A teacher has revealed that she works three different jobs to pay her bills and still can’t afford her rent.
Lexie Firment, 22, from Cleveland, Ohio, is a first year middle school teacher, who like many other teachers, was forced to get multiple jobs to cover her expenses because her teacher’s salary wasn’t cutting it.
Lexie took to TikTok to share her ‘teacher to server second job pipeline story’ where she posted a video of her dancing with an overlay text that read: ‘Today two tables didn’t tip me, I have $1,600 in rent due in 15 days, and I cried mid shift today. Can’t wait to play restaurant and broke teacher tomorrow again.’
Lexie Firment, 22, from Cleveland, Ohio, revealed she works three different jobs to pay her bills and still can’t afford her rent while on a teacher’s salary
The middle school teacher shared in a viral TikTok that she often has to ‘play restaurant and broke teacher’ since her salary was so low
Lexie revealed that she worked three jobs, which the usual for entry level teachers in Ohio who make around $25,000 per year
The middle school teacher begged for help in her caption and sad: ‘Y’all I just can’t today. My venmo is lexiefirment.’
In a second video Lexie shared that on top of teaching and serving she also works for Instacart, which is a grocery delivery company, to make some extra cash.
The text overlay read: ‘Going straight from serving to Instacarting all night because I refuse to let myself settle for less than what I want for myself on a teacher’s salary.’
The middle-school teacher further revealed that she’s sacrificed her sleeping schedule to cover her expenses, and added that she’s ‘tired’ but ‘has rent’ due.
Lexie noted that once she got a teaching job, she then got a ‘second job’ because she couldn’t ‘afford life on a teacher’s salary,’ and even made another video advising other teachers to ‘Instacart or nanny’ just to make ends meat.
And with rent prices on an unprecedented surge, Lexie isn’t the only teacher who is sacrificing her sleep just to afford her lifestyle.
According to the Ohio Education Association, an entry level teacher salary can range anywhere from $25,671 to $31,715, which is $20,182 less than the $45,853 annual living wage in Ohio.
The housing crisis has caused Ohio’s monthly rent prices to increase by 12.3 per cent in the past year, which brought the typical rent of a one-bedroom apartment to $1,219.
In one video Lexie shared that as soon as she got a teaching job she got a second job and added that she couldn’t afford ‘life on a teacher’s salary’
Many users shared their experiences in the comments section of Lexie’s video, and one even said they taught during the day and became a janitor at night
The cost of becoming a teacher: Is it REALLY possible to live on an Ohio educator’s salary?
- According to the Ohio Education Association, an entry level teacher salary can range anywhere from $25,671 to $31,715, which is $20,182 less than the $45,853 annual living wage in Ohio.
- Although Ohio is reported to be one of the states with the lowest cost of living, the state suffered the consequences of the housing crisis and saw a 12.3 per cent increase in rent prices
- With the rent prices going up, after paying rent, teachers usually only have around $500 to use for their other expenses including groceries and gas
- In a survey of 1,200 teachers conducted by the Teacher Salary Project , 82 per cent of teachers noted that they had juggle multiple jobs just to make ends meat.
If Lexie made $25,671 or $2,139 per month before taxes, which is the average entry level salary of a teacher, she would be left with just over $500 after paying her $1600 rent to afford groceries, gas, and other necessary expenses.
And although Ohio is reported to be one of the states with the lowest cost of livings, the state has suffered the consequences of the housing crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, Ohio has an average of 10,655 people experiencing homelessness on any given day.
To avoid the effects of the housing crisis, many teachers like Lexie have also taken up multiple jobs.
In a survey of 1,200 teachers conducted by the Teacher Salary Project, 82 per cent of teachers noted that they had juggle multiple jobs just to make ends meat, and at the time of the survey, 53 per cent of teachers said they had multiple jobs.
And although the comments were disabled on her original video, TikTok users shared their similar experiences while working in education and one user even shared what they believed to be a harsh reality for Lexie.
‘I’ve always wanted to be a teacher but I’m scared about the money,’ said one user.
Another user added: ‘I have 2 other jobs, besides teaching, including night janitor at my school.’
‘Girl you get no lifestyle because all you do is work lol choose one job,’ commented a third user.