As a freelancer, you’re in charge of your money management. You set the terms of your income. You track the business expenses. You send out the invoices and handle the paychecks. It’s all up to you.
What else do you have to do? If you want to make your work-life easier, here are four money-management tips that you should follow:
1. Prepare for Emergencies
An emergency fund can help freelancers save for urgent problems that put their work on hold, like computer breakdowns, internet outages or stolen equipment. These problems need to be addressed immediately so that you can do your job. Your future paychecks are at stake.
So, look through your monthly budget to see how much you can feasibly set aside for emergencies. Add that into a savings account. Repeat this step every month. Steadily, you’ll build yourself a safety net that you can turn to when something goes wrong.
What can you do when you don’t have enough emergency savings? You could try applying for a personal loan. If your loan application gets approved, you can use the funds to manage the emergency in a short amount of time. After that, you can follow the repayment schedule and move forward.
Remember to search for loans that are available in your state. So, you should look for personal loans in Florida if you currently live in Miami or Jacksonville. You don’t want to waste your time looking for loans that aren’t available in your state.
2. Budget for Drops in Cash-Flow
You’ll have times when you’re very busy and bringing in a lot of income, and you’ll have times when you can’t seem to snag a new project and your income is practically non-existent. So, set aside a small reserve of savings that you can rely on when the work dries up. You won’t have to wonder how you’re going to pay the bills when there are no projects on the horizon.
3. Prepare for Taxes
Taxes are a big challenge for freelancers. As a self-employed worker, you are supposed to file an annual tax return and pay your estimated taxes quarterly. You will need to pay a self-employed tax, as well as your income tax.
Don’t get overwhelmed by this necessity! Learn some simple bookkeeping skills so that you can keep a record of your income and business expenses. This will help you file your return and budget your payments. And if you’re still confused, go to the IRS’s self-employed individual tax center to get more details about your returns, payments and potential deductions.
4. Get Insured
Many American workers can access employer-sponsored health insurance through their companies, which can help reduce the costs of coverage. Unfortunately, since freelancers are self-employed, they can’t access this useful safety net.
If you’re a freelancer, you shouldn’t work without health insurance. Going without insurance could completely derail your financial stability. Statistics show that medical debt is the biggest reason for filing for bankruptcy and for emptying out retirement savings early in the country. Health insurance can reduce that risk.
How can you get insurance? Here are some options:
- Get a private plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- Get an individual COBRA plan
- Join your partner’s healthcare plan
- Join the Freelancer’s Union and find a healthcare plan
These tips may seem like extra work, but they’ll be worth it. You’ll save yourself lots of money and unnecessary stress.