Being in the age of the internet as we are, freelancing is becoming an increasingly accessible, and increasingly lucrative career path.
Whether you’re a writer, a video editor, a software developer, any number of jobs can be done remotely from your home these days.
While working from home and effectively being your own boss does seem like the ideal job, it does have its share of drawbacks.
There’s the issue of not working in a social environment and the fact that you don’t have any kind of forced structure to your day.
But a lot of the problems come down to income and the fact that it’s not necessarily going to be consistent and stable.
As a freelancer, you can’t rely on an income the same way that you can working a traditional 9-5 job, and it’s essential that you make an effort to save so you don’t end up out of pocket.
Here’s three tips that will help you save as much money as possible as a freelancer.
- Be Strict with Your Emergency fund
No matter what kind of a job you have, it’s important that you have an emergency fund. You know, for emergencies.
You can have the best money management skills in the world and know how to effectively plan out your budget, but you never know what’s going to crop up.
Emergencies happen and there’s just nothing we can do to stop them sometimes. It could be an accident, an unexpected bereavement, or anything like that.
You need to plan ahead for this sort of thing. The emergency fund needs to be factored into your budget and your need to supply it every single month.
This applies even more to freelancers. If you’re a freelancer and something happens which prevents you from being able to work, this could be trouble.
Traditional jobs will often cover you for emergencies like this, but as a freelancer, you’re out on your own.
Saying that you have to put a portion of your monthly income into a fund doesn’t sound like saving, but in the long run, it will pay off.
Something will eventually happen that will require you to dip into this fund and when you’re in that position, you’ll be glad that you don’t have to lose any of your income because of this.
- Invest Your Extra Cash
Yes, this is twice in a row that I’m suggesting you put some your earnings somewhere you can’t access them.
This is also a method of saving though and it’s a very effective and reliable one too. If you know how to invest, it will only lead to good things for you.
Finding some good stocks and buying shares in them is a way that you can save for retirement or a way that you can provide yourself with an extra source of income.
The thing about reaping the rewards of investing is that you have to have quite a bit of patience before you see the results.
The key to this isn’t to be throwing your money at any old shares that you like the sound of, you have to invest in the right place.
You can learn a lot from reputation and from history. You will never be able to predict the stock market by yourself so there’s no point in trying.
Invest in the companies that have a history of offering a strong Return on Investment (ROI) out to their investors.
Look at something like the Russell Index for example. It’s a good way to gauge what shares are reliable right now and would make for good investment opportunities.
As a freelancer, this could be huge for your financial stability. It will provide you with something to fall back on if you stop getting contracts.
Or if you invest in stocks that pay out dividends to their investors it could serve as an entirely extra source of income.
So whatever cash you are left over with after you’ve covered your expenses and your emergency fund, just invest that. It will be worth it.
- Be Conservative
In terms of saving, I think this is one that pretty much goes without saying. You have to stop spending when you don’t need to.
Set yourself up with a budget and then be very strict on yourself when it comes to sticking to this budget.
You have to have some money that you can spend at your own leisure, but this should be factored into the overall budget.
Set a certain amount aside every month, which can effectively serve as your pocket money. Don’t exceed this though, no matter what happens.
If you don’t have enough for another drink, then you don’t get another drink. If your friends are going skiing and you can’t afford it, then you’re staying at home.
If there’s something big coming up such as a wedding or perhaps a vacation, plan ahead and put some of your monthly pocket money into a fund for that.
You can be logical about how you treat yourself. And outside of major events like that, stick to the budget.
Avoiding temptation is not that hard if you put in the effort. You might have to be a little bit tough on yourself, but you will get used to it.
You will learn how to enjoy yourself without spending too much. It doesn’t mean your social life will disappear or you’ll have to give up your hobbies, you’ll just have to be careful.
Being conservative with your cash is one of the best skills that you can learn, and as a freelancer, you can’t afford to do it.
Working as a freelancer has its ups and downs and for a lot of people, the downs are more prevalent when it comes to money.
Especially when you’re starting out, you just can’t afford to be careful with what you earn. It would be wise to follow these tips and develop some good habits.