A teacher was sent into a panic attack after she looked over her paycheck and discovered it wasn’t nearly enough to cover her monthly expenses.
Lexi Firment (@missfirment) took to TikTok on 2 November to explain her grievances about being a teacher in Avon, Ohio. “Hey rats, I am a teacher and I can barely afford rent and groceries,” she began the TikTok video.
The 23-year-old, who has more than 82k followers on the app, often posts honest updates on her life as a second-year science teacher at Blufton Middle School. While she finds purpose in her position as a teacher, Firment’s “teacher truth” is that her salary is not nearly enough to live off.
In her recent post, Firment broke down her monthly budget, exposing how her small paychecks were insufficient in covering the cost of living. The educator explained how her rent ate her biweekly salary “minus $500”, implying that she only had $500 left after paying for her apartment.
However, she explained that she can’t put the remaining sum into a savings account. “Guess how much my car is? $400. Guess how much insurance is? $100,” Firment admitted. “Oh, yeah, that’s right. You do the math. I’m left with owing money at the end of the month. That’s not even with groceries.”
In the video, Firment began to realise the reality of her situation and started to hyperventilate, causing her to be sent into a panic attack.
“I realise every single month I am transferring money out of savings into my checking,” she said. “Just had the realisation in the car that I’m actually gonna go into debt if I continue being a teacher. Like, genuinely. Genuinely. Wow.”
“I’m literally having a crisis right now. I’m literally going to have a panic attack right now… I literally cannot do this,” Firment continued. “I don’t have money… I don’t know how I’m gonna pay off my credit card this month.”
According to an Indeed.com report, the average salary for a teacher in Avon with one or two years of experience is roughly $40,000 a year. This means the semi-monthly pay, with state taxes taken out, would be around $1,350.
Many viewers flocked to Firment’s comment section and admitted they were in a similar financial situation.
“I wait for pay day with a knot in my stomach and then cry on pay day because I have $30 left,” one woman wrote, while another noted: “This isn’t just teachers. This is all of us.”
“Girl, I think about quitting daily. You’re not alone,” one individual said.
Another woman added: “Can’t forget student loan payments for the degree I NEEDED to even teach.”
“You legit almost made me cry when you said you were about to have a panic attack. Things will work itself out and you are not NOT alone. Trust me,” one follower added.
The Independent has reached out to Lexi for a comment.