Each of us have a money tree. Well maybe not an actual one...just go with me on this one! You have a money tree (your income) and everyone's tree is a different size. I am sure you know of people that have giant beautiful money trees and others that have a tree that's about to die.
I wanted to spend a few minutes with you to talk about how you can make your own money tree flourish and grow to be however big and beautiful you would like it to be.
Being a teacher is hard work and unfortunately, our money trees are more like money bushes! There are some basic care instructions for money trees that we need to consider. It's just three things.
1. Water It!
Watering your money tree is the most basic thing you could do and will help it to grow. I think of watering a money tree like attitude towards your work. Teachers have a lot of stress placed on them when there are new mandates, large classrooms, difficult principals, strange grade level teams, frustrating students...I could go on and on.
When you choose to show up to school with a crummy beaten down attitude, your tree shrinks a little. Your principal may notice that you are wilting. Your students sense that you don't care too much anymore. How can you combat the blues of teaching?
I suggest that you read, "Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching" by Angela Watson. She knows all too well what it's like to get beaten down. Angela shares how you can become flexible and resilient to the changes that come with the teaching profession.
As you water your money tree, it will strengthen it's roots and be more resilient to the winds of change.
2. Fertilize It!
When a gardener adds fertilizer to a tree, they are adding in extra nutrients. Fertilizer for a money tree is bringing in extra income! There are so many great choices out there that are fairly simple to implement into your busy teacher life. I have just a few suggestions for you:
a. Teaching Blog Traffic School.
Let Charity show you the basics of running not only a blog, but a blog about business! Some of the most successful blogs I know are by teachers who just write about what is going on in their classroom right now. They make a few products and sell them on Teachers Pay Teachers. Just by writing about what you know and showing your ideas in the classroom, other teachers can see how valuable that idea is and pay you for taking the time to make it. I won't lie though, blogging can be time consuming; but it is one of the most rewarding things I spend time doing.
b. Tutor Students After School
You are a teacher! You are one of the most qualified people to tutor students. Most tutors can spend just a few hours in the afternoons/evenings and earn hundreds of dollars a month. Talk about nourishment to your money tree! I tutor students and have found so much fulfillment out of tutoring. You get to know students on whole different level. If you are interested in tutoring, come visit my free video course on tutor businesses.
This next idea may be for the person who feels like they spend so much time thinking about their students that they need somewhere different to focus their attention. Maybe it's a person that likes to be social and have a great time.
c. Home Parties
I really don't like the phrase, "Home Parties", I prefer to look at them as awesome girls night out! There are many new companies out there and they are making a splash into the party scene. You can find expensive lines to work with to really affordable items too. Here are a few of my favorite parties to attend.
Scentsy-a wickless candle company. This party scene is easy to put together and so many people are interested in having yummy scents in their home and even their classrooms.
Vault Jeans-if you are a jean junky...this one is for you. Vault basically sells designer jeans at steep discounts. Party volunteers get 10% off the nights earnings. The style of jeans coming through consistently changes. Each party is a little different.
Thirty-One-I've seen this great product floating around at blog giveaways recently. Such darling stuff.
Paparazzi $5 Jewelry- Most parties sell out of their product they bring within the first 30 minutes. All pieces are just $5 and they are so trendy! The parties are easy to set up and perfect for a girls night. Together Look sells their jewelry online and has made a free guide to show people how to get started.
3. Prune It!
A good gardener knows that to make a tree fruitful and lush, you need to prune off the twigs that are dead and thin out the branches that don't bear any fruit. How does that apply to your money tree? Basically when you are pruning your money tree, you need to get rid of some of your debt. Reducing your debt will help your tree flourish and open more doors of opportunity for you.
When looking your money tree over, look at the branches that don't bear any fruit. Are you wasting some of your income on non-essential items like Starbucks coffee everyday? (I know that one can be hard to give up) Are you eating out more than your budget allows? Do you need to limit your visits to Costco? (That one just plain adds up every time I go!) Each of us definitely have things that we need to trim out.
When you thin out your money tree in the beginning, (don't wait around till it's too late) your tree will grow bigger and more lushous than you ever could have imagined!
Adrianne Meldrum is the author of The Tutor House a blog about helping students in small groups and learning the ropes of running a tutoring business. She also co-authors a blog called Debt Free You Challenge which focuses on helping change the way we look at our finances in a fun, but challenging way.