Everyone wants to earn more money, just as everyone wants a leaner physique. Achieving these goals, of course, is easier said than done. You can raise your rates or try to get more business, but at some point you reach a ceiling of how much you can work or earn. Having healthy financial habits and foundations make it possible for you to keep more of your money regardless of how much you earn.
Record keeping helps you achieve financial goals by enhancing what I like to call “money mindfulness.” Keeping track of money is a powerful habit that’s beneficial for business goal-setting. Think about how a food journal can reveal a bigger picture of what a person is eating. Small changes are easier to implement when you have eating awareness. Tracking your income and expenses is much the same—try it and see for yourself.
Track Your Sessions
Start simple, just as you do with a new client. Count the number of sessions you complete each week. Place this number on a calendar or sheet of paper on your fridge. You can also keep records in a spreadsheet for easier storage and comparison later on. Or use an app if you’re tech savvy—there are dozens available to try.
Doing this helps create a habit, much like doing cardio or eating vegetables. It doesn’t actually pay off until you’ve been doing it for several weeks or months. Over time, this investment will reveal valuable trends about your business and work life. Make a commitment and stick with it.
Track Your Income
To track the money you’re earning, multiply the number of weekly sessions performed by your hourly/session fee. Subtract rent and taxes from what you charge clients to determine your take-home pay. These are the two largest expenses, which are often overlooked. You might be charging $75 an hour, but actually only keeping $40 if it. Keep this in mind so that you know how much you can realistically spend.
Track Your Expenses
Keeping receipts is a simple way to start tracking your expenses. Tally the receipts weekly or monthly into a spreadsheet, or simply place them in folders. If you want to stay digital, download your credit and debit card statements monthly and categorize them into a spreadsheet or sync with an app. Use categories like food, gas, marketing, etc., so you can see where your money is going. This takes less than 10 minutes a week, but yields big dividends, just like meal planning or workout programming.
Also, keep track of business and personal expenses separately. Business expenses serve as tax write-offs and help you keep even more of the money you earn.
What to Do With Your Tracking Information
- What makes a client’s body-fat or fitness assessment numbers more meaningful? Goals! It’s more motivating to cut back on spending when you have meaningful, money-related goals that are specific. Sure, we all want more money, but why? You know how this works: Think about a new client who wants to lose weight. The more clear he or she is about why weight loss is a goal, the more likely the client is to make the necessary sacrifices and changes. So take the time to evaluate your financial goals.
- Identify areas of spending where you can cut back. Is there something you overspend on, like buying fruit smoothies or expensive coffee drinks? Can you make them at home instead? Use your spending goals as motivation to cut back. What’s more important to you—a daily gourmet coffee or a weekend getaway to your favorite spa? It’s all about priorities.
- Take note of how many sessions you’re really doing each week. Is it as much as you thought? If not, how many sessions would you like to be doing? Are you earning enough money to cover your expenses? How much money do you need? Use the information you’re gathering to set goals for yourself.
- Once you’ve been tracking for a few months or, ideally, a year or two, note the trends and make business plans accordingly. You can bump up your marketing efforts the month before a slow period with a seasonal offering, or you can plan vacations during those times.