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Strategies to prevent financial burnout


Hello hello and welcome to Greedy Bitch, a podcast where groomers stop apologizing for charging their worth.  I’m your host River Lee, founder of the Savvy Groomer.

Let’s talk about today's topic:

Strategies to Prevent Financial Burnout

Burnout is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion that results from prolonged exposure to high levels of stress, especially in the workplace. Burnout can impact various aspects of a person’s life, including their mental and physical well-being. It often occurs when individuals face excessive work demands, experience little control or support in their roles, and are unable to adequately recover from stress.

There are three types of groomer burnout and we will be focusing on financial burnout today. This is the type that sounds like: “I’m too broke to keep doing this. I don’t understand how I work and still can’t get ahead!”

So what does it look like? Here are some signs of being financially burnt out: impulse spending, avoiding financial responsibilities, you can barely pay (or can’t pay) your bills, you feel like you’re working all the time but not making ends meet.

Financial burnout occurs when the stress of managing finances and sustaining a stable income becomes overwhelming.

Listening to Dave Ramsey’s Entreleadership or another business podcast I often hear them ask a business owner: If you made a million dollars doing what you’re doing, would you keep doing it? Would you? If you won the lottery, would you become a hobby groomer? Would you spend your days grooming/showing, or grooming rescues for free? Is your burnout related to your financial situation?

Here are some ways to get your finances under control.

One: Get on a written monthly budget. 

One important step towards financial stability is implementing a written monthly budget. Think of a budget as a leash for your money. Without it, your money is free to roam and wreak havoc on your life. If you’re only vaguely following a budget, it’s like having a dog on a flexi leash, causing chaos wherever it goes. Take control by tracking your income and expenses diligently. 

Two: Think about what really matters.

Do an inventory on what is important to you and what are “deserves”. This was a hard one for me to come to terms with. I deserved to be able to sit and watch 5 hours of TV on my day off. My son deserved to go to Disney for missing all the time away from me. I deserved a fancy fully loaded outrageously expensive SUV because I worked so hard. The reality is I was trying to buy things that made me happy, and in the end it didn’t make my job any easier or my life any better. 

It’s essential to reflect on what truly matters to you and distinguish between wants and needs. Sometimes, we convince ourselves that we deserve certain luxuries, but these purchases don’t necessarily make our lives better or our jobs easier. Take inventory of your priorities and focus on aligning your spending with what genuinely brings you joy and fulfillment.

Three: Be cautious of impulse shopping.

Impulse shopping is a real thing, and it can be a financial drain. Target? Amazon one click? That tradeshow credit card oops? Whatever those impulse buys are, you need to stop as it can wreak havoc on your budget. If it isn’t in your written budget for the month, it has to wait until next month. Exercise restraint. Let it sit in your head for a month. I can almost promise you that it won’t be such an important purchase after a week or two. I’m guilty as charged. I love to buy that “wipe your paws” doormat at Target. I ordered a kitty-shaped backpack on Amazon. And when I go to a tradeshow I have to set limits so I don’t accidentally spend several thousand dollars on things I never knew I needed. 

Here are some ways to make some extra money:

  • Take a hard look at your pricing.

Are you charging everything you should have for that once a year Saint Bernard? How about that super matted doodle? Why are you not charging a bandaid fee, or an aggressive pet fee, for that saber-toothed Scottie? Are you charging appropriately for the more time-consuming and challenging grooming sessions? If you’re constantly booked out weeks in advance, it may be time to adjust your prices to reflect the demand for your services.  

  • Consider selling relevant add-ons.

I mean, don’t be the piece of crap used car salesman. Sell add-ons that people want and fit your business model. Is that German Shepherd molting? Be sure to charge appropriately to account for that de-shed that you will need to do. I’m sure that client would like a month without vacuuming 10 times a day. Offer nail color to someone who is all dolled up and wants her pooch to match them, or be the topic of conversation. The possibilities are endless. Think creatively and provide valuable extras that your clients will appreciate and be willing to pay for.

That said, make sure add-ons fit your model. Personally, River Lee of the Savvy Groomer, I am not a big fan of add-ons. I personally think they’re not worth the trouble, but in your business model this might just be the thing that you need.

  • For business owners, make sure you own a business and not just a job.

Too often business owners are working 60-80 hours a week making as much as they would have working a 40 hour a week job for another salon. Make sure the money you are making is more than your local area’s groomer’s salary. If it’s the same or less, consider why that is. You pay all your own taxes and have to take on all the risk. Make sure you own a business and not just a job. 

  • For employees, make sure you’re stable.

Make sure you’re making quality money and that you’re in a stable position. When you take your average week and multiply it by 50 weeks, assuming 2 weeks off for vacation/sick time, is that how much you made last year? Are there any normal low times? Times you work like a crazy person? I started to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s so I could let my body recover after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Instead of working in the slow times, plan your vacations during those times so you don’t lose money during the busy times. 

Financial burnout can take a toll on pet groomers, affecting our overall well-being and job satisfaction. By implementing a written budget, reassessing priorities, curbing impulse spending, and exploring avenues for increased income, pet groomers can regain control over their finances and alleviate the strain that leads to burnout. Remember, a healthy financial situation is essential for long-term career satisfaction and personal well-being. 


Thank you all so much for listening to this podcast, Strategies to Prevent Financial Burnout. Be sure to visit me at SavvyGroomer.com 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