Financial Wellness and Planning for Therapists in Private Practice

Published: January 31, 2024 by Zencare Team

A new year can present therapists the opportunity to reevaluate their private practice’s finances and check in on their budget — especially with tax season just around the corner. January is a natural time to take a deep dive into financial management, both personal and practice, and invest time and effort into financial planning.

Financial planning doesn’t have to be a paid service and it also doesn’t need to be stressful. We’re sharing some financial tools for therapists in private practice, covering topics like money-saving strategies, how to set your practice up for success, and helpful resources.

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Assessing Practice Finances

To begin planning for the future, it can be useful to take stock of your practice finances in the present. While checking your bank account balance is a good start, the best way to take stock is a comprehensive review of what’s coming into your practice and what’s going out by reviewing bank statements line-by-line, as well as reflecting on the reasons behind those numbers.

To thoroughly assess your practice finances, consider the following questions:

While you may be able to answer those questions off the top of your head, it can be eye-opening to reference your bank statements and calculate what’s actually happening. For example, you might find that your EHR is your biggest cost, that your clients have past-due payments, or that you’re actually not spending that much on marketing like you had originally thought.

The next place to turn your attention is towards areas for growth within your practice. These don’t necessarily need to be financially-focused to help you reflect on any changes you want to make. Ask yourself these questions:

You might find it helpful to write down your answers to process your thoughts — this is also a great way to keep records of what’s happening for your practice. In a few years, it might be fun to look back at where you were today!

By analyzing your current financial situation and establishing the full picture, thinking through what’s next for your practice and what you need to do for personal and practice success becomes easier.

Investigating Cost-Saving Opportunities

Cost of living can have an enormous impact on private practices as well as on the therapists themselves. Many therapists find that they need to save money by reducing their expenses to remain profitable. They might realize, after their financial deep dive, that they’re overspending on practice upkeep, whether that’s the technology to support online sessions, office rent, marketing services, or more. While many of these expenses, upon first thought, seem necessary to keep your practice open, there may be ways to save on their costs.

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Cost-Cutting Strategies

Cutting costs is never easy, but it is a worthwhile endeavor for small businesses including therapy private practices. To explore ways to save money, consider the following for your practice:

Budgeting Techniques

Healthy finances are supported by healthy budgeting techniques. Because managing money isn’t taught in mental health graduate programs, budgeting can be a stressful responsibility for a therapist. However, using effective budgeting techniques can make a world of difference when it comes to saving money on expenses while also increasing practice revenue.

To plan your practice budget for the year, check out Zencare’s Therapy Session Fee Calculator, which calculates just how much you need to charge clients per session when taking into consideration how many sessions you want per day, where you live, and your practice’s regular expenses. Reevaluating your session fee is even more important given the changes in cost of living over the past few years, as is reevaluating how much sliding scale sessions you offer. Having a solid rationale for increases — and having a way to try out different rates and see their impact on your budget — means feeling more comfortable when making financial decisions for your practice.

Clients may be willing to pay more for therapists who have certifications in approaches like Eye Movement Desensitization and Processing (EMDR), Brainspotting, Biofeedback, and others. Investing in additional training might pay off, if it means that you can charge more per session and increase your practice’s income.

To maintain a budget, there are many apps to use that can help you track income and expenses. Fortune offers a full list of The 10 best budgeting apps for 2024, including apps like PocketGuard, EveryDollar, Wally, and Simplifi. There are also many products out there for tax preparation, which includes free educational resources and free tax filing platforms.

Resources for Financial Planning

For a resource to be budget-friendly, it needs to make your job easier so you have more time for your work while also not being itself an expensive cost.  Zencare offers Zencare Practice Management Solution as a cost effective EHR. For therapists who take private pay clients, using the Private Pay Booster is another great resource to increase your income, as it makes it easier to support clients’ use of insurance. Lastly, Zencare’s therapist directory is a low-cost way to attract new prospective clients your way.


Financial planning is a key activity for running a therapy practice, and when done effectively, can set up your practice for sustainable success and provide you with the income you need to enjoy your life outside of the practice.

By reflecting on your finances and putting numbers to ideas, you’ll establish a comprehensive understanding of your practice’s financial situation. Making decisions about where to save money and what’s worth the investment becomes a lot easier when you have the full picture.

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