Tips and Ideas / Sep 07, 2018

How to Think Ahead, Plan and Budget for Your Expenses

From bulletin board borders to math manipulatives, from novels to pens and pencils. There is no doubt about it: teaching can be expensive! Some teachers have the luxury of receiving money from the school to help pay for classroom necessities; but with on-going budget cuts, those reimbursed school purchases may be a thing of the past. While most teachers don’t get reimbursed for out-of-pocket purchases, they do take into consideration that their classroom is a home-away-from-home and want it to look comfortable and have character.

Budgeting Tip: Whether this is your first year teaching or you have been teaching for eons, being prepared to buy school supplies with your own money is nearly inevitable. The more prepared you are with your supply lists and finances, the smoother the purchasing will be.

Thinking Ahead & Having a Plan

The word “budget” (kind of like the word “exercise”), is one of those words that you know is important, but at the same time can be very daunting. Just like budgeting for groceries, mortgage, water and electricity, it is important that teachers budget for school supplies that they’ll be paying for with their own hard-earned dollars.

We would recommend that you start budgeting and saving for those back-to-school purchases as early as possible. Most teachers won’t have the money to pay for all of their supplies in one transaction unless they save specifically for school supplies (let alone for all of those cute decor items from Hobby Lobby that you might be dying to have).

Create Your List

The first step will be to create a list of school-related expenses that you envision purchasing. Just like grocery shopping, lists can save a lot of time and unwanted spending. Supply lists will differ from teacher to teacher, depending on grade level, teaching subject and other factors. They may also differ based on each teacher’s preference for decorating, classroom management and personal philosophy.


Want to start earning FREE supplies for your classroom? ClassTag is a free, easy-to-use collaborative platform that lets teachers effortlessly engage with parents and earn ClassTag Coins when parents and teachers communicate, volunteer, or attend school events like parent-teacher conferences. Teachers can then take those ClassTag coins to purchase much-needed supplies. Explore ClassTag today!

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