Teacher Breaks Down Monthly Paycheck Minus Expenses, Internet Is Shocked

A grade school teacher on TikTok breaks down her paycheck minus monthly expenses. The results have us reeling over teacher salaries.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Aug. 24 2023, Published 2:13 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • A teacher on TikTok breaks down their monthly paycheck minus her necessary expenses.
  • The results bring her four-figure salary down to double digits.
  • Her video proves that teachers continue to be severely underpaid.
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If you've never watched Abbott Elementary before, you owe yourself a new binge-watch. The acclaimed ABC mockumentary sitcom provides a fictional yet resonant glimpse into the lives and struggles of elementary school teachers as they try to make ends meet and live their own lives while balancing the overwhelming duties of teaching grade school students. But while the series does well to shed light on these stressors, this teacher on TikTok proves that we don't know the half of it.

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On TikTok, user @fouronacouch is an actual grade school teacher who isn't afraid to talk about the struggles that she faces at her job. From relatable and humorous voice-over memes to block-of-text TikTok videos where she meticulously analyzes what goes wrong in a single day, she's more than willing to share the problems she faces on a regular basis.

In one of her recent TikTok videos, things got a little too real when this teacher broke down her paycheck minus expenses. The results are tragic and unreal.

This teacher broke down her paycheck minus expenses.

While OP's TikTok features plenty of fun life moments and ramblings about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she's no stranger to sharing teacher struggles as she vents about a new problem at her job on a startlingly consistent basis. However, nothing could have prepared us for the point-by-point breakdown of her paycheck minus expenses.

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She posted her TikTok in late August 2023, and as of this writing, it already has over 1 million views.

"I wanna cry this month," OP plainly states in their caption.

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OP speaks very openly, stating that she earn approximately $2,500 a month at her teaching job. However, her monthly expenses ate away at that considerably.

First was the rent at her house, which amounted to $1,300. Then she had to pay the rent at her old apartment, which was $875. According to her claims in the comments, the leases on both places had overlapped when she decided to move.

Then there was the first loan repayment that she had to make for $300. All-in-all, OP was left with only $25 for the rest of the month. No one has to be a budget expert to know how little that is to last for a whole month.

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$25 every month is nowhere near enough for groceries and could just barely cover basic necessities if you're thrifty enough. It's barely even enough for your standard Grubhub or DoorDash meal, which is what you might default to after working 8–10 hours of teaching a classroom of unruly children. OP's breakdown of her expenses puts the term "living from paycheck to paycheck" in a whole new and disturbing perspective.

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Needless to say, folks in the comments feel for OP's situation. One person claimed that they made more as a "corporate legal assistant with no college degree."

Another person wrote, "I still don't understand how this payment is okay for the people that educate our children."

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According to her follow-up comments, this is OP's second year of teaching in Idaho. Salary.com calculates that as of 2023, the average public school teacher in Idaho makes anywhere between $44,000 and $64,000 annually. With the U.S. in the midst of an economic crisis, OP's current salary and unfriendly expenses has really stretched those dollars to their absolute limit.

If you thought that teachers were already underpaid before, OP isn't afraid to shed some light on the grim reality that folks in her profession face on a regular basis.

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