A teacher said she could barely afford to pay rent on her salary, embodying the worries many are facing over the cost of living
- A teacher shared a TikTok video saying she is "going to go into debt" if she keeps teaching.
- She shared some of her expenses and said she can "barely afford to pay rent."
A teacher explained that she can "barely afford to pay rent" on her salary, causing many to lament over the current cost of living.
On November 1, Lexie Firment, who often posts TikTok content about her teaching job, shared a video where she explained she was struggling to live on her salary.
"My salary bi-weekly is basically my rent minus $500," she said. (In a subsequent TikTok video, Firment said her rent costs $2,000.) She then said she deals with additional costs of a car payment of $400 and insurance for $100, although she did not specifiy whether these were bi-weekly or monthly costs.
"You do the math, I'm left with owing money at the end of the month. That's not even with groceries," she said.
Firment said she is currently transferring money from her savings to her checking account every month, adding, "Just had the realization in the car that I'm actually going to go into debt if I continue being a teacher, like genuinely."
@missfirment Hey rats, i am a teacher and i can barely afford rent and groceries. This is the sad truth of teaching in 2023. Impossible to do it all. #teachertruth #teachersalary #brokteacher #teachersalaries #teachersalarydoesntpaybills #broketeachers #payteachersmore #payteacherslikeproffessionals #payteachersmoremoney #teachertired #teachermentalhealth #cantaffordit ♬ original sound - Lexie Firment
"This is the sad truth of teaching in 2023. Impossible to do it all," read part of the caption under the video.
Several commenters under the video, which received 2.2 million views, were from people who said they were teachers and could relate to Firment's struggle.
"same girl, and can't forget student loan payments for the degree i NEEDED to even teach," one user wrote.
Another user said they have wanted to be a teacher since childhood, but now that they're finishing their bachelor's degree, they are reevaluating their decision.
"its terrifying, im at a crossroad where i have to consider if id rather have the career i've always wanted, or to have money to put food on my table," they wrote.
Teachers' pay has declined over the years compared to pay for other jobs, according to a recent report by Sylvia Allegretto, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute.
"On average, teachers made 26.4% less than other similarly educated professionals in 2022—the lowest level since 1960," a summary line on the report's overview reads.
Other commenters under Firment's video who did not specify a connection to teaching also shared that they were struggling to make ends meet financially.
"not to mention gas, student loans, insurance, any subscriptions like brb im cryin in the club," one user wrote.
"I wait for pay day with a knot in my stomach and then cry on pay day because I have $30 left," wrote another commenter.
Many people feel like they have less disposable income, and the cost of living is becoming an increasingly hot topic on social media, as TikTokers share their struggle to pay for necessities like housing and transportation despite having seemingly well-paid jobs.
This phenomenon is known as a "vibecession" — although inflation has been slowing down and data shows that the US is not facing a downturn, many still believe the economy is struggling. This may be because things cost more than they used to, while their salaries aren't increasing as much, leading to experiences like Firment's, and those of the many viewers who can relate.
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