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!
Did you know that 74% of teachers do not feel confident with formative assessment teaching methodologies?
As we approach the new school year, this survey conducted by Rahoo Training in 2020, and its findings, should be at the forefront of a school leader’s mind.
Webinar 8th November 2023: How to Enhance the Teaching & Learning of Maths with Formative Assessment
“How to Enhance the Teaching & Learning of Maths with Formative Assessment” is 1 hour in duration including Q&A opportunities.
This webinar will be hosted by a Nadine Lyons, Maths Lead Practitioner at South View School Dubai.