Teacher says her salary barely covers rent and groceries

@missfirment/TikTok mojo cp/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I’m left with owing money at the end of the month’: Teacher says her salary barely covers rent and groceries

'I'm actually gonna go into debt if I continue being a teacher.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Nov 3, 2023   Updated on Nov 6, 2023, 10:44 am CST

In a difficult economy, pay and compensation become a huge part of the conversation among workers.

In a historically underpaid field, teachers are among those feeling the pinch of inflation, as salaries are often determined by contract, with little room for bonuses or additional compensation unless a school provides additional stipends for extra duties.

One teacher says that after paying her rent, car loan, and insurance, she is left with nothing else to pay for groceries or other necessities—so she pulls from her savings.

User @missfirment, an educator who also films and shares vlogs to TikTok, said she can’t afford much else on her salary.

“Hey Rats, I’m a teacher, and I can barely afford to pay rent on my salary,” she says in the video. “My salary, biweekly, is basically my rent minus $500. Guess how much my car is? $400. Guess how much insurance is? $100. Oh yeah, that’s right, you do the math, I’m left with owing money at the end of the month. That’s not even with groceries. Holy sh*t. That’s not even with groceries.”

As she is sharing this piece of her life with viewers, she comes to the realization that she is looking at going into debt if she stays on this career path.

“I realized every single month I am transferring money out of savings into my checking,” she says. “Just had the realization in the car that I’m actually going to go into debt if I continue being a teacher.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @missfirment via email regarding the video.

@missfirment Hey rats, i am a teacher and i can barely afford rent and groceries. This is the sad truth of teaching in 2023. Impossible to do it all. #teachertruth #teachersalary #brokteacher #teachersalaries #teachersalarydoesntpaybills #broketeachers #payteachersmore #payteacherslikeproffessionals #payteachersmoremoney #teachertired #teachermentalhealth #cantaffordit ♬ original sound – Lexie Firment

Several viewers shared that they were in a similar boat, living paycheck to paycheck with the heightened cost of living.

“I wait for payday with a knot in my stomach and then cry on payday because I have $30 left,” one commenter wrote.

“Same girl, and can’t forget student loan payments for the degree i NEEDED to even teach,” another user said.

“I literally had this same breakdown/realization exactly one month ago after paying my 1 bedroom apt rent,” another shared.

Others wrote that they had left the profession specifically because the pay was not keeping up with their cost of living.

“Yesterday was my last day for exactly this reason,” one commenter wrote. “It’s so hard.”

“I jus quit my teaching job 2 months ago,” another said. “The stress from all of it was jus too overwhelming.”

“I was a teacher for 4 years,” one echoed. “Came out with almost $30k in credit card debt.”

The Daily Dot has covered teachers and their salaries before, like one woman who claimed she has to work at Domino’s in the evenings to afford to live. Another teacher claims leaving her job for Costco was the best decision she ever made.

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*First Published: Nov 3, 2023, 11:32 am CDT