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Financial Planning 101 for Yoga Teachers

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I’m not a financial planner in the slightest!

Talking about money used to really make me uncomfortable. Then I learned more about money and the more I learned, the more confident I was talking about it. Just ask my husband. I’m the budgeter, I’m the saver, I know all the numbers. All the time.

I don’t want to give you advice on investments and stocks but I do believe that through all the education I went through for myself to be comfortable as a single-lady homeowner (before I was married) and a LLC business owner, I can share some info with you.

First things first, let’s stop using “budget” like a bad word. We tend to think of a budget like a negative thing but instead of “I can’t spend money because I’m on a budget” think about it like this:

A budget gives you permission to spend!

The more you know about your money, the less guilty you will feel when the topic comes up or you want to spend. Here are my best tips when it comes to personal finances and budgets!

Read "Profit First" ASAP

This is really the pre or during the process step. If you’re ready to jump in I say buy this book and read it as you go through the rest of the steps. If you want to better understand budgeting, then read this book first. This book is the reason that I pay myself as an entrepreneur. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t pay myself for too long! But then I listened to Mike on a podcast and by the time I got to where I was driving I knew that before I got out of the car I needed to pay myself so I did. And then I followed his method (admittedly I did change up the percentages slightly but I followed the method).

He explains it better than me but the idea is that you don’t pay yourself with what’s left over after expenses but rather you get paid always and your expenses should fit within what’s leftover after you’re paid. AMEN!!!!!!!! This ensures that you don’t resent your business. ALL THE PRAISE HANDS!!!!!!!!

Know Your Numbers

First things first, you have to commit to knowing your numbers. I say this because I actively choose not to know the numbers for a long time before I learned how to budget for my personal finances. So let’s get the mind right first.

1. Identify how much you are earning in a month (weekly if that works better).

2. Identify how much you are spending in a month (weekly if that works better).

Want a spreadsheet to start tracking this? Enter your info below and I’ll send one to you!

Create a Budget Spreadsheet or Use a Budget App

Once you have opened your eyes to your true numbers, you can assess the situation and move forward. The hard part is over (at least it was for me).

If you’re a spreadsheet kind of gal, enter your info below and get a done-for-you spreadsheet download that you can start using. Personally, I started a spreadsheet so I could really know what was going on since I had to manually work with it but from a personal budgeting standpoint, I use the Every Dollar app and it would work great for a small business too! There are also apps for all the accounting tools out there too - Quickbooks and Freshbooks are both great!

Live Within Your (Business) Means

Do you HAVE to have those new yoga pants in order to get another client? Most likely, not. The same goes for the latest marketing tool too. Trust me, I want them all! But I want you to run a lean business and keep your eyes on the numbers. Know that you will need to invest in your business (not spend but INVEST) but also know your numbers enough to know if you can’t really afford it right away. It’s okay to save up for something. You’ll be even more excited about when you finally get it. I started with ads on my website so I could have a free website for a little while. I was so proud when I was able to upgrade and not have any ads!

Create a Routine

Check in Monthly (or even weekly) to ensure that you stay comfortable looking at the numbers. There’s power in knowing so keep checking it until you get more comfortable. Keep track of what money is coming into your business and what’s going out. This will help you identify what offers are best for your students and what’s taking up too much of your time and not earning you enough money.

Talk About Money

If you don’t have a biz bestie, I would highly encourage you to find one by simply talking to other yoga teachers. When you find someone who you align with and has similar aspirations of growing a yoga business, talk about money. You don’t have to share all the details right away, just talk about how it’s uncomfortable to talk about money. The more you talk, the more comfortable you’ll get and you might just end up sharing all the info about both of your businesses.

Maybe you'll find your biz bestie in my Facebook group!

But Watch Your Language

If you haven’t read it yet, please read You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero. And while you’re at it, read You Are A Badass too. She’s fabulous and she will put you on track more than I can about watching your language around money.

I noticed that I didn’t like the word “rich” because it felt icky to me. I had this idea that “rich” is a bad thing but in reality I can be rich as all get out and be the same exact person I am today AND be able to give back the way I dream about doing. So why the heck should I not want to earn money when I have such amazing ideas of what I would like to do with it. Some of the ideas are giving back but other ideas are to take my husband and I on some really awesome vacations. And guess what...that’s okay too!

Watch those words girl and tell your friends you’re watching them so they can call you out on it. My husband is the first to catch me when I say “do I need to spend money on this?”. He will say “are you spending or investing, there’s a difference”. And my biz besties catch me all the dang time when I start to get negative. They pull me right out of the scarcity boat and put me back in the abundance boat. I do the same for them. It takes a village to raise an entrepreneur...luckily we have the coolest village! Yoga teachers are the best!

Your Next Best Step:

Explore your numbers and really get to know them. Specifically, download the spreadsheet or an app and start using it today!

Do whatever it takes to get yourself centered and comfortable as you dive in and then accept where you are. Just as you meet your students where they are on their mats, I want you to meet your finances where they are. The sooner you get acquainted with the numbers the better so start today!

Until next time, give yourself permission to earn money and grace along the way.

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