A Week in Florida on a $60,000 Salary

A Week in Florida on a $60,000 Salary

Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.

Today: an elementary school teacher who makes $60,000

Occupation: kindergarten teacher

Age: 38

Location: Tampa, FL

Salary: $60,000 (approx. $2,308 per pay period)

Day One



Since it's summertime, I'm not spending each day in the classroom. While my partner's at work, I spend time with our fur children (two cats, K. and S.) and work on curriculum and activities for the coming year. M., my significant other, is a contractor doing kitchen remodeling in Tampa and the surrounding area. He doesn't expect it, but I know he appreciates fresh towels for his showers and a warm meal after working on countertops and cabinets all day! So today, I run to the grocery store to surprise him with his favorite meal, shepherd's pie.


Total: $22

Day Two



Lately, I've been wondering if our home could use a few houseplants. Save for a single durable succulent in the bathroom, we haven't got much in terms of indoor plants. Of course, I only want to consider indoor safe plants for cats! K., in particular, loves to chew on any greenery he can get his hands on, even if we think it's beyond our pet's reach. Our vet recommended a website where we can find all sorts of common houseplants that are ASPCA-approved pet-safe plants! For the time being, I decide to go to the dollar store and pick out a few faux blooms. Maybe our fearless little feline will learn to stay away before we bring home the real thing!


Total: $7

Day Three



This morning calls for a Target run to pick up some Dollar Spot items for my classroom. But what homeowner can resist their decor? I pick out a beautiful pot for the plants I'm hoping to get and a throw pillow that will be a great addition to our living room. And, of course, I get our school year must-haves, too!


Total: $47

Day Four



Like all pet owners, our cats are part of the family. They have an entire corner of the living room filled with fluffy beds, toys, condos, and, of course, catnip! Naturally, we add to this pile every so often, too. So, I'm carving out some time this afternoon to tidy up their corner, getting rid of any broken toys, vacuuming, and generally making sure they're comfortable in their safe space. Unfortunately, the bin that holds their toys looks a little worse for wear, so I make a quick store run for a new one.


Total: $8

Day Five



It's M.'s last day of work for the week, so I decide to wipe down our built-in shelves, remove each book, and replace them carefully. Of course, I can't help but choose a few to add to my to-be-read list! I choose one to read and start making my way through it. Before I know it, several hours have passed, and the story's done—for now. I didn't realize this was a series! I turn to the internet to order the next two titles.


Total: $27

Day Six



M. is home today, so we're getting some work done around the house. Dodging curious cats with each step, I clean the kitchen while he fixes a small drip beneath the sink. I go through some of my plans for the coming school year and order some more supplies in the evening.


Total: $36

Day Seven



M. and I spend the morning lounging in bed, then go out for a late breakfast. Over our French toast, I mention my plan to add some new plants to our home. Assuming the kitten behaves, he agrees that an indoor garden is a great option for adding some greenery to our space.


Total: $22


Total for the week: $169