I'm Paul Clifton I'm a sixth grade math and ELD teacher and I make $60,000 a year. At the moment I feel like finances are in control of me where I don't like that feeling where it's the end of the month and you're pinching pennies or you can't do something because you just can't afford it. I feel like after going to four years of college and doing the work that we do putting in the amount of hours that teachers do it shouldn't be like that. But that's the reality. To pay for college I took out a lot of student loans so there's about $40,000 in debt that I'm currently starting to pay back but as teachers there are opportunities for loan forgiveness and things like that which are amazing. I was in a situation where I was a non-traditional student. I had to pay my rent, I had to buy food and things like that. I was a paraprofessional so I was making $12 an hour so I needed student loans to help me be able to go to college. It provided a great service at the time but now it's something I have to pay back. Which is fine, but it makes it tough. Monthly pre-tax income for most months I would get about $5,500. And then $1,800 of that goes to taxes or other payroll deductions. Then so my take home income on an average check would be about $3,700. So the biggest chunk of that money would go toward my mortgage which is about $1000. Then I also have, since I'm in a condo I have a Homeowners Association Fee so that is about $400. What they do with that is they would pay for improvements on the condo, what's on the outside or do the pool and things like that. I really don't like paying the HOA but $400 is what it is and it continues to go up as rent in the area goes up. For gas and electric bill it's usually about $60. Then internet and TV, so some months I pay for this some months I don't. Always have the internet but for TV sometimes I cut it out but it comes to about $40. My phone bill is $120. My car payment currently is $500. And then each month I pay about $130 of student loans. And food, I gotta eat, so about $300 worth of food. A lot of times I like to eat out and stuff like that. And then credit card payments so a lot of that debt that I've accrued over time through student teaching and my college days, I pay about $400 on credit card payments. Then going out that leaves me about $200 for entertainment and doing different things. And then my leftover funds, I have about $550 with all that math and it's kinda tight but $200 of that I would contribute to savings. Some of my goals financially right now I want to pay off credit card debt and become debt free aside from the house and the car. I feel like finances are gonna be so linked with future family endeavors. I want a family and things like that but I definitely shouldn't have a family when I have so much debt. So that's a drive to become debt free so then I can build something else and build a life here in Denver that's lasting.
Careers brought to you with support from Better Money Habits® Powered by Bank of America® Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Investment Products: Are Not FDIC Insured, Are Not Bank Guaranteed, May Lose Value