Teachers in the Washington, D.C. area spend millions of dollars of their own money each year on their classrooms, the News4 I-Team reported.
Kyra Robertson is one of those teachers. The 24-year-old fourth-grade math teacher said she spends about $100 of her own money each month on her students.
"This is the least that I can do,” Kyra said.
“Yesterday I spent about 30 bucks on pencils and Expo markers, and that’s a monthly expense. I recently bought some folders,” she continued.
To get a better idea of how millennials are using their money, we’re skipping the survey data and getting straight to the source. We’re challenging young people in the D.C. area to keep a spending log for just one weekend.
Kyra teaches at KIPP Harmony Academy charter school in Baltimore. She said her salary at KIPP allows her to splurge on her students, but at her previous school -- where she taught for two years -- more than half of her paycheck went to her classroom.
“Anything that I wanted to do outside of a piece of paper and a pencil -- well I even had to buy paper -- so anything outside of a textbook, I had to buy myself,” she said. She even bought backpacks for students whose families could not afford them.
Kyra lives with her partner; they split the rent for their Baltimore apartment. Teaching is her sole source of income, which she said is enough for her to spend on “things that make [her] happy.”
Her favorite purchase from the weekend was a spur-the-moment trip to Six Flags. She regrets back-to-back trips to Chipotle and Domino's.
Here's what she said she spent:
Smoothie King - $15
Pepe's for lunch - $9
Friday mornings, I like to treat myself to Smoothie King. I get a 32 oz. pineapple mango smoothie. I also got some snacks for the day because I didn’t pack a lunch that day.
Etsy - $44.50
My [teaching] partner, her birthday is today, so I bought her a sweatshirt on Etsy.
Four Six Flags tickets - $295.75
Snacks - $13.24
Me and three friends drove down to Six Flags on Friday. We bought the tickets that morning and then drove down after school. It was a stress release after a long week.
While I was there we bought some snacks. [I ate] chicken fingers and french fries.
Chipotle - $19
Domino's Pizza - $33
The Baltimore Running Festival was going on, so I stayed in or near my apartment the entire day because I couldn’t go anywhere. I live right across the street from a Chipotle, so I walked over to Chipotle for lunch. I also live right around the corner from a Domino's, and so that was my dinner.
Rent - $614
I had to pay rent this weekend because I remembered that I am an adult who has bills.
Lyft - $9, $8, $12
[My partner and I] took a Lyft to brunch in the morning. Then we took a Lyft over to a friend’s place, and [we] took a Lyft back home.
Ann's Grocery store - $12
While we were at the friend’s house, we went to Ann’s Grocery, and we got Pringles and Butterfingers, and we just sat on the couch and binge-watched TV.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for length and clarity.