I’m really embarrassed to admit that prior to this month I wasn’t tracking my income as a yoga teacher and blogger.
Sure, I had a general idea of how much I was making. But I never actually sat down to make a fancy spreadsheet and get really honest about how much money I make each week. The thought of it both intimidated and scared me.
One of my goals for 2019, though, is to get my shit together when it comes to tracking my income. I got some big ass goals I want to conquer financially. My first goal: Make the same amount of money per month as I did at my old full-time job. Granted my job prior to grad school didn’t pay great. It was a glorified entry-level position. But… it’s a salary I can survive on and a solid first financial goal to hit.
How I Make Money
I have a few different “buckets” of income at the moment:
- my main gig: the yoga classes I teach at CorePower Yoga and Y7
- community classes I’m teaching for Bar Method instructor training
- blogging + instagram partnerships [mainly sponsored posts but every so often affiliate links]
- freelance writing for other websites
Why it gets complicated
My income varies week-by-week. As a yoga teacher I get paid-per-head for some of my yoga classes. This means I make more money when more people show up. Some of my classes, though, I get paid a flat rate. Depends on the studio and time slot.
[Warning: I’m going to get really real for a moment]
As a blogger I make money when I do a sponsored post. It would surprise you to hear how little I honestly make from blogging — even though I spend a lot of time on the blog. I personally have avoided adding ads to my website to keep things clean and user friendly. I say no to 99% of partnership that come my way. Not everything is the right fit for this blog.
My blogging income varies a lot. I don’t share sponsored posts or freelance write every week. Sometimes I’m doing a lot of partnerships, other times it’s more quiet. And sometimes the partnerships come with a big paycheck. It really depends.
How I’m tracking my income every week
Every Monday for the past few years I’ve sat down to track some of my KPI’s for the blog and instagram. I’ll go through phases where I track nitty gritty things like how many likes each instagram post got or overall blog traffic. Lately, though, I’ve just been tracking instagram growth and noting if there’s anything that might’ve influenced growth [or lack there of] that week like a big brand mentioning me.
On Monday’s I’m now also sitting down to review the previous week’s earnings. The thought of doing this always intimidated me but once I sat down and actually made a spreadsheet I realized it’s kind of fun. I like seeing everything written out in a Google Sheet. I find it easier than staring at my bank account trying to make sense out of my various paychecks.
On my spread sheet I’m tracking:
- # of classes I teach each week
- attendance in each class (if it’s pay-per-head)
- total $ made from teaching + Bar Method classes
- any blog / instagram / freelance projects that went live that week + amount due.
- This is super important as I spent the final weeks of 2018 tracking down old invoices and hounding brands to pay up. I’ve been highlighting anything that’s an “unpaid” invoice in red so I can easily circle back with that brand at the end of the month if it’s still unpaid.
- total $ made that week
Obviously I’ve only just started this method since the first week of January but I’ll also do some reports at the end of the month regarding total income, classes taught, etc.
Also… I know this doesn’t take into consideration taxes and things of that nature [there’s a reason I avoided finance classes in business school…] but it gives me a holistic overview of how much money I’m making. Which is a lot better than my previous method of glancing at my bank account + PayPal account once a month or so and shrugging in confusion.
What I’ve learned so far
The hustle is REAL my friends, but it’s paying off. Literally.
I plugged the classes I already taught this week into the spreadsheet and legit cried when I realized how much money I made this week. It’s not a HUGE amount by any means, but I am so close to first goal of making the same salary as I did before grad school. Holy. Moly.
I am finally starting to feel like I’m on the right path. And that this is a feasible career path. My schedule isn’t perfect, and I’m still looking to grow my streams of income beyond teaching [in ways that feel authentic to me]. But actually plugging the numbers into a spreadsheet gave me a HUGE boost of confidence. Things are actually starting to fall into place. And hallelujah to that — I don’t think I could go back to a 9-5 job and wearing real clothes all day 😂
One last note
I’m really open about these things because I know I personally have A LOT of questions about financially supporting yourself when you’re following a non-traditional career path.
I know many bloggers and freelancers are defensive when people ask how they make money. For me I want to keep this conversation open to help other people that might be in a similar career situation to me. Or maybe want to be and don’t know how to make money doing what they love.
If you’re also following a non-traditional career path, I hope this helps! Or at least gives you some tools for starting to think about your income.
Friends with non-traditional jobs: How do you track your income? Any favorite tools or tricks?