Why I’m Not Shopping for my Classroom this Summer

Disclaimer: I find nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with wanting to spend money on your classroom.  I have in the past and I will in the future.  But there are some stages of life where other things take precedent over a new set of plastic organizer bins or a stack full of books for your library. And I want to remind you that it’s okay.

You might be seeing all the things everyone else is buying, the Target Dollar Spot finds, pretty colored bins from Hobby Lobby or new flexible seating options from Big Lots.  Teachers love shopping for their classrooms.  And there is no shame in that game.  But if that’s not your prerogative this summer, it’s easy to feel a little FOMO or shopping envy. #thestruggleisreal

Here’s why I am choosing to have a frugal summer as far as it comes to purchasing items for my classroom.

Last summer, I shopped ’til I dropped.

It was the summer after my first year teaching and I had #alltheideas for the upcoming year. I truly did need some of it but a lot of it was for fun. The pile in my living room grew and grew.

And it was great! I have zero regrets.  I used all of the stuff I bought and it really helped make my classroom feel more like my own. But this summer, I sat down and thought “What do I really need?” Trust me, there are things.  But I am going to try to hold off and purchase what I need through my allotted school, PTO funds and Box Tops! I realize not everyone is fortunate to get any money from school and we don’t get a lot but it will be enough to cover the essentials.

This November, I’m having baby #2.

With a baby on the way, it is really difficult to justify dropping dough on classroom décor. Also, when I head back to set up my room I will be in my 3rd trimester so any drastic room changes are going to be too physically challenging. Instead, I am going to try to simplify the best I can for my sanity (and my substitute!).
Maternity leave also equals weeks that I will go without a paycheck. And while staying home for 12 weeks with my new little one is priceless (and way better than the 6 weeks I did last time!), it will require some creative financial planning.

By the end of the year, we hope to be debt free.

Paying off debt is a new obsession.  I started following some major debt crushers on Instagram and realized how possible it is for us to reach this goal.  So if you are struggling with seeing all the shopping pics, I highly recommend looking up the #debtfreecommunity for some inspiration!

Being debt free (besides our mortgage) will be a huge help with that unpaid maternity leave and additional childcare costs with #2. I keep asking myself why we didn’t start knocking out debt sooner!

In a year or two, we plan to buy a new house.

With our expanding family, we are anticipating needing more space. We currently live in a 2 bedroom 1.5 bathroom townhouse.  I still really love our house but the 2 major issues are 1. backyard and 2. school district. Our almost 2 year old obviously has a few years before we need to worry about school but as a teacher, I think about it often.

Regardless of reasons, I think it’s important not to get caught up in the summer spending spree if you aren’t really wanting to this year. Think about what you really need and what you really want that doesn’t have to do with school.

What are you not spending for?
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