Living on a Teacher’s Salary: Tips for Making Ends Meet

Introduction Teaching is a noble profession that requires dedication, passion, and patience. However, for many teachers in the Philippines, their passion for educating the youth often comes with financial struggles. A teacher’s salary is often not enough to cover basic necessities, let alone unexpected expenses or emergencies. In this article, we will discuss tips for making ends meet on a teacher’s salary in the Philippines.

Understanding a Teacher’s Salary in the Philippines In the Philippines, public school teachers are classified according to their positions and levels of education. According to the Department of Education (DepEd), the entry-level position for public school teachers is Teacher I, with a monthly salary of Php22,316.00. This salary increases based on the teacher’s length of service, educational attainment, and additional responsibilities.

However, the actual take-home pay of a teacher may differ depending on various factors, such as taxes, contributions, and deductions. For instance, a teacher’s salary may be subject to income tax, monthly contributions to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and loan repayments. It is important for teachers to understand the breakdown of their salary and how deductions are computed.

Tips for Making Ends Meet on a Teacher’s Salary

  1. Create a budget plan Teachers need to create a budget plan to help them manage their expenses effectively. This plan should include a breakdown of their income, expenses, and savings. Teachers should prioritize their basic needs, such as food, rent, utilities, and transportation, and allocate a portion of their income for emergencies or unexpected expenses.
  2. Cut down on unnecessary expenses To make ends meet, teachers need to be mindful of their spending habits and cut down on unnecessary expenses. This may include eating out less, avoiding impulse purchases, and reducing leisure activities that require significant expenses.
  3. Look for additional sources of income Teachers can also look for additional sources of income to supplement their salary. This may include taking on part-time jobs, selling products or services, or doing freelance work. However, teachers should ensure that their additional work does not interfere with their teaching responsibilities and that they comply with the DepEd’s policies on outside employment.
  4. Avail of government programs and benefits Teachers may also benefit from various government programs and benefits, such as healthcare services, housing loans, and educational assistance. Teachers should explore these options and take advantage of them, provided that they meet the requirements and qualifications.
  5. Seek financial advice and support Finally, teachers can seek financial advice and support from various organizations and institutions. This may include financial advisors, credit counseling agencies, and financial literacy programs. Teachers should also join organizations or groups that promote financial literacy and provide support for educators.

Challenges Faced by Teachers in the Philippines

Despite the efforts to provide quality education in the country, the teaching profession in the Philippines continues to face numerous challenges, including low salaries, inadequate resources, and a lack of support from the government.

One of the primary challenges that Filipino teachers face is the low salary. Many teachers struggle to make ends meet, especially those who are just starting in the profession. According to a study conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the average monthly salary of public school teachers in 2018 was only Php21,316, which is below the estimated living wage of Php42,000 for a family of four.

Inadequate resources are also a significant challenge for Filipino teachers. Many schools lack sufficient materials, equipment, and facilities, which hinders effective teaching and learning. Moreover, the lack of support from the government in terms of budget allocation and policies often leads to inadequate resources in schools.

Finally, Filipino teachers also face a lack of support and recognition from the government and society. Despite their crucial role in shaping the country’s future, teachers are often underappreciated and undervalued. This lack of recognition and support can lead to demotivation and burnout among teachers.

Recommendations for Addressing the Challenges

To address the challenges faced by Filipino teachers, various stakeholders must take action. The following are some recommendations for improving the teaching profession in the Philippines:

  1. Increase teacher salaries To attract and retain competent and motivated teachers, the government must provide better compensation and benefits for educators. This includes increasing teacher salaries to a level that is commensurate with their qualifications and responsibilities.
  2. Improve resources in schools The government must prioritize education in its budget allocation and policies. This includes providing sufficient resources, such as materials, equipment, and facilities, in schools to support effective teaching and learning.
  3. Provide support and recognition for teachers The government and society must recognize the crucial role of teachers in shaping the country’s future. This includes providing support for their professional development, recognizing their achievements and contributions, and creating a conducive working environment that promotes their well-being and job satisfaction.
  4. Foster partnerships and collaborations To address the challenges in the teaching profession, various stakeholders must work together to develop and implement effective solutions. This includes fostering partnerships and collaborations among schools, communities, and government agencies to ensure that teachers receive the support and resources they need to succeed.

Importance of Investing in Teachers

Investing in teachers is crucial for achieving sustainable development and progress in the Philippines. Teachers play a critical role in shaping the future of the country by providing quality education, developing the skills and competencies of the youth, and instilling values that promote social responsibility and national identity.

Investing in teachers means providing them with the necessary resources, support, and professional development opportunities to enhance their teaching skills and competencies. This includes providing access to training, workshops, and conferences that promote their professional growth and development. Moreover, investing in teachers also means providing them with adequate compensation and benefits that reflect their contributions and responsibilities.

Research has shown that investing in teachers yields significant benefits for individuals, communities, and society. For instance, students who have highly qualified and motivated teachers tend to perform better academically and have higher educational attainment. Moreover, teachers who receive support and recognition tend to be more satisfied with their work and have better well-being and job performance.

Furthermore, investing in teachers also has long-term benefits for the country’s economy and social development. Highly skilled and motivated teachers can contribute to the country’s human capital development by producing a highly educated and skilled workforce. Moreover, they can promote social cohesion and national identity by instilling values and attitudes that foster social responsibility and citizenship.


Living on a teacher’s salary in the Philippines can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Teachers need to be mindful of their spending habits, create a budget plan, and explore additional sources of income to make ends meet. Moreover, the government and education stakeholders must address the issue of low teacher salaries and provide better compensation and benefits for educators.

Furthermore, investing in teachers is critical for achieving sustainable development and progress in the Philippines. Teachers play a crucial role in shaping the future of the country and investing in their professional growth and well-being yields significant benefits for individuals, communities, and society. It is, therefore, essential for the government, education stakeholders, and society to recognize the crucial role of teachers in nation-building and prioritize investment in their development and well-being.

In conclusion, teachers are the backbone of the education system, and their contributions to the country’s development should not be overlooked. By providing them with the necessary support, resources, and recognition, we can ensure that our teachers are empowered to provide quality education and shape the future of the Philippines.

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