Freelancing is a wonderful thing. You make your own hours, pick your own projects and get to be your own boss. The only person you answer to is the client who has commissioned you, and still you tend to set most terms. It is a life of complete independence. What’s not to love?
Well, finding consistent work, for one thing. While you can usually secure a couple of big clients that need constant work, there are no guarantees. It is easy to lose a project, or to have to rely on constantly finding small ones to pay the bills. As such, you will have good months and bad months, which makes it almost impossible to secure your future.
Or, so you might think. There are a few ways that you can start to save a some cash, put it away and gain some security in your unpredictable life.
You would be surprised by how many people ignore this simple rule. Or how many make a budget and then never follow it. This leads to unpaid bills, late fees, over spending, overdrafted checking accounts and credit card debt. All of which is a big problem when you don’t have a regular salary.
Make a dependable budget based on the base minimum you are always able to make. Just to make sure you are covered no matter what.
Another obvious rule that a lot of people don’t follow is to not spend that much on things you don’t need. Eating out, shopping, entertainment and other items all have their place in our lives. But it should be done responsibly. Random purchases add up fast, and are a quick way to lose track of how much you have.
On those months where there is some cash left over, you can play. But also bump up the percentage you put into savings, rather than spending it all.
You can usually find ways to put a small dent in monthly bills that can really add up over time. For example, going through and unplugging appliances when you are not using them, and before bed at night. Putting on a sweater instead of turning on the heat when it is only chilly. Walking instead of driving when you can, even if it means using an alternative location that is more nearby.
A really good way is through checking for weekly deals and sales at your grocery store before you go shopping. Then, create a list for the week based on what they have available. So, if they have ground beef for a dollar less per pound, stock up and keep it in your freezer. Then select a meal plan that uses plenty of ground beef for that week.
We waste a lot of time during work hours as freelancers. Which wastes a lot of money, or at least potential for money. You should do your best to minimize distractions during your work hours, and try remaining disciplined.
But that isn’t always easy. So go a step further. Turn off any phone line not directly work related. Put together a playlist of soothing music that you know you can listen to while keeping focused, to avoid other distracting noises. Download a program like LeechBlock, which lets you set up times you can’t visit certain time wasting sites, like Facebook or YouTube.
Are you a smoker? A nightly beer drinker? A fast food junkie? A starbucks latte devotee? These little unhealthy habits do more than hurt your body, they hurt your wallet. The amount that we spend on these little items add up too fast to count, and before you know it you could have spend hundreds on things that are actually really bad for you.
Quit these dangerous vices, or find alternatives that can save you more. For example, ecigarettes are a great smoking cessation device, with up to 100 cigarettes worth of nicotine in a single set of cartridges. Home brewed coffee comes to cents on the cup, saving you as much as $5 per day by avoiding the expensive chains. A bottle of wine costs half the price of many six packs, and is good for the heart.
You don’t have to go crazy trying to save every cent. But with a few tweaks, you can really improve your financial situation. Even with the unsteady pay scale of the average freelance designer.
Jessy is a frugal and creative writer for Life Insurance Finder, the free comparison app to find the best cheap life insurance plan.