Times are uncertain for everyone right now, but for teachers in particular. Depending on your school district's response to the coronavirus, you may be headed back into the classroom, meeting your students online, or juggling a hybrid approach.
In all cases, you should consider checking on your financial health before the school year starts — while you cannot control what happens in the world, you can attempt to take some control over your financial situation. To move in the right direction, take a look at these tips.
1. Budget for Extra Pandemic-Related Expenses
Even if you are still earning the same amount of money, issues related to the coronavirus may have brought other expenses into your life. For instance, if you're going back to the classroom but you have a child in another school district that is not doing in-person learning, you may need to budget for daycare or tutoring expenses.
Similarly, you may need to budget for personal protection equipment (PPE), additional technology to facilitate online learning, or a myriad of other expenses. Take some time to budget for these expenses so you don't end up short in the middle of the year.
1. Do an Insurance Checkup
Ideally, you should do an insurance checkup every year, but with so much uncertainty in the health and economic spheres, this year's insurance checkup is arguably more important than ever. Look over your health and life insurance policies to ensure they meet your needs, and although it can be scary, consider how your policies hold up in a worst-case scenario.
Then, contact your insurance agent or the human resources person at your school and change your coverage as needed.
1. Perform a Cost Analysis of Alternatives
During difficult times, people often ending up making decisions that they wouldn't under normal circumstances, and if you find yourself considering alternatives to your current teaching position, you should perform a cost analysis before making any big changes.
For instance, if you are worried about the health implications of returning to the classroom, you may want to consider a leave of absence, and in this situation, you have to consider how long your savings will last or if you can augment your finances with part-time work such as tutoring online.
Similarly, if your school district is completely online but you don't have an adequate quiet space where you can teach from home, you may want to look into another teaching position or even a small career change. And again, in this situation, you should perform a cost analysis before making the decision, and you may even want to consult with a financial professional to ensure your decisions will work with your short-term needs as well as your long-term financial goals.
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