With another end of financial year looming, money is on most people’s minds. Jeff Shearer, TCM practitioner and wise owl, on behalf of Firm n Fold, shares tips for therapists on new ways to earn dollars, manage them and make your tax work for you.
Money Changes Everything. Ah, yes, that old chestnut. I remember way back when this was a song by Cyndi Lauper but it has so many connotations when it comes to practice.
For so many of us as practitioners we don’t really want to think about the money side of things because we are people of integrity, of high moral standing and focusing on money just seems contrary to these principles. Really? Why?
Is it that you think of money as the root of all evil? Or perhaps it’s too much of a corrupting influence so you try to put it out of your mind.
Well there is a problem with that logic. Money is really just energy when you think about it. Money provides us with the ability to buy things to help us or hinder us.
What we choose is really up to us. And to top it off, part of integrity is the state of being whole and undivided. So learning to own our profession and stop fearing money is part of that process.
The problem with putting your head in the sand around money is it kind of is important to be able to cover your costs of living, to support yourself and perhaps your family.
Not taking it seriously for many practitioners just ends up creating stress.
Now, you and I know as practitioners that stress is not something that promotes health. So my advice is stop ignoring it and start working out how to make it work for you rather than against you.
How do you manage your money? The best way is start by creating a budget.
Write down all of your costs of living and costs of running your practice. If you separate the two, which is advisable, then do separate budgets for each of these areas.
Some of the things you will need to include in your practice budget include:
- Licensing fees
- Continuing education costs
- Equipment costs
- Consumables (such as massage oils, acupuncture needles etc)
- Accounting costs
- Internet fees (such as web hosting, online booking software etc)
- Wages (including yours)
- Retirement/superannuation fund contributions
Now, once you have all of these, this makes up your costs for the year. They obviously won’t all come at once but, by being aware of these costs, you can plan for them.
This saves getting hit with a whole heap of bills all at once and then running around frantically trying to find the money to pay them. This is totally unnecessary.
I divide this total figure by 52 to give me how much each of these things essentially cost me each week.
Once I know that then I put away this amount each week into a separate bank account to make sure when my bills come I’ve got it covered.
I also now know how much I need to earn each week to stop me going backwards.
One last thing … live within your means!!!
I can’t tell you how many times I have worked with practitioners who have had no idea about their financial situation only to find they were going backwards mainly because they were spending money on things that weren’t essential – like new cars.
If you know what you are earning and what your costs are then you can adapt if you need to before things become problematic.
Money doesn’t have to be stressful if you learn to own it more and manage it better.
If you need help, feel free to drop us a line and we will be happy to provide you with any additional resources you might need to help your money be stress free.
Don’t forget that coming up to the end of the financial year is a good time to make purchases that you are going to need for the next year – as long as you can afford them!
It will reduce your taxable income meaning you will pay less tax.
Some ideas might include:
- Massage supplies
- Marketing material
If you want to learn more about how to make your practice rock without having to hustle or sell your soul then check out our upcoming events in 2016:
Marketing with Soul: Melbourne, July 24
Love Your Practice Bali Retreat: September 4 – 11
- Jeff Shearer is a Chinese medicine practitioner who has had multiple successful practices and now practises in Newcastle, NSW. Jeff also runs Ethical Practice, an information-based service to assist practitioners.