This time of year is perfect for fixing your studio finances because decisions and changes made in November and December can be fully implemented in the new year, freeing up some mental space before theholidays and tax season. While everyone is in a different space financially, you can give yourself a checkup to see where to go next.
- If you have not been paying yourself a regular salary or you are underearning, it’s time to set in motion a real plan to change your business to compensate you fairly. Perhaps you are only paying yourself for teaching and not the administrative hours, or your pay varies month to month, now is the time to prioritize yourself and set a plan to increase and schedule your pay.
- If you are receiving fair compensation, look at your payroll and what the cost-of-living increases are going to be in the new year or season. Perhaps it’s time to start or increase your retirement savings as well. Take the time to talk to a certified Financial Coach or Advisor and make goals for the next year.
- Check your spending. Some of us are natural spenders and there are times when we impulse buy, hang on to subscriptions longer than we need, or buy items we simply don’t need. Look at your expenses and evaluate how you’ve been spending.
- Make a budget for the new year. Use the current year as a starting point and estimate your expenses, any big or new programs or renovations, as well income projections for tuition, costumes, uniforms, and events. Creating a budget and then following through with tracking money in a financial software helps you stay on track and reach your goals.
- Attack your debts. Credit cards and loans can quickly eat up your income making it hard to save, invest, handle small emergencies, and feel at peace. Jot down all debts from smallest to largest and start paying extra towards the smallest balance until it is paid in full. Then repeat until each debt is paid off, using the money that was earmarked for the smallest debt towards the next. This is the debt snowball that gives you a sense of hope when you see debts being eliminated. As you see balances going down, you’ll feel encouraged to keep going! This will take time, and it is totally worth it to be debt free.
Ginger Haithcox is a born leader. She graduated with high honors from Douglass College, Rutgers University with a BA in Religion, and a minor in Cultural Anthropology and completed an array of dance, performance, and production courses at Raritan Valley Community College.
Ginger is a consummate professional, collaborative team player, and creative colleague that consistently delivers programs and products of excellence. In addition to the above, she’s the principal owner of Haithcox Business Solutions, which offers mentoring and support services for aspiring entrepreneurs.