I’m going to be incredibly tacky and write about money. This is for all of you potential future TFAers out there. I expected/was prepared for a lot of things about this whole TFA experience, but I really had a misconception about money. I thought that once I was making a teacher’s salary and living in a place with an incredibly low cost of living, that I’d be rolling in money. I actually thought I’d pay off my car.
Boy was I wrong. It cost me so much to move here that I haven’t really recovered. Plus, I didn’t get a paycheck from the beginning of May till the end of September, and I don’t get paid very much.
This is something to think about if you’re going to do TFA. I don’t want to deter you, but I want to make sure you know what you’re getting into, money-wise.
- My salary is officially around $32,000 a year. I take home $1770 a month.
- Rent is $300 a month — pretty standard for around here.
- Utilities (including wireless internet) — $150 a month.
- Trip from California to Mississippi: $1500
- Money out of my own pocket spent on my classroom at Institute: around $200
- Money out of my own pocket spent on my classroom here: at least $400
- professional wardrobe: $500
- phone, car payment, car insurance, charity, etc. : $800 a month
- gas for the monthly 4-hour trip for Pro Sat: $40
- food: $100 or so a month
- plane tickets for Christmas and Thanksgiving: $1000
Basically, the moral of the story is that I’m now around $3000 in credit card debt. I know I’ll pay it off eventually, but it adds even more stress to an already stressful situation.
I’m not sure how unique this is to my situation, but I just wanted to let you all know what it’s really like. Maybe once I pay off the debt from moving here, then I’ll have money :).