Do you think teachers can be millionaires? Or are you only three days past pay day and feeling the pain already? I know that feeling, and as a brand new teacher, going to graduate school too, I felt that pain. I felt it hard. I know that no one goes into the profession expecting to become a teacher millionaire and be treated like the rockstar that we deserve, but I couldn’t help but think that there had to be something better than living pay check to pay check.
Like many teachers I got a second job. I worked with a logistics company that puts on races (think marathons and triathlons) a couple of times a month. I liked it because it was completely different than what I did in the classroom all week long, but it was not a magic bullet for my financial woes. I was certainly still not a millionaire teacher, nor did I show any signs of even moving in that direction.
In order to find a fix for my finances I needed to think bigger picture. After all, financial plans are a lot like diets. The ones that are too strict are nearly impossible to get by with, and the ones that seem like a dream to follow often show very small results.
I tried a couple of different financial plans. I did the cash in envelopes plan, which definitely helped. I used an app, Goodbudget, to track exactly how much money was coming in and going out, but especially where I was spending. I mean, it was time to come to terms with the fact that weekly $100+ Target trips were NOT helping my situation. I stuck with Goodbudget, and still use it today, which allowed me to make some small daily choices that added up to big savings.
I thought I was in good shape. I mean, for the first time in my life I actually had a safety cushion of savings what I could depend upon if something were to happen. I thought I was living the dream all while teaching (and working my logistics side gig which I still do) and breaking the “broke teacher” stereotype.
It all came crashing down around me though when my dad asked me about investments that I had made. I told him that I paid into Teacher Retirement Services, so I should be good. Um, wrong. First of all, I wasn’t sure if I was going to teach the number of years that is required to benefit from TRS, but also who is to say that it is still going to be there? This was certainly no way to become a millionaire while teaching.
All of this was swimming around in my head last summer when I had the opportunity to hear a man by the name of Andrew Hallam who wrote the book Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth you Should Have Learned in School speak at a conference. I believe his session was along the lines of “What’s Your Number?” and the description talked about investing for retirement. I was instantly hooked. I went to his session and listened carefully. Then I went to his next session, and his book talk after that.
Leaving the book talk I knew that I had to have it. I mean, if he was able to relay so much useful financial information, in terms that I could understand no less, in 45 minutes his book had to be worth it right? So right!
I got on Amazon and ordered his book immediately Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School. By the time I got home from my conference it was waiting for me and I poured through it. I mean, how often can you say that you poured through a book about investment and finances? It’s that good and easy to understand!
My big takeaway from the book is all about confidence. I am confident in how I handle and invest the money that I have saved. I could have never said that before. I am no longer paying someone else large percentages that eat away at my investment, and couldn’t be happier. I cannot over emphasize how easy he makes it all seem. I now find myself giving advice to friends, and always saying, “You just need to read the book!”
One of the really important things to remember is that you don’t need to be well off in order to invest. I didn’t think that I had an amount large enough to be worthy of investing, but I was dead wrong. Even a few dollars a month can make a huge difference!
While I wish that I would have known about his book many years ago, I am so happy to have it now. As a matter of fact, Mr. Hallam just updated the book with a Second Edition, so of course I had to have it! I also got a couple of extra copies to give to friends that either just started teaching or have been talking about investment recently. I really do believe that this gift is one that keeps on giving.
So, do you think you can be a millionaire teacher?
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