The Self-Care Corner: Taking Care of Your Finances

by Barbara Bredell-Searle

According to Indeed, an American worldwide employment related search engine, research showed that the average pay for childcare teachers in Pennsylvania ranges from $7.25 to $20.92 an hour depending on location, program and education level. After Federal, State, Social Security and Medicare monies are withdrawn out of our checks, not including any health insurance or any other deduction, our paycheck has diminished before we can take that check to the bank and cash it.

Taking care of our finances is what all Americans must do to live; however, being in a profession that is lower paying can lead to stress on payday as one tries to figure out how to survive with what is received in that check.

What can we do: (**Pay Yourself First at least 10% of your income to put in a savings account**)

  1. Record: Get a small copy book that you can put in your pocket or purse and record each time you spend money. Do this for 30 days. Even if you purchase a bag of chips that cost twenty-five cents, record it. After the 30 days, reflect on what you spent.  You may see that you are purchasing things that you do not need or purchased on an impulse.
  1. Make a budget: Yes, that dreaded budget. It doesn’t have to be a fancy budget, it could be a pencil/paper budget that list your expenses and your income. When you put things down on paper you have a better sense of where your money is going and how much you have left. There are resources at the end of the article that will get you started
  1. Spend Cash (Envelope system): After you have a budget set, you can then use cash to use to purchase things like groceries, personals, and activities such as movies or a special lunch etc. Put your cash that you budgeted for in an envelope and use only that money for those purposes. When the money is gone, you have to wait until the next paycheck.  This idea comes from Dave Ramsey in “The total Money Makeover.”

This profession may not make us rich, but we chose a special job to ensure that our children will be ready for the world. You can’t, however, neglect yourself or your future in this economical world. Take a small step to take care of your personal finances.

“A bank book makes good reading — better than some novels.” ~Harry Lauder

RESOURCES (Note: These are just a few resources within Pennsylvania; there are other resources within your community that you can research.)  Clarifi is a financial literacy program and resource agency to help with debt/savings (Southeast Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware)  NeighborWorks assists with affordable housing and financial empowerment (Western PA)  Tabor Community Services provides teaching skills to Lancaster residents about financial and housing problems The PA Treasury administers several programs that provide an opportunity for financial empowerment for families, municipal government and non-profit groups across the state.

WEBSITES: Dave Ramsey Suze Orman

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