Managing finances as a freelancer


  • Author Mk Web
  • Published December 19, 2022
  • Word count 647

Being a freelancer certainly comes with its perks. You have full control over your working life. Want to take a Tuesday off because you want to do some Christmas shopping - what’s stopping you? Feel tired so you want to take a quick afternoon nap - that’s also fine. There’s no overbearing and demanding boss looking over your shoulder and overloading you with work and you’re free to pick and choose the clients you work with. Indeed, in many respects, it’s brings freedoms you just don’t get when working for someone else – perhaps this is why so many people see it as the dream to work for themselves.

But being a freelance isn’t always a walk in the park. Aside from actually getting the work and managing clients (this can be a full-time job in itself sometimes!), the financial side of things is often the part that many freelancers struggle with, at least at first.

When you’re employed you are guaranteed an annual salary or set hourly rate. This gives you stability as it allows you to manage your finances based on a guaranteed set income each month. You know that if you plan a holiday for a week, you’ll still get paid, and if you have a few days off sick most employers will cover you for that.

When you’re a freelancer you are solely responsible for how much you earn and that can mean your income fluctuates massively from one month to the next. For those just starting out it may also mean that there is a period of time where your income may be very little, whilst you find your feet and invest money back into the business. And even when you get yourself well established there may also be times where you earn very little. It’s also important to put some money aside to cover you for any sickness or holidays – this is something many freelancers fail to plan for when first starting out.

You are also responsible for paying your own taxes as a freelancer. This means being disciplined enough to put enough aside each month to cover taxes, national insurance, and any student loan/pension contributions. It also means filling out a tax return at the end of each financial year or paying an accountant to do this for you.

Of course, the upside of being totally responsible for your earnings is that the sky is the limit in terms of what you can earn, and some freelancers may find themselves earning more than what they would do if they were employed doing the same kind of work. There are of course no guarantees, however, and has can lead to anxiety over earnings, with a need to constantly be on it to generate a decent income. It’s also the case that freelancers will need to wait for invoices to be paid as many businesses have payment terms, which can sometimes mean waiting several weeks for payment to be made after the invoice is issued. Of course, in an ideal world everyone would pay for the service/product they have received, however, unfortunately we live in a world where not everyone is genuine.  This means it’s not uncommon to come across people who drag their heels on making payment or may not pay at all, leading to a great deal of stress and anxiety on the freelancer’s part. There are measures that can be taken to try to force clients to make payment, but this can be a long and drawn process.

To conclude, freelancing can be a great opportunity, and indeed it can help you escape the corporate rat race. However, there are no guarantees and it’s important to be disciplined, have realistic expectations, and be good with finances to have the greatest chance of success.

Article written by MK Web - Web Design in Oakham and Web Design Stamford.

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