When it comes to earnings, freelancing is different from a day job. Unlike a day job, there will be inconsistent amount of income depending on the number of projects you will be doing. There will be times that you will earn a lot but there will also be slow times where you will earn little. That is why it is important that freelancers have good financial management to ensure that you will have money all the time especially during times of emergency.
Financial management has to be practiced by freelancers and even those who have different jobs and professions. This is to ensure that you will be able to use well what you have worked hard for. We do not pick up earnings on the streets or just wait for money to fall for the sky. It really requires effort, time and skills to have an income. So, be sure that you make good use of your money. If the past year wasn’t so good for you when it comes to handling your earnings, this could be the right time to change that. Are you having a hard time to manage your finances? If you are, the tips below are for you. Check it out:
1. Have emergency funds.
Anyone would need to have emergency funds. Of course, this is for emergency needs. There will come a time that you will not expect some occurrences where in you will need money. If you are already freelancing and you haven’t started saving, it is not too late to do that. You’ll never know when slow times will come. If you are still planning to start freelancing, then you should save money first before you even start working because you are not certain when you will get jobs and when you will start earning. Having emergency funds will save you in times of need. And be sure not to touch it if it is not for emergency purposes.
2. Manage payments well.
Your earnings from freelancing should be used and managed well. If not, you will not notice that you have lost all your earnings merely for buying stuff you want and not for stuffs you need. It is important that you know how to handle your payments so that your efforts will be all worth it. Read more about this at How to Manage Your Payments as a Freelancer.
3. Set income goals.
One good way to handle your payments is to set income goals. Determine how much you want to earn for a certain period and set as to where you are going to use them. This will help you work hard since you know how much you will need during pay day. This can help you focus to work and avoid procrastination. What to earn more? You can read on the Tips to Make Money Doubly Fast as a Freelancer.
4. Budget your income.
When we speak of financial management, budgeting will also be included in the list. You have to budget your earnings well so that it will be enough to all your expenses. If you fail to budget, you might be using your money for unnecessary stuff. You will surely regret this in the end. So, create a budget all the time. This will help you control yourself in using your money.
5. Track invoices.
Sometimes, when you have so many clients, you fail to track who have paid and who haven’t. Well, you cannot just work with “gratitude” as payment. So, make sure that you will be able to track all your invoices and see to it that all of them will be paid. You can be aided by online invoicing tracking services. There are also software that you can use to make it easier to track invoices.
6. Live a healthy lifestyle.
When you are healthy, you will have lesser expenses for medicines, check-ups and others. Choose to live a healthy lifestyle so that you will not be spending a lot of money for your health maintenance. At least when you are healthy, you only need to spend for healthy food and vitamins. You can save money and you will also get many advantages for staying fit and healthy. That is why, living a healthy lifestyle is good for you and your career.
7. Pay debts at once.
There might be times that you need money but you have run out of funds. So, in this case, you will go to a friend and ask for financial help. You would borrow some money from him since you badly need it. Debts are okay if you know how to pay. Make sure that if you borrow money, you have the ability to pay that amount. If you will just keep on borrowing even if you know that you will have a hard time to pay it, then you are like digging your own grave. So, handle debts well. Also, you should pay them at once so that you can already let go of it and worry no more about it.
8. Set savings goal.
If you set how much to save, you will be able to control yourself in spending money and you will also work harder in order to arrive to the amount of your savings plus your expenses. Setting savings goals is a way of disciplining yourself and managing your finances really well. You can even save more than what you have set. You will benefit a lot from this if you try to do it.
9. Evaluate your rates.
Check how much you are charging for your design jobs. Are they right? If not, you could sense that you are earning too little while working too hard. So, improve your rates if it’s too low. Clients will understand that especially if you will always make a detailed quote for them so they will know what they are paying for.
10. Allocate a certain amount for self.
Since you will be saving some of your money and spending some of it from important expenses like bills, groceries and others, you might feel that nothing is left for you. You can allocate an amount for yourself. You can use that to buy the stuff that you reward yourself. Having this kind of allocation also means that you are giving value to yourself. You will be motivated even more if you get something from what you are working hard for.
It's Your Turn Now
Being able to manage your finances well will bring in lots of benefits including having more savings. Saving money is important since you do not know what will happen on the next days. So, when you are working hard, you also need to save hard. But managing your income isn’t merely about saving money but it is also spending only for those that are necessary and buying “wants” once in a while. You should be able to distinguish well the difference between your “wants” and your “needs”. That is one thing to help you have good financial management. What can you say? We hope you will be able to improve this aspect as we face another good year this 2013.