23:15 PM »
Assuming those loans are federal, if you're planning to stay in education, and if you can get a full-time teaching job instead, then you'd be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness after 10 years of IBR payments. Something to look into. But you do need to be in a full-time position to be eligible, otherwise you're just chugging away towards potential forgiveness in 20-25 years.

They are all federal loans, and I currently work as a teacher. The problem, though, is it's a private institution, and it's only a part-time position. All three of my jobs, teaching, tutoring, and substitute teaching, count as part-time jobs. Plus, the only thing I do in the public schools, as of now, is substitute teach, and substitute teachers are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness.


You do have to be full time or equivalent, but most private schools are eligible for the PSLF Program. They just have to be non-profit 501(c)3 (most but not all are).


Also, you have to work 30 hours a week, but it can be at several different employers. In the link below, look at "What is Qualifying Employment" and "What is Considered Full-time Employment."


https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service
Great point - I didn't go back to check about what had to constitute the 30 average hours. And since you've been in IBR already, if you can prove that 30 hr average (that's a question) for the past year, you could actually count this year towards your 10 year total. If you think you can get things to add up, file an Employer Certification form, which puts your time and employer on record with the Dept of Ed, making the forgiveness process easier down the road. http://askheatherjarvis.com/ is another fantastic student debt resource - she's got a ton on PSLF. Lots aimed at law students, but the programs are open to all federal borrowers.

kmb501

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2015, 04:46:11 PM »
Assuming those loans are federal, if you're planning to stay in education, and if you can get a full-time teaching job instead, then you'd be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness after 10 years of IBR payments. Something to look into. But you do need to be in a full-time position to be eligible, otherwise you're just chugging away towards potential forgiveness in 20-25 years.

They are all federal loans, and I currently work as a teacher. The problem, though, is it's a private institution, and it's only a part-time position. All three of my jobs, teaching, tutoring, and substitute teaching, count as part-time jobs. Plus, the only thing I do in the public schools, as of now, is substitute teach, and substitute teachers are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness.


You do have to be full time or equivalent, but most private schools are eligible for the PSLF Program. They just have to be non-profit 501(c)3 (most but not all are).


Also, you have to work 30 hours a week, but it can be at several different employers. In the link below, look at "What is Qualifying Employment" and "What is Considered Full-time Employment."


https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service
Great point - I didn't go back to check about what had to constitute the 30 average hours. And since you've been in IBR already, if you can prove that 30 hr average (that's a question) for the past year, you could actually count this year towards your 10 year total. If you think you can get things to add up, file an Employer Certification form, which puts your time and employer on record with the Dept of Ed, making the forgiveness process easier down the road. http://askheatherjarvis.com/ is another fantastic student debt resource - she's got a ton on PSLF. Lots aimed at law students, but the programs are open to all federal borrowers.

Usually, I work as much as a regular teacher; I just don't get the salary or benefits.  I've asked knowledgeable sources about public service loan forgiveness, though, and they told me that "substitute teacher" is not one of the eligible categories. My real teaching job, unfortunately, is only 6 hours per week. I also tutor here and there, averaging about 1-2 hours per week.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 04:48:36 PM by kmb501 »

mozar

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2015, 05:03:06 PM »
Sounds like you are doing better. I say save as much as possible and then move somewhere there is high demand for teachers, like Nevada. I don't think you should get a new car or mess with uber.
There is support for people with autism. Try something like this: http://asperger-employment.org/
And down the road you can consider getting into school administration which might be easier. Don't feel strange about asking for work or help. Fake it till you make it.


kmb501

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2015, 06:47:03 PM »
Well,

I was finally hired as a full-time teacher with benefits. I'm now looking at about 25K per year. My necessary expenses are still the same.

Monthly expenses:
Car insurance and upkeep: $225 ($75 for insurance, $100 for gas, $50 for repairs)
Rent: $512 (I'm on a month-to-month lease so that I can move quickly and won't have to pay a move-out fee)
Phone: $35
Internet: $35
Food: $40

Total: $847
Total I could save per month if I could live off of the bare minimum: $953 
That's almost enough to make the minimum payment on my student loans; it's also enough to re-enroll in college and take more courses.


 
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 06:53:28 PM by kmb501 »

Physicsteacher

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Re: Slightly Better Income
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2015, 07:06:16 PM »
Congratulations on landing a full-time teaching position!