31 May 2012

I thought I'd never catch my breath

Today, I almost cried.


For some reason, many people think teachers have it so easy.

Summers off are a blessing for teachers, right?  That there are no curriculum revisions, workshops in other cities, setting up classrooms, learning how to teach new classes, lesson planning, learning how to use the new technology given to us, etc.  Many think that we get paid regularly throughout the summer to just do nothing.

Today, I had to budget my last check of the school year (yes, it is a bit larger than my usual bi-monthly check, but far from magnificent in its amount).  In order to live responsibly throughout my non-teaching months, I try to pay forward all my bills so that I don't have to pay any again until my first check of the school year in mid-August.  (Just writing that I won't see any income for twelve weeks is really frightening.  Each summer it brings me dread.)

I have the money deposited in my bank and decided it would be best to send money orders or direct transfer from my account rather than checks or using a credit card.

The withdrawal to pay for my rent, my cell phone, my internet/cable, my electric, my gas, my bi-yearly car insurance (Why does insurance cost so much?? And why haven't I moved to a place where I don't need a car?), my AAA, my credit card balance, and my car payments for three months was so large that I almost cried when I wrote out the withdrawal amount on the slip in the bank.

I felt like I had these sort of stacks
for a brief moment.
I almost cried and had a panic attack when I went to the teller and told her in which denominations I wanted the money back.

I shoved the money into my front pocket so I could see and feel the large bulging money that barely fit into my tiny pocket.  So I could know that for that brief moment between the bank and the post office I felt like a really rich person who just carries stacks on stacks on stacks (man I hate that Soulja Boy song!) of money daily.

I thought I was going to be fine at the post office when I had the money orders made.  The lady was really nice.  We talked about my hair and how she wants to see what it looks like in certain styles I described to her.

It was friendly banter even as I was telling her the dollar amounts for each of the money orders I needed.

It was friendly banter even as she started printing the first money order.

Then she read the total amount of money I owed.  And then I passed her the massive stack from my bulging pocket.

What she gave me back in change was not even enough to buy a fast food value meal.

At that point I took a deep breath and let it out.  She said that she always feels really bad giving people change after they pay for large money orders.

At that point I almost cried.

This is all I have left on my dresser.
I wish I could turn the smile on
my eraser upside down for effect.
To hold the tears and feelings of angst in, I explained to her my situation.  She explained to me that she thought all teachers get paid throughout the summer - she has a friend who has it that way for his teaching job.  We talked about the differences in school districts.  We talked about what I teach and why I like it.  As she continued to print off my money orders, I continued to answer her questions so that I would not cry.

When we finished, like Lauryn said, "I compared myself to Tony Braxton, thought I'd never catch my breath."

I walked over to the post office table in the middle and started filling in money orders and addressing envelopes to be sent to businesses so that I can live the rest of the summer in peace.  Well, at least not worrying about whether I have money to pay my bills.

I do have money left that is not being moved over to my do-not-touch-savings.  I will, hopefully, not starve.  I just have to budget the rest of the summer and make sure that whatever I do with my money is worthwhile.

I guess I won't be going to any celebrations where I have to make it rain.  Unless they want it to hail when I throw up coins instead of dollars.


  1. Man, I feel for you! My husband, thankfully, has his salary spread out throughout 12 months, otherwise we'd be in big doo doo (we're not very good budgeters). But I hope you have a wonderful summer off and don't starve :)

    1. Thanks, I hope I don't starve, too. You're lucky to have it spread out over all the months of the year.

  2. I usually wait like a week before going to write all my various checks. That way, I can go around pretending that I'm super rich. Even if it's only in my head, and only for a short while, I do walk with my head a lil higher.

    1. It felt so good to have the money in my pocket as I walked out of the bank.

      When I was in the car, I was really tempted to roll down the street with 100-dollar bills in my hand in front of the window just to show off how I roll!

  3. I hate making out bills. The money goes so fast. It always ruins Fridays for me. I can not imagine living without a paycheck all summer! I always believed that teachers were not paid near enough for the jobs they do in educating our kids and here you are a prime example. Good luck with the rest of the summer, and thank you for an enlightening post!!


    1. Thanks! I don't mind paying the bills, I know it has to be done. I don't like that it has to be my money paying for them. And I don't like the balance in my accounts getting lower during the summer rather than higher.

  4. :(

    But it'll be ok .. you'll see. It'll be ok.

    I hope you thoroughly enjoy a peaceful summer. (:

    1. You're so sweet!

      I'll still enjoy a peaceful summer.

      I think it is worse this summer because when I got the Last Check I immediately took out a good chunk to get moved into my permanent-do-not-touch-savings since I like to pay myself first.

      In writing this post, my sibling even reminded me of a side hustle I can do to make some extra income here and there.

  5. Love the "side hustle" idea. So? What is it?

    Never had a wad like that in my pocket but I'm trying to use my imagination.

    1. Nothing exciting... wish I was going to be making money writing, but instead, possibly tutoring, possibly mystery shopping, possibly selling my organs.

      You should withdraw a large amount of money from the bank (even if you are just going to return it in a few hours or days)! It is really a great feeling to hold that large amount of money.

  6. Teachers deserve the highest pay and most adoration of all!! AND, all will be well. You have done what you could and the rest will be ok. Breathe in the peace.
    Have a peaceful summer!

    1. Thanks!!!

      All will be well! I love your well wishes!! Thank you, truly, thank you!

  7. good idea to pay all your bills now...and enjoy the summer with what is left (!) of your pay. Long summers are great-but teachers can't afford to be on 'holiday' all that time. I frequently choose to holiday in la casa of my parentals...friendly service, relaxed atmosphere etc etc...

    1. Thanks! It really works for me. If my parents were in a different city, I'd definitely take that up... instead I'm going to chill with siblings in their different cities this summer.


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