Podcast: Surviving on a Teacher's Salary

How to live a good life on a shoestring budget

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For this week's Alpha Consumer Podcast, I interviewed Danny Kofke, author of How to Survive (and Perhaps Thrive) on a Teachers Salary. The concept appealed to me because so many people—including nonteachers—are trying to get by on less right now. Kofke's strategy includes saving up money in advance before big purchases. Before he and his wife purchased their first home, for example, they set aside money each month for years. The same goes for televisions.

Surviving on a Teacher's Salary

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Kofke also says no to things he can't afford, including things he'd like to buy, such as dance lessons for his young daughter. Part of his approach involves passing on the lessons of frugality and thrift to his kids.

You can also pick up the Alpha Consumer Tip of the Week on battling shopping addictions, which get worse around the holidays. The top suggestion: Ask friends for help, even it means admitting to some embarrassing behavior.