How I saved €100,000 in 4 years as a Teacher
Sorcha Coyle, Empowering Expat Teachers
Thanks to my time as an expat teacher in Qatar and Dubai, I have saved six figures, which I have used to purchase 2 beautiful properties (a 4-bedroomed house in my home country and a 3-bed apartment in Spain), start a profitable investment portfolio, complete my Masters, travel the world, and this year leave teaching and focus fulltime on my own career and financial empowerment coaching business. I have fulfilled these goals solely from my earnings as an expat teacher, so if I can do it, you can too!
1. I had a clear saving goal in mind
I moved to Qatar in 2011 when I was 25 and when I calculated the savings potential of this opportunity, I told myself that I would save €100,000 by the age of 30, so I could buy a home in Ireland– the terrible Irish economic recession was still very much in my mind.
Ask yourself, “Where do I want to be this time next year/ in five years/ in 10 years?”
Start with the 10-year time frame and work backwards to see what steps you need to achieve along the way.
Start thinking about your saving goals- this is something I do myself every September and January.
– Where will you be living- at home or abroad? What kind of a house/ apartment do you want to live in?
– Do you still want to teach? Or do you wish to change career or work for yourself?
For example, if you wish to move home and change careers in 5 years’ time, then your saving goals could be to save for a mortgage deposit (30%-35%+ for an expat mortgage) and for a qualification in your new career.
2. I made a SMART plan to reach my saving goal
I had to check that my financial goal was SMART, which means that it is:
Specific: I had a specific amount of money in mind.
Measurable: I broke it down and set myself weekly, monthly, half-year, and annual targets to chart my progress.
Attainable/achievable: I looked at my monthly income to make sure my monthly saving goal allowed me to live as well!
Realistic: While working abroad, you have to enjoy your life too by socialising, travelling, etc., so if your saving goal is completely unrealistic in a 2-year timeframe, rethink it!
Timed: If you plan to work abroad for 2 years, break it down into months and weeks, i.e. 24 months = 104 weeks to save it up. This makes your goal seem a lot more attainable. If 2 years is not enough to reach your financial goals, then perhaps extend your timeframe to 3 or 4 years of teaching abroad?
Psst… Read 5 Factors to Consider when Choosing an Expat School HERE
3. I regularly visualised my goal
There were times when I didn’t want to stick to my budget, so to keep me motivated to fulfill my goal of saving 100K in 5 years, I used a vision board with pictures of my ideal property that I kept on my bedroom wall. I looked at it daily to remind me how wonderful the rewards of my labour would be!
4. I increased my income to accelerate my saving
I ended up saving over six figures in 4 years, at the age of 29, which was due to my efforts to increase my income streams while in Qatar. I tutored in the evenings, I regularly decluttered and sold stuff on secondhand market places and I spent the month of July (during my summer holidays) working at a summer school, to earn extra cash, which went straight into my saving pot!
5. I would read or learn something about money every day
Financial advice podcasts, blogs, advice books – you name it, I did it! Not only did they give me practical strategies to plan and invest for my financial future but I really believe that they helped me change my attitude towards money and wealth.
Hi, I’m Sorcha! I’ve been an expat teacher in the Gulf for over 10 years now and I run the Empowering Expat Teachers community, whose mission is to empower future and current expat teachers to lead personally, professionally, and financially rewarding lives. I am especially excited about the financial empowerment aspect of expat teaching because it allowed me to save six figures in my first teaching job in Qatar and if I could do it, anyone can! I’m also a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and I am currently completing my level 7 ILM Coaching and Mentoring qualification. If you would like daily CV, cover letter and money tips, follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
In my free time, you’ll find me rewatching “New Girl” for the 75th time!
This is always a hot topic for teachers and so important to get it right.
Here are some mistakes that teachers have shared with us when they did our EPV Summer Course on Classroom Management with Niamh Byrne, Irish Primary Teacher.
We have dipped in and out of the CPD course to learn what to do instead!
Why do we remember the words of lyrics we haven’t heard in years? Why do some experiences stick in our heads more than others? Something made them memorable!
Make your lessons stick by trying to make some aspect of it different. This could be as simple as playing music (we have played classical music when students were working independently in the past) or hooking them into the lesson with mystery tasks or controversial questions that spark debate.
When planning ask yourself: What can I do to make this lesson memorable?
Trying to keep calm when things are not going well in the classroom can be such a struggle. It is overwhelming to try and support students with their emotions and behaviours – as well as our own.
Susan Gavin, course author of EPV Summer Course “Supporting Students with Challenging Behaviour” has put a comprehensive course together to help us pre-empt issues and creating systems and ways of working that stop things escalating negatively.
Trina Golden – Primary Principal of a new school, Owenabue Educate Together in Carrigaline, Cork. Previously the Principal of Ennis Educate Together. Passionate about equality based education, additional needs, educational disadvantage and trauma informed approaches.
Okay so we’ve all been there – a job post comes up on your screen that you hadn’t seen before and the deadline is that day!
You quickly rush the application to get it in before 3pm and pray to Beyonce (she’s like God, right?) that it’s acceptable!