Author Topic: How We Saved $100k in 2 Years on Teacher Salaries  (Read 2859 times)

steevven1

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How We Saved $100k in 2 Years on Teacher Salaries
« on: November 04, 2019, 02:26:39 PM »
My wife and I are closer to the end of our FIRE journey than the beginning now, but we took some time to reflect on that "defining moment" where it really started to happen, back in 2013.

https://www.tripofalifestyle.com/money/we-saved-100k-in-2-years-on-teacher-salaries/

For us, that moment was when we got our first "adult" (albeit very modest) incomes and realized that if we didn't expand our lifestyles beyond the way we lived in college, we would be able to make some crazy progress.

We wrote this article to try to inspire young people (like my former students), but I'm always curious if people usually get started on the FIRE thing early in life or a bit later (like in their 30s or 40s). When was your "aha" moment?

Michael in ABQ

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Re: How We Saved $100k in 2 Years on Teacher Salaries
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2019, 04:41:43 PM »
We started getting serious about our finances and paying off all our debt about 5 years ago in our early thirties. By then we already had several kids so living like we're in college was no longer an option. Starting to really save and pay down debt also coincided with a pretty significant increase in income. Prior to that we were basically treading water or sliding a little deeper in debt each month. Only a single income too, so that makes it a bit harder.

steevven1

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Re: How We Saved $100k in 2 Years on Teacher Salaries
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2019, 11:23:05 AM »
We started getting serious about our finances and paying off all our debt about 5 years ago in our early thirties. By then we already had several kids so living like we're in college was no longer an option. Starting to really save and pay down debt also coincided with a pretty significant increase in income. Prior to that we were basically treading water or sliding a little deeper in debt each month. Only a single income too, so that makes it a bit harder.

Did you start researching personal finance stuff as a result of the big pay bump? Or was it just completely natural for you to use the extra money to pay off debt, invest, etc.?

I would think that for most people in that situation, it might be natural to just increase spending accordingly.

Always curious what exactly makes people receptive to the FIRE messaging.

kpd905

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Re: How We Saved $100k in 2 Years on Teacher Salaries
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2019, 03:33:45 AM »
You might be interested in checking out Millionaire Educator: https://www.millionaireeducator.com/

They are two teachers who increased their income by getting Master's Degrees, and then moved to a LCOL area (Georgia).  I'm not sure what their incomes are now, but in 2017 their base income was $125k, but then they were paid extra for teaching an extra period and coaching sports.  I think from those bumps they are each at around $90k per year.  They They now save ~$130,000 per year.

People always say income is low for teachers, but this blog shows that it really doesn't have to be.

nancyfrank232

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Re: How We Saved $100k in 2 Years on Teacher Salaries
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2019, 04:10:41 AM »
We wrote this article to try to inspire young people (like my former students), but I'm always curious if people usually get started on the FIRE thing early in life or a bit later (like in their 30s or 40s). When was your "aha" moment?

As a teen, after being asked one too many times about what I wanted to be, I decided that my “goal” was to have no goals. And to accomplish this I needed money. At that point I decided to start reading books about money

After becoming a millionaire in my early 30s, I realized that my target was too low

Michael in ABQ

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Re: How We Saved $100k in 2 Years on Teacher Salaries
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2019, 06:59:47 PM »
We started getting serious about our finances and paying off all our debt about 5 years ago in our early thirties. By then we already had several kids so living like we're in college was no longer an option. Starting to really save and pay down debt also coincided with a pretty significant increase in income. Prior to that we were basically treading water or sliding a little deeper in debt each month. Only a single income too, so that makes it a bit harder.

Did you start researching personal finance stuff as a result of the big pay bump? Or was it just completely natural for you to use the extra money to pay off debt, invest, etc.?

I would think that for most people in that situation, it might be natural to just increase spending accordingly.

Always curious what exactly makes people receptive to the FIRE messaging.

I'd been listening to Dave Ramsey and had finally read the Total Money Makeover several years after getting a copy as a gift. I always had a pretty good handle on my finances but my income wasn't keeping pace with what I considered a moderate lifestyle. I was a commercial real estate appraiser and that career basically takes a few years of apprenticeship which is not well paid - plus some out of pocket costs for education. Once I got my certification and started getting paid on commission instead of a straight base salary (with lots of unpaid overtime) my income doubled within a year or two.

By the time we got serious about getting out of debt we had about $35k between student loans, a low interest personal loan (which had been used to pay off some credit cards and my wife's student loans), and about $6-7k on a used vehicle. All told that took about 2.5 years to pay off and from there it's just been saving an emergency fund and saving for retirement.