What I Learned as a Teacher to Save Money and Pay Less Taxes

What I learned to save on taxes/money while I was teaching and after as a retiree:

  1. Deducting expenses from taxes: For expenditures exceeding the allowed amount for teachers one can deduct expenses in Miscellaneous Deductions and sometimes with Business Expenses. This includes dues to unions; other business-related organizations, classes you take to continue your education (but not for minimum requirements) and the materials you buy for this.
  2. Deduct and plan trips during vacations to attend conventions related to your job or a class. See the IRS website to learn how to do this and also get some vacation time. You can also earn credits at conventions. Everything has to be in advance and make sure to document how and why you incurred an expense. You can deduct things you buy that relate to your job. If using the credits at work to make sure to follow the guidelines set by your employer and get prior approval if you need to do so.
  3. Technology Costs: Mobile phone costs can be deductible as well as costs of computer programs, computers and any technology/electronics you need to function at your job.
  4. Gas Expenses: You can deduct gas expenses for going to different places that your job might require. This is not for getting or leaving your first or last location to get home.
  5. Discounts: Different companies offer discounts. Verizon has an Educator/Senior discount and Barnes and Nobles has a Educator discount. One can also join organizations that give you discounts to products, services and entertainment. TDF one can join as an Educator, Union Member, a student and as a retiree. NYC & Off Off Broadway venues at 1/3 the price.
  6. Senior Discounts: Many places give a discount to Seniors. MTA or Bee Line Buses in Westchester. Movie Theaters, Museum entrance fees. My library in White Plains also gives free passes to various museums in area and NYC.
  7. Reward programs: Many credit cards have reward programs as well as department stores. Microsoft has a reward program for using their search engine.
  8. States offer things as well. NY has the Star Program and the Enhanced Star program for Seniors reducing property taxes.
  9. Some jobs help pay for courses that will help you with your job.

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