Teacher Shares How She Spends Her $3100 A Month Salary — And How Much Of It Goes Toward Bills

America's teachers deserve so much more.

teacher standing outside classroom LinkedIn Sales Solutions / Unsplash 

Certain occupations, like teaching, nursing, and childcare, are described as “labors of love,” which most of the time means that the workforce is made up of women who aren’t being compensated as well as they should be. 

One woman named Elizabeth Adelaide detailed her financial reality as a teacher in Denver, Colorado, showing just how hard it is to get by with her income.

The teacher revealed how she spends her $3,100 monthly salary, including how much of it goes to bills.

Adelaide explained, “My teaching salary is about $3100 a month. After all of my bills, I don’t have a lot left.”




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She also described the way certain unforeseen circumstances affected her income as she explained that car trouble led her to have to miss work, which took about $200 out of her paycheck.


“My battery is dead and my policy is pending because the underwriters are two weeks behind, so I can’t get roadside assistance. It’s great,” she said sarcastically.

She shared her budgeting process with her followers, starting off with a base of $3,000 for the month. Elizabeth explained where most of her money was going to go this month, saying, “I have to clean my carpets, so that’s gonna be about $30. My battery is gonna be about $100."

Teacher Shares How She Spends Her $3100 A Month Salary Photo: Aleksandra Sapozhnikova / Unsplash 


Her rent is $1200 a month. Her phone bill is $135, and her electric bill is $151. She also pays for a storage unit, which is $69 a month. Her car insurance is $163 and the loan for her car costs her $459 a month. The struggling teacher’s bills cost $2307, out of her $3000 monthly paycheck, so she had less than $700 left over.

“That’s just on the first of the month,” she explained, before detailing other costs she incurred just by being a person, alive on this Earth.

“Out of that $693, I still need to deduct $160 for gas for the next month,” she said. She also calculated the cost of Netflix, Spotify, her cable carrier, her pet insurance, her renter’s insurance, and her life insurance. 

“I have a teacher’s conference I’m paying for, which is $349.30,” she continued. “I owe my boyfriend $100. And my credit cards are $150 in total … that is also before groceries.”


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She reported having a negative amount of money left after paying all her bills: “I have negative $306.27.”

“Even if I wasn’t paying for the teacher’s conference, I would still be in the negative,” she clarified. “That’s one reason I’m leaving education.”

Teacher Shares How She Spends Her $3100 A Month Salary Photo: Taylor Flowe / Unsplash 


She explained that she owed her boyfriend money because he footed a $700 vet bill she accrued after her dog ate raisins, which are poisonous for them. 

“If my boyfriend didn’t have the money, my dog would be dead right now,” she said. “I can’t live like this anymore.”

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She explained that she has two weeks of teaching left, and then she’s starting a new job.

She ended her post with an entirely relatable complaint: how exhausted she is from not being able to afford a basic standard of living.

“I am so tired of being broke,” she revealed. “I am so tired of life happening and not being able to afford it … It’s just not okay. I’m not okay.”


In a follow-up post, Elizabeth shared details about her new professional path as an educational nanny.



“I make $32 an hour now, as an educational nanny,” she explained. “So, that is what I’m doing and how I increased my income. I make an extra $600 a month.”

She also shared information about her other side hustles: Tutoring a former student, which brings in $200 a month, and her Etsy shop, which brings in around $400 to $500 a month.


It should be unconscionable that the people who are responsible for the care and education of American kids get paid so little. Wanting to be a teacher shouldn’t mean living in poverty or living in debt. 

We should all be able to follow our professional passions without worrying about our basic needs.

It’s clear that our childcare and educational systems are balanced on a shaky precipice, one that will tip into devastation if changes aren’t made to provide for the people working them.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.