September 15, 2019 EDIT: I have created a worksheet for you to calculate your expenses. Before you make edits in Canva, please make a copy of the document first. Making edits to the Master version changes the document for everyone else who has downloaded the worksheet. Canva version and a PDF version.
Oh man, deciding on your rate can be one of the hardest things in business. At least for me. Am I charging too much, not enough, I thought I had the right price but after this project, I ended up making pennies on the dollar, why did I just quote this potential client that insane rate for a tiny project...all of these feelings and more.
It's very exciting and empowering being able to be one-hundred percent control over what you are paid and there is no right or wrong price, it's based on YOU. Yup, just YOU. Your experience, knowledge, expertise, value, financial situation, how much you NEED to make, how much you WANT to make and everything else in this realm.
This blog will be about 3-4 parts because I want you to not make the same mistakes I did. I was all over the place with my rate. Too low, too high, charging the perfect amount and two weeks later I was giving my services away for free. I was as far away from consistent and knowing my worth as one could be. But, I'm human. I still make mistakes in this area, but those mistakes are nowhere near as bad as they were.
Now, the first step is to determine how much money you NEED to make. How much money do you need to pay all of your monthly bills and miscellaneous expenses? I hate seeing generic numbers on topics like this, I want to see what REAL people do. Therefore, I'm going to be sharing my real numbers. Yup. I'm actually pretty scared, I'm not sure why, but I am the same person like you, with the same bills and responsibilities - and I don't think that generic numbers do us much good.
Now let's see what I NEED to make monthly to be able to survive. Here we go...
Water $220 (avg)
Gas (Home) $80 (avg)
3 cell phones $97
Amazon Prime $9
Car Insurance $150
Gas (Car) $150 (avg)
Brec school $40 (misc. field trips, lunch money, etc.)
Dog Food $40 (every other month)
Bird Food $15 (every 6 weeks)
My home expenses come to $2,687 - When I do these calculations I do not account for my husband's income. I've typically always made the bulk of the income and we've experienced job losses (at one point we were BOTH unemployed for 4 months) so I make sure my income can support us fully should it need to.
I recalculated my business expenses from my other post - I had said it was under $150, but it is $97. I'm not going to include this in the number b/c this would be one of the first things I'd stop paying if I needed to.
At a bare minimum I need to make $2,687 a month - let's say $3,000 just for those random situations that pop up. Now I know what I HAVE to make and can begin the next step of pricing out my services - we're not setting our rate yet, we are just going to list what XYZ service would cost.
But before we go to Part II, you are tasked with calculating what you NEED to make. You can include your spouse, partner, family, roommate's income, but I recommend that you don't, or don't account for all of it. You don't want to calculate wrong and come up short when we're all said and done.
You need to calculate EVERYTHING! Household bills, animal food, groceries, entertainment if that's something you do consistently and not just 1x every 2 months or so, activities, buying books, Audible, debt, rent-to-own furniture - everything. You may need to do some digging to get accurate numbers, that's why this will be your first task before we can move on.
The easiest way to do this is to pull up your bank account and look at the last full month's transactions (August) and highlight all of the bills. It's easier than searching for every payment coupon and signing into 19 different websites. I have a template for you to use to make it easier for you and keep your number organized. You can use the PDF version and print the worksheet or use a PDF filler such as this one. Or you can access the Canva version here. Remember to make a copy of the Canva version and do not make edits to the Master, doing so changes the document for anyone else who has downloaded it.
Part II will be up next Thursday, but promise me you won't read it until you've done this task - k? You will understand why this piece is so important soon.
Now get to work! Good luck and I'll see you back here on Thursday!
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