How do I save money when I'm struggling?

This episode is sponsored by Personal Finance on a Leash, a 12 module masterclass where we teach you all about your personal finances.

Today I’ll be talking to employees.

Did you seek employment at a place you can afford to work at?

How much money do you have to make in order to survive, live, and thrive? Do you know how much that is? Depending on your lifestyle, ask yourself, “How much money do I need to survive and just pay the bills?” “How much money do I need to live where I have enough money to surviive and enough to be comfortable?” Whether that’s little creature comforts like Netflix, little things that make you happy, and you’re not living like a monk or in a cave. And then thrive is putting money towards retirement or having the correct types of insurance. These are both things which we should be doing anyway, but a lot of times we just cannot afford a lot of those extra luxuries that come with being in thrive. So knowing where you are in your financial stance will help you begin there, and then knowing how much money you need to earn in order to do that will help get you further along.

For example, let’s say that you know in fact that you need $2,000 a month to survive, but you are actually making $5,000. Perfect, you are making enough to be in live and almost enough to be in thrive.

If you have enough money, then why aren’t you saving?

Do you have a written budget?

A budget is not about withholding money, a budget is all about giving your money direction. I generally use the example of an appointment book. If we just had customers come and go as they pleased, and they just showed up whenever they wanted to, and they just picked up whenever they wanted to, our lives would be in chaos. Maybe you know you make enough money and you have a written budget, but you still can’t save.

Do you keep track of your expenses?

And this would be like if you had an appointment book and you had what everyone’s appointment should be, but you’re not actually paying attention to what’s coming and going.

I use an app called Every Dollar. You can either input it directly or link it to your bank account.

Now, what if you still have money after creating a budget and tracking your expenses? Well, there should not be money left over. That money needs a place to go. When you’re doing a zero-based budget, you have to actually allocate money and write a category for savings. If you’re on a written budget and you’re allocating money, and you’ve written let’s say $500 a month for savings, but it’s not there, then something’s going on.

There could be drama going on in your life. There could be family trouble or something else going on.

But if you say that you’re going to put away $500 this month, and you spend it on popsicles you have no one to blame but yourself.

Now if you have a chronically sick pet, if you have a family member who’s asking you for money, those are things that you’re going to have to make lifestyle choices about. That’s tough. It’s tough to make lifestyle choices. You’re going to have to cut something.

Now let’s say you’re not making enough money.

Have you considered a second job?

Can you work more hours at another shop? Can you do one or two more dogs per week? Another option is to start your own little side business.

Have you considered selling some of your things?

Go in your grooming drawers and see what you have. I promise that you have way too many scissors, you have way too many blades, so you can sell one. Is it going to get you as much as you paid for it? Never, but that’s okay. If you need another one down the road when you’re more financially stable, it’s okay, you’ll have the money later. Don’t worry about it. Same goes for things to sell around the house.

Have you asked for a raise?

This is where I really prefer for people to have hourly rather than commission. They’re not going to increase their prices for you as an employee. That’s not going to happen.

You could always say to your boss, “Hey, I really can’t afford to take commission on a $25 lab bath, when I have to turn away $65 Yorkies or Shih Tzus. At my skill set and my level, I would really like to focus on doing that.” They may say no, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Do you need a lifestyle change?

What are you spending your money on? Go through your budget. What can you cut? Don’t pick things that you genuinely enjoy, that make you happy, or that make you a better worker, because if you cut those things out, then it’s going to make it really hard for you. Eventually you’re going to feel weary from grooming, you’re going to feel burnt out, because you sucked all the joy out of your life.

What is it that’s stopping you from saving? Is it your habits? Have you considered an automatic withdrawal? As an employee, it’s easier for you to have a certain amount of money from each paycheck go into a certain account.

A lot of it comes down to overspending too.

Do you have debts to pay?

What are you in debt for? Debt is you’ve already spent the money and now you’re working to pay it off. Savings is you’re going to work and you’re going to have the money. They’re just opposite ends.

If you guys are interested in learning more about Personal Finance on a Leash, be sure to visit me at This is a 12 module masterclass where we teach you how to get on a personal budget, learn how to work with your money, and change your relationship with your money.

Thank you all so much for reading these show notes for How do I Save Money when I’m Struggling? Be sure to visit me at to see my current opportunities to work with me in growing your pet grooming business plus more free resources for you to learn. See you in our community on Facebook - Savvy Pet Professionals! As always, Happy Grooming