Teacher Appreciation Week

It takes a special person to be a teacher. The responsibility of shaping young minds and helping them grow into the person they will become is an awesome one. That’s why we salute the teachers in our communities. Teacher Appreciation Week was the first week in May. We wanted to have our own celebration of teachers, so we put together a list of money-saving tips for educators.

Claim Your Educator Tax Deductions

When you file your taxes next year, make sure you’re taking advantage of the $250 above-the-line deduction on your federal taxes for eligible classroom supplies. There is no need to itemize! If you spent $250 or more during the school year, you earned it.

Take Advantage of Grants and Supply-Donation Programs

Consider applying for a National Education Association Foundation grant or other national grants available for educators. There may also be state, local and/or union grants available to you in your area. For supplies, foundations such as Kids In Need and Donors Choose may be able to help your students or your classroom with supplies.

Claim Educator Discounts

Multiple retailers or chains offer special discounts for teachers. But you can’t take advantage of them if you don’t know about them! The National Education Association has a list of places you can save by using teacher discounts.

Ask Local Businesses for Supplies

Smart business owners look for ways to invest in their communities. Consider asking businesses and restaurants in your community to donate supplies for your classroom. They may have wholesale and bulk items they can spare, and additionally, donations may provide them with tax benefits.

Check if You Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness

As we mentioned in our article about tackling student loan debt, the federal government has relaxed the criteria needed to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. If you have made at least 120 payments toward federal student loans and work as a public school teacher, you might be eligible for loan forgiveness.

Build a Savings Account

There is never a bad time to start an emergency savings fund in a savings account. If you put money away, it will help you have peace of mind to know you have money available if you need it. Visit a branch or sign up for an account online.

Whether you teach kindergarten, elementary or high school, keep doing what you do. Our youth are our future, and we appreciate your dedication to enlightening young minds.

Sources: NEA, Business Insider, Investor.gov, IRS