Saturday, February 11, 2012

Teacher Training spending totals

Finally I got around to totting up the HUGE pile of receipts I accumulated from TT today. Purely for my own interest I kept every single receipt for anything I bought whilst in LA. After doing the sums I wasn't too shocked at my findings but one area I did do a double blink...did I really spend that much?!! 

It is a burning question for future teacher trainees how much to budget on spending after shelling out the BIG dough on the course. So I thought I would share my experience. It can be kinda weird talking about money, it's very personal, everyone is different, some people eat more, some people eat less, some shop, some don't so please take these sums lightly, it's a rough guide.

Firstly I'll say I am GOOD at budgeting. I can be very frugal when needs be, cut back on luxuries etc. Then I can go polar opposite & have a blow out. Very all or nothing type of person I am. One thing, I did not use a credit card once at TT, I was very cash only, no debt. Some people will have to though, again personal.

Here it is my spending for nine weeks in LA...*drum role please.....*

  • Food shopping - mainly in Trader Joe's, odd few things from Whole Foods & Fresh N Easy; $790.11
  • Eating out & foody treats (coffee, cupcakes, ice cream etc.) mainly on a weekend only. I ate in the hotel about 5 times as it was expensive, boring & not that great; $234.70
  • Room set up when I 1st got there - George Foreman mini grill, kettle, toaster, plastic plates, cutlery, food storage boxes, Britta Filter, clothes drier etc. $200 ($30 of this was the car service I hired to drive around the shops) My room mate gave me $30 towards things that would be shared, but most of what I bought was for me & my comfort.
  • Trolley tickets to Manhattan Beach - $25 ($5 each go, round trip)
  • Miscellaneous - Random things like toiletries, medications, gifts, the odd book, stamps, postcards etc. ; $226.98
  • Clothes - yoga clothes, a new teaching bag, Vegas shopping treat trip; $975.77 ($200 was for Graduation dress & shoes)
  • Random unaccounted for stuff - dollar here & there, tips, taxi, bus tickets which I didn't have a receipt for; roughly $150
  • Hair stylist for graduation & 1 massage - $147
  • Grand TOTAL: $2,749.56
The biggest shock was the amount I spent on clothes, more than food!!! I honestly thought I'd been good, apart from in Vegas. I spent more towards the end of the course on treats when I knew my budget was good & I had extra to play with. I didn't actually buy that much, more quality rather than quantity, that adds up. Not included is my Vegas plane ticket as that came out of a totally different stash of cash.

Over all I'm happy with this. My budget was $3000 for the total ten weeks (including the week I had at home after). I came home with money too & I didn't have to touch my 'emergency money' that I had just in case. (This is totally personal so not sharing that) I did have to scrimp & save for nearly a year to have a tidy budget. I raised money by selling cards, doing car boots sales & ebay as I like to be financially independent of my partner & family. Anyway why should they give up their hard earned cash for me?!

Don't forget on top of this & the course fee's there are plane tickets and insurance. Please no one who is not a citizen of the USA enter that country without medical insurance. It is not worth it. $500 on 9 weeks insurance is nothing compared to a hospital fee in the States. 

Hope this has been useful! 


  1. Oh this was awesome! I am working my but off trying to save, so this gives me a great idea of what I will need. Thanks!

  2. No worries, glad it was helpful. I think it would be easy to spend less - def minus my clothes shopping! Britta filtering my water saved heaps too!