4 Easy Ways to Find Financial Success as a Yoga Teacher. ~ Cailen Ascher

For yoga teachers talking about money is often the verbal equivalent of nails on a chalkboard—we avoid it at all costs.

But, like it or not, money “makes the world go ‘round”, or so they say, and in order to enjoy a fruitful, fulfilling life, you have to be money-smart.

People with nine-to-five jobs have it easy—their employers automatically deduct money for taxes, health insurance and retirement savings from their paychecks. But, as yoga teachers, we function as small business owners and we have to be even more wary of tracking our funds if we want to enjoy financial stability and security.

If thinking about your finances is the last thing you feel like doing, I hear ya. It’s not my favorite thing either, but it’s necessary. Just think of it as that one yoga pose you can’t stand but you know you’ll feel better for moving through it in your practice. And, the poses we like the least, are often the ones we need the most.

If you’re ready to proudly claim your spot as a money-smart yoga teacher, here are four ways to set yourself for financial success.

1. Set An Income Goal

The simple act of writing your salary goal on paper will help you achieve it!  Now, when you do this, don’t just arbitrarily pick a number out of thin air, think about your living expenses, what you need to set aside for taxes, insurance and other necessities. Also consider what amount of “extra” income you would like for extras like dinners out and travel.

Once you know how much you need to live the lifestyle you want, you can break it that number down into categories to see how much money you need to be bringing in from public classes, private clients, workshops, retreats, teacher trainings, speaking gigs, etc. to make that income goal a reality for yourself.

2. Keep Track

Even though your primary passion is teaching yoga, that doesn’t mean you can let the business side of things slip—especially if you want to increase the money you’re making! Keep a detailed spreadsheet and input how much money you bring in, from what, how much money you spend and on what you spend it.

Keeping track will give you a clear sense of which are the most profitable aspects of teaching and which aren’t.  Also, come tax time, you’ll be able to see what expenditures you can write-off, like additional trainings that you took or the money you spent on gas driving to and from the studio.

3. Give Yourself A Raise

Most yoga teachers do not charge what they’re worth. You’ve spent thousands of dollars on trainings, have taught for hundreds of hours, and yet you’re working for $15-35 an hour.

First and foremost, you need to recognize, acknowledge and honor that you’re worth it!  Your knowledge of yoga and your ability to teach it is valuable to people—and it’s okay to charge for it.

Charging for services is merely an exchange of value—the value of your teaching for monetary value. Nothing more, nothing less. Take a look at the salary goal you set for yourself, and then seriously consider raising your hourly rate if what you’re charging now isn’t affording you the lifestyle you want and deserve.

4. Save

Now that you’ve given yourself a raise, hopefully you’re making enough money to be able to save some. Instead of dumping all your extra earnings into one catch-all account, create separate savings accounts for each item you’re saving for. For example, have one account for taxes and insurance, another for retirement, another for business savings and one for personal savings. That way, when tax time rolls around you won’t suddenly see your personal savings dip dramatically.

Or, if you want to go on a 5-day yoga retreat to Mexico, you can see if you have enough in your business savings to make it happen—and then write it off as a biz expense!

Financial security isn’t the sexiest of topics but it’s a necessary one, especially if you’re hoping to grow your teaching into a source of steady part- or full-time income.

Plus, when you get money-smart, track your expenses and see where the “holes” are in your budding yoga biz, you’ll be able to remedy them before they turn into big problems. Also, you’ll notice the most profitable areas of teaching and be able to capitalize on them moving forward! It’s a total win-win.

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Assistant Ed. Paige Vignola/Ed: Bryonie Wise

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Zach Jan 15, 2014 7:22pm

Excellent post! Being financially stable regardless of your current job or situation, is always important. It can be used for emergency funds, or whatever crisis that comes your way.

baxleybarley Jan 2, 2014 11:21pm

Becoming fiscally profitable implies you happen to be answerable for your hard earned money rather than that controlling an individual. Your pay doesn’t actually determine how fiscally profitable you happen to be – your alternatives in addition to points accomplish. avoid property taxes

Mr Tang Oct 22, 2013 11:49am

Favourited as both a good dose of common business sense and a well-grounded, well reasoned, well experienced (!) article. Thank you 🙂

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Cailen Ascher

Cailen Ascher is a marketing maven & yoga entrepreneur who wants to live in a world where everyone’s dream job is their day job and yoga pants are acceptable work attire. As an internationally-known marketing expert and entrepreneur, she’s been spotlighted on elephant journal, MindBodyGreen, Yogi Times, YogipreneurTV, My Yoga Online, LKR Social Media, and Gary Vaynerchuk’s “1 a Day Q&A”. Sign-up for Cailen’s free weekly newsletter to discover how to transform your yoga teaching “hobby” into a career and claim your FREE copy of Cailen’s Yoga Biz Essentials e-book.  You can also find Cailen on Twitter and Facebook.