January 11 2020 - Working as a freelancer means extra responsibility and independence. Not only do you need to think about and complete your set work, but you can't simply clock off for the day - you also need to ensure your invoicing and finances are up to date, too.
Having a firm grip of your cash flow from the very beginning is crucial to success as a freelancer.
1. Know the Minimum You Need to Make to Pay Your Bills
You need to be prepared for the fact that your monthly income may fluctuate when you're a freelancer. This means you can never fully plan ahead for a steady income amount, so one month may see you significantly worse off than another. This doesn't necessarily mean that you'll struggle to pay your bills, it just means that you need to plan ahead for months where you may earn less.
By being aware of the minimum amount you need to make to pay your outgoings and bills, you'll understand more easily whether you're on target throughout the working month.
2. Avoid Excessive Buying in the Beginning
If you're just starting out as a freelancer, it can be exciting - especially if you're working from home and you've set up a home workspace. However, if you haven't yet started earning a generous income, you don't want to splash out on expensive items, such as an office overhaul and new computer, if you can't afford it yet.
Buy new items as you go along and check whether certain items are tax deductible - and avoid getting into debt.
Should you find yourself in debt, you can seek help with a debt collector lawsuit and learn your rights.
3. Don't Forget Your Taxes
You need to have a firm handle on how much tax you're expected to pay based on your income. This is crucial for a freelancer, as you'll be responsible for your own tax filing and you don't want to miss declaring anything. Make sure you check the percentage of tax you need to pay, and any additional payments required by law.
4. Keep Track of All Invoices
This is imperative, not only to ensure that you're always paid correctly, but also for a clear filing system to help when you come to file your taxes.
Build an invoicing routine which works for you, whether it's a specific filing system, templates or a spreadsheet which shows all invoice details. Also stay aware of due dates, terms and conditions so that you can chase up overdue payments.
5. Build Up an Emergency Fund
You never know what is around the corner when it comes to freelancing, and that includes a loss of earnings or a sudden end of a steady stream of income. You don't want to be left with no money should you lose a freelance position before you can find another.
Having a dependable emergency fund is encouraged to fall back on should the worst ever happen. Make a habit of putting a portion of your income into a separate emergency fund every month to let it build.