Do you have a haphazard list of invoices that you send off and cringe at the idea of finding receipts during tax season? Congratulations, you’re a normal person. Let’s implement these simple hacks to ride the system though ok? Read on.
Open a business bank account
Do you have one bank account through which your money goes in an out in a haphazard mix of receiving freelance payments, shouting rounds of shots, buying costumes and paying for an awkward tinder date? Fam, that’s a hot mess.
Open a separate bank account for all your dance related money to filter in and out. Every time you go to make a payment, think about whether you can claim this back as a work expense during tax time and use your business bank card accordingly. Buying costumes, attending dance workshops, paying for an Uber to a gig and even going to a dance concert is all counted as freelance dance industry costs.
What about all those personal costs though? Siphon a set sum into your personal account weekly as if you’re paying yourself a wage.
When tax time rolls around, you’ll have a neat bank statement to comb through that shows all your dance costs, dance income and a neat weekly/monthly outgoing personal spending sum.
Invoice and track your dollars via an invoicing app
At Groove Therapy we often book dancers for jobs and, let me tell you, the kinds of invoices we receive are horrendous.
Rather than create a template on a Word doc though, get an invoicing system or app so everything is neatly laid out automatically. Less work for you means more time dancing. Win.
My go-to is Wave, which is 100% free and super user-friendly. The dashboard shows you how much money you’re making and how much you’re spending weekly/monthly/yearly with colourful pictures and graphs to make the whole money thing fun! Kinda.
Invoicing apps like Wave also link up with your bank account so you can manage your income and expenses in one place for rock-solid bookkeeping.
Draw up a baseline happiness budget
Ryan Howard, author of a slew of inspiring business books, is an amazing authority on entrepreneurship. On the topic of money, he once said “If you don’t know how much you need, the answer is always more”
Try this exercise
Write a list of all your weekly/monthly costs and spending:
- Phone bill
- Taking class
- Weekly date night
- Weekend dranks
- Getting your nails did
- Public transport
- Saving for overseas trip
The total sum of this weekly is your baseline happiness budget, i.e. the minimum amount of money you need in order to survive, enjoy life and even save a little without hyperventilating. Once you have a solid figure, you know what you’re working towards.
You might even realise that you’re doing ok and can maybe chill a little more.
In summary; outline your baseline happiness sum and simply aim to hit that target with your income weekly or monthly.
Save save save
You know why saving is great? Because being broke aint cute. The first step to saving is opening a savings account and setting up a weekly auto-pay system that squirrels a little money into it withought you even realising.
As little as $25 a week turns into $1300 in a year, which can cover the cost of a small trip overseas. For those of you who have lofty ideas of travelling the world, start squirrelling!
Aside from a savings account, I also recommend opening an emergency funds account that you also set up with auto-pay. This means if your car breaks down, your cat needs an emergency nose job or your insurance comes after you with a hidden fee you have an account with a little buffer money for those ‘surprise’ costs.
Once you feel like you can start to cruise on that money flow a little more, you can start to think about investing, superannuation and raising capital for business ventures.
For now though, just Marie Kondo the basics and let yourself breathe a little. Money doesn’t have to be so gross.
Groove Therapy is an organisation that focuses on dance as a vehicle for mental, physical and social change. Through an unrelenting obsession to learn, unlearn and contribute to the betterment of humanity, Groove Therapy teaches beginner weekly ‘no mirror, dim lights’ classes across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia. For those who cannot geographically attend, Groove Therapy has a series of online courses. Get out of your head and into your body. Dance a little baby.