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52+ Self Employed Personal Trainer Expenses

52+ Self Employed Personal Trainer Expenses

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®) on June 3, 2023 ā€” Updated on November 14, 2023

Read this big list of self employed personal trainer expenses with personal trainer tax deductions you can write off as an expense for your personal training business. As a self-employed personal trainer, it can be hard to navigate the costs and expenses that come along with running your own business. From equipment maintenance to taxes, there are many factors to consider when managing your finances. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of self-employment for personal trainers and the expenses that come with it.

Dean Somerset - Bird Dog
“Developing an easy intake system with my apps and ways to scale the delivery of workouts has been huge. Working with 20-30 individuals who each have specific goals and restrictions can be challenging, but your platform makes it easy to organize everyoneā€™s programs and put a plan together that will get them the best results possible. The simple, effective tools help expand and simplify my coaching process.”
Dean Somerset
Owner, Somerset Fitness

Once you learn all about self employed personal training expenses, what you can write off as personal trainer tax deductions, and browse through common personal trainer business expenses, then if you want to run an online fitness business with the best software for personal trainers, then see why Exercise.com is the best software to run your entire fitness business all in one place. You can sell workout plans online, run online workout groups, start fitness challenges, do online personal training, and more, all from your own custom-branded fitness apps.

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List of 52+ Personal Trainer Expenses

Read through this list of common personal trainer expenses for tax deduction purposes, and then make sure you are claiming all appropriate write offs on your personal training business tax return.

  1. Fitness equipment purchase or lease
  2. Equipment maintenance and repairs
  3. Professional development and continuing education
  4. Fitness certification renewal fees
  5. Insurance: health, liability, and property
  6. Rent for gym or studio space
  7. Utilities (if renting a private space)
  8. Marketing and advertising expenses
  9. Website development and maintenance
  10. Professional photography for marketing
  11. Social media management tools
  12. Membership fees for fitness organizations
  13. Professional services like accounting or legal
  14. Health and fitness software subscription (like Exercise.com)
  15. Music licensing for classes
  16. Travel expenses for client visits
  17. Office supplies
  18. Business cards and other printed promotional materials
  19. Personal training clothing and uniforms
  20. Cleaning supplies for equipment and facilities
  21. Business license fees
  22. Taxes
  23. Internet and phone bills
  24. Computer and office equipment
  25. Mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) for business use
  26. Transportation costs (fuel, maintenance, insurance, etc.)
  27. Refreshments for clients (water, protein bars, etc.)
  28. Fitness journals and planners for clients
  29. Subscriptions to health and fitness publications
  30. Fitness DVDs, books, and other resources
  31. Bank fees related to your business account
  32. Payroll expenses if you hire other trainers or administrative staff
  33. Retirement contributions
  34. Employee benefits if you have staff (health insurance, worker’s compensation, etc.)
  35. Cost of hiring subcontractors (other trainers, cleaning staff, etc.)
  36. Business consulting services
  37. Interest on business loans
  38. Depreciation of business assets
  39. Home office expenses (if applicable)
  40. Fitness assessment tools (heart rate monitors, body composition analyzers, etc.)
  41. Specialty equipment for niche markets (yoga mats, Pilates equipment, boxing gloves, etc.)
  42. Software for creating workout plans and tracking client progress
  43. Legal fees for drafting waivers and contracts
  44. Networking event fees
  45. Client gifts and incentives
  46. Gym bag and other personal gear for work
  47. Cost of music or other media used in training sessions
  48. Fees for payment processing or credit card transactions
  49. Postage and delivery for mailing items to clients
  50. Safety equipment like first aid kits
  51. Subscriptions for fitness apps used in training.
  52. Nutrition and meal planning software.
  53. Costs of health or wellness workshops and seminars.
  54. Costs related to maintaining a clean and safe training environment (sanitizers, wipes, etc.).
  55. Fees for online fitness platforms for virtual training.
  56. Exercise.com software!
AMPD Golf Performance
“Working with Exercise.com and their team has been an amazing experience and a dream come true in terms of accomplishing a vision! Their workout technology has helped us effectively engage our community, and I highly recommend Exercise.com to grow your business!”
Andrew Banner
Co-Founder, AMPD Golf Performance

Want to scale your fitness business with software for both in-person and online growth? Get a demo now!

Understanding Self-Employment for Personal Trainers

Defining Self-Employment

Self-employment is a popular career choice for personal trainers who want to have more control over their work and schedule. Essentially, it means that you work for yourself rather than for an employer. As a self-employed personal trainer, you are responsible for finding clients, scheduling appointments, and managing all aspects of your business. This can be challenging, but it can also offer a great deal of flexibility and control.

One of the biggest advantages of self-employment is that you have the freedom to set your own rates and choose the types of clients you want to work with. This means that you can tailor your services to meet the needs of your clients and build a business that aligns with your personal values and goals.

Benefits of Being a Self-Employed Personal Trainer

There are many benefits to being a self-employed personal trainer. For starters, you have complete control over your schedule. This means that you can work as much or as little as you want, depending on your personal and professional goals. You can also take time off when you need it, without having to worry about getting approval from a boss or manager.

In addition to having more flexibility, self-employed personal trainers also have the ability to set their own rates. This means that you can charge what you feel your services are worth, rather than being limited by a salary or hourly wage. You can also choose the types of clients you want to work with and tailor your services to meet their needs. This can help you build a loyal client base and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Another benefit of self-employment is the ability to deduct certain expenses from your taxes. As a personal trainer, you may be able to deduct expenses such as gym memberships, equipment purchases, and travel expenses related to your business. This can help reduce your overall tax burden and increase your take-home pay.

Challenges of Self-Employment in the Fitness Industry

While there are many benefits to self-employment, there are also some challenges to consider. For example, it can be challenging to find clients and build a steady stream of income. As a self-employed personal trainer, you will need to be proactive in marketing your services and building your client base. This may involve networking, advertising, and offering promotions or discounts to attract new clients.

Another challenge of self-employment is the need to handle all aspects of your business. This includes tasks such as marketing, accounting, and administrative work. While you may be an expert in personal training, you may not have the same level of expertise in these areas. This can be time-consuming and stressful, especially if you are trying to balance these tasks with your personal and professional life.

Despite these challenges, many personal trainers find that self-employment is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice. By taking control of your work and schedule, you can build a business that aligns with your personal values and goals. With hard work and dedication, you can create a successful and thriving business as a self-employed personal trainer.

Essential Expenses for Self-Employed Personal Trainers

Being a self-employed personal trainer can be a rewarding and fulfilling career, but it also comes with its own set of expenses. In order to run a successful business, it’s important to understand the essential expenses that come with being a personal trainer. Here are some additional details on the expenses mentioned above:

Equipment and Maintenance Costs

When it comes to purchasing equipment, it’s important to invest in high-quality items that will last. While this may seem like a large upfront cost, it will save you money in the long run by avoiding frequent replacements. In addition to purchasing equipment, you’ll also need to budget for regular maintenance and repairs. This can include things like replacing worn-out resistance bands or getting your weightlifting equipment serviced.

Insurance and Liability Coverage

While insurance and liability coverage may seem like an unnecessary expense, it’s crucial for protecting your business and your clients. General liability insurance will protect you in case a client is injured while working with you, and professional liability insurance can protect you in case of a lawsuit related to your services. Workers’ compensation insurance is also important if you have any employees. Keep in mind that the cost of these policies will vary depending on the size of your business and the level of coverage you need.

Read More: Best Personal Trainer Insurance

Marketing and Advertising Expenses

When it comes to marketing and advertising, it’s important to create a cohesive brand that accurately represents your business. This can include creating a professional website, running targeted social media ads, and designing eye-catching business cards or flyers. Ongoing marketing and advertising campaigns can also help you reach new clients and grow your business over time.

Read More: How do I promote my fitness brand?

Certification and Continuing Education Fees

Continuing education is crucial for personal trainers who want to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and techniques. While certification programs and continuing education courses can be expensive, they are necessary for maintaining your professional knowledge and skills. Consider budgeting for these fees on a regular basis to ensure that you are always providing the best possible service to your clients.

Travel and Transportation Costs

When it comes to working with clients in different locations, transportation costs can add up quickly. If you use your own vehicle, you’ll need to account for fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs. You may also need to consider public transportation or ride-sharing services if you don’t have your own vehicle. Keep in mind that these costs can vary depending on the distance you need to travel and the frequency of your visits to different locations.

By understanding and budgeting for these essential expenses, you can set yourself up for success as a self-employed personal trainer. Remember that investing in your business now can lead to long-term success and growth.

Tax Deductions and Financial Planning

As a self-employed personal trainer, you have the flexibility to set your own schedule, choose your clients, and build your business on your own terms. However, with this freedom comes the responsibility of managing your finances and taxes. Understanding tax deductions and financial planning can help you maximize your savings and build a strong financial foundation for your business.

Read More: Gym Owner Tax Deductions

Common Tax Deductions for Personal Trainers

One of the key benefits of being self-employed is the ability to take advantage of tax deductions. As a personal trainer, there are several deductions you may be eligible for, including:

  • Home office expenses: If you work from home, you may be able to deduct a portion of your rent or mortgage, utilities, and other expenses related to your home office.
  • Equipment purchases: If you buy equipment for your business, such as weights, resistance bands, or exercise mats, you may be able to deduct the cost of these items.
  • Marketing and advertising expenses: If you spend money on marketing and advertising, such as creating flyers or running Facebook ads, you may be able to deduct these expenses.
  • Professional development: If you attend conferences or workshops to improve your skills as a personal trainer, you may be able to deduct the cost of these events.

It’s important to work with a tax professional to understand which deductions you qualify for and how to maximize your savings. By taking advantage of these deductions, you can lower your taxable income and keep more money in your pocket.

Record-Keeping and Expense Tracking

In order to take advantage of tax deductions and properly manage your finances, it’s essential to keep accurate records and track your expenses. This can include:

  • Saving receipts: Keep all receipts related to your business expenses, such as equipment purchases, marketing expenses, and professional development events.
  • Tracking mileage: If you use your personal vehicle for business purposes, such as traveling to client appointments or attending networking events, you may be able to deduct the cost of mileage. Keep track of your mileage by recording the date, destination, and purpose of each trip.
  • Using accounting software: Consider using accounting software, such as QuickBooks or FreshBooks, to stay organized and track your income and expenses. This can help you better understand your cash flow and make informed decisions about your business.

By keeping track of your expenses, you can ensure that you’re taking advantage of all eligible deductions and maximizing your savings. Plus, having organized records can make tax season much less stressful.

Hiring a Financial Advisor or Accountant

If you’re not comfortable managing your finances on your own, consider hiring a financial advisor or accountant. These professionals can help you create a budget, track your expenses, and plan for your financial future. While this may be an additional expense, it can be well worth the investment in the long run.

A financial advisor can help you make informed decisions about investing your money, planning for retirement, and managing your debt. An accountant can help you prepare your taxes and ensure that you’re taking advantage of all eligible deductions. By working with these professionals, you can feel confident that your finances are in good hands.

Budgeting and Financial Management Tips

Being a self-employed personal trainer can be a rewarding career, but it also requires careful financial management. In this article, we’ll explore some tips for creating a realistic budget, saving for emergencies, and investing in your business and personal growth.

Creating a Realistic Budget

When it comes to budgeting, it’s important to be realistic about your income and expenses. Start by tracking your monthly income, including revenue from training sessions, online coaching, and any other sources of income. Next, list out your expenses, both fixed (such as rent, utilities, and insurance) and variable (such as marketing expenses and equipment purchases).

Once you have a clear picture of your income and expenses, you can determine how much you can afford to spend each month. Be sure to leave some wiggle room for unexpected expenses, such as repairs or equipment replacement.

It’s also a good idea to set financial goals for yourself, such as paying off debt or saving for a down payment on a house. By having specific goals in mind, you’ll be more motivated to stick to your budget.

Saving for Emergencies and Unexpected Expenses

As a self-employed personal trainer, it’s important to have a financial cushion to fall back on in case of emergencies or unexpected expenses. This can include anything from a sudden drop in clients to a major equipment breakdown.

Consider setting up a separate savings account specifically for emergencies. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in this account. You can contribute to it regularly, either with a set amount each month or a percentage of your income.

Having an emergency fund can give you peace of mind and help you weather any financial storms that come your way.

Investing in Your Business and Personal Growth

Finally, don’t forget to invest in your business and personal growth. This can include attending conferences, taking courses, and hiring a coach or mentor.

Attending industry conferences can be a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in the fitness industry. You can also network with other professionals and potentially find new clients or business opportunities.

Taking courses or certifications can help you develop new skills and expand your offerings as a personal trainer. For example, you might take a course in nutrition coaching or specialize in working with clients with specific health conditions.

Hiring a coach or mentor can provide you with valuable guidance and support as you navigate the ups and downs of running a business. They can help you set and achieve goals, stay accountable, and provide a sounding board for new ideas.

By investing in your business and personal growth, you’ll be better equipped to provide high-quality services to your clients and stay motivated and engaged in your work.

Kellie Davis - Fit Thrive
With Exercise.com, I’m able to reach people around the world with the programs that I design, implement, and push out. You donā€™t have that opportunity working in a local gym. So that’s been huge.
Kellie Davis
Founder/Trainer, Fit Thrive

Can a personal trainer write off supplements?

Personal trainers may be able to write off supplements if they can prove they are a necessary business expense. However, it’s important to consult with a tax professional as tax laws can vary.

Can a personal trainer deduct workout clothes?

Generally, clothing that can be worn outside of work isn’t deductible. Specialized gear that’s necessary for work, like branded uniforms, might be. Consult with a tax professional to understand what’s deductible.

Is a personal training certification (NASM, ACE, etc.) tax deductible?

Yes, costs associated with obtaining a necessary certification for your profession, like a personal training certification, are typically tax deductible.

What are personal trainers NOT allowed to deduct on their taxes?

Personal trainers cannot deduct personal expenses, such as personal gym memberships, general clothing not specifically for work, personal meals, or commuting costs. Again, always consult with a tax professional.

Is it better to be a self-employed personal trainer?

It depends. Being self-employed offers more control over your schedule, clients, and rates. However, it also means handling business expenses, marketing, and potentially less job security.

Can I write off Exercise.com personal training software?

Yes, as a necessary expense for managing your business, Exercise.com software would typically be tax-deductible.

Can I write off personal training liability insurance?

Yes, liability insurance is a necessary business expense and typically tax-deductible.

Read More: Best Personal Trainer Insurance

Can I write off personal training advertising/marketing expenses?

Yes, advertising and marketing are necessary for acquiring clients and are generally tax-deductible.

How can Exercise.com software help my personal training business?

Exercise.com software can enhance your personal training business by streamlining your business operations. It offers tools for scheduling, payment processing, workout creation and delivery, client and class management, and progress tracking, all from your own custom branded fitness app. It also provides a platform for virtual training, which is critical in today’s fitness industry. It’s like a personal assistant for your fitness business. Plus, it’s customizable to fit your brand and needs, giving you a professional and efficient platform to grow your business.

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Athlete Performance
Exercise.com has become an essential piece to our brand and business model. The ease of use and consumer reports have allowed us to maintain great client relationships and rebuild others.
Logan Zagrodnik
General Manager, Athlete Performance

Grow Your Personal Training Business

Managing your finances as a self-employed personal trainer requires careful planning and attention to detail. By creating a realistic budget, saving for emergencies, and investing in your business and personal growth, you can build a successful and fulfilling career in the fitness industry.

Want to get seeing how Exercise.com can help you get started taking your personal training business to the next level with software? Get a demo now!

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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