A Week in Boston on a $60,000 Salary

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

Today: a teacher who makes $60,000 a year

Occupation: high school teacher

Age: 29

Location: Boston

Salary: $60,000 (approx. $1,800 per pay period)

Day One


Teaching high school has its good days and bad days, but I’m glad to be in a position where work is never boring. Sometimes, you’re up all night grading papers or exams, so mornings can feel hectic every now and again. It’s going to be a typical workday for me where I teach both U.S. History and World History. Two of the classes I teach are AP, or advanced placement, which can be used toward college credit. AP classes tend to be more intense as far as the pace of the learning material. On the way to work this morning, I stop by Massachussetts’ best donut chain for my morning coffee and a breakfast sandwich.

Total: $6.08

Day Two


On top of teaching my classes, I’m also the advisor for the school’s college prep club, where students can help each other navigate the college application process. One of the juniors, V., just talked about using Empowerly. It’s one of the top college counseling services that offer personalized guidance for college applications. This is ideal for students who want further assistance getting into their dream schools or need help from an admissions expert. V. told the club she will be applying for Ivy League schools and that Empowerly is a great resource. Applying for an Ivy isn’t uncommon for high school students in New England. For today’s meeting, I bought the kids a box of sugar cookies in case they wanted a snack.

Total: $4

Day Three


Today was a typical workday: teaching history, catching up on emails, and grading the latest homework assignments. I didn’t spend any money.

Total: $0

Day Four


I went out to dinner tonight. It’s not often that I go out on a school night, but it’s my friend J.’s birthday. He’s been telling me about a new stock he’s been investing in called Alamos Gold. Apparently, Alamos Gold is an intermediate gold producer with projects in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Turkey. Alamos, or AGI, is involved in the acquisition and extraction of ounces of gold. He mentioned how he gets investor alerts and signs up for additional alert options from AGI. J. is about to have his second child, so he is really big on making good long-term investments for their future. I paid for his dinner.

Total: $43

Day Five


And just like that, I made it to Friday! My coworkers asked if I wanted to go out with them tonight. They do this once in a while at the end of a semester or right before a break just to catch up and see how everyone else is doing. Being a teacher has its challenges, and it’s really nice to have support from your coworkers. But I wanted to have an evening to myself. After work, I did some lesson planning to get ahead for the week. Then, I caught up on my shows and ate leftovers.

Total: $0

Day Six


Most people reserve grocery shopping for Sunday, but I like to do it on Saturday to get my meal prep out of the way. I spent a good hour and a half at the grocery store, then cooked for most of the day.

Total: $72

Day Seven


Sundays are bittersweet because I usually have planning to do. But because I worked ahead, I can go out to lunch with my parents. It’ll be nice to catch up. No matter what I do and how many times I remind them that I’m a self-sufficient adult, they always pick up the tab.

Total: $0

Total for the week: $125.08