So, at last you have decided to dive deep into the freelance world and have already started to feel the freedom of working under yourself and further on your own schedules. Sounds thrilling! Doesn’t it? Your dream of working while seated in the local café or bookshop and drinking coffee comes true.
However, this honeymoon phase might fade out soon, and you find might yourself gazing miserably at your bank account. With these hot money saving tips, you should be alright.
Financial stress, however, is not necessarily an essential condition of freelancing. Nevertheless, financial sickness can come from freelancing if not done with proper care. You have to make a few compromises and planning if you want to step ahead and become financially fitas a freelancer.
Money Saving Tips
1. Cut back on your workplace expenses
These days many freelancers work at either coffee shops or bookstores. Here you pay anything from $5 to $10 just for drinks, snacks and WiFi. To save some bucks of yours, work in a library and always pack your own snacks.
Never pay for WiFi. From OpenWiFiSpots.com you can simply get a list of free WiFi spots in your area and choose any place of your convenience. For instance, from July 1, Starbucks has started offering free, one-click, unlimited WiFi to all of its company-owned stores in the United States.
2. Revise your Cell Plan
In the beginning days of your self-employment, you might find it difficult to manage your phone bills. You could even incur huge mobile bills without knowing that there are many cheaper plans to undertake.
You won’t believe that with just $20 you could double your minute allowance. BillShrink is a very good site to compare your cell phone plans, and here you can easily compare several plans, and choose one of your choice. You can even stick to your landline for just $20 a month. Besides saving some bucks, it will also provide you emergency help if you misplace or lose your cell phone.
3. Check out Free Office Equipment
If you need a chair, new desk, shelves, or drawers, you can go to freecycle.org to cheek whether anyone is donating any free stuff within your neighbourhood. It’s certainly a unique way to save and recycle.
You can also visit Craigslist to find free stuff within the ‘For Sale’ and ‘Free’ subcategory. Make sure you are buying office equipments, which you absolutely need. Get your stuffs on sale or free from online stores. You can also buy from friends or from relatives. Believe me, newer and attractive things are not necessarily better.
From websites like Freecycle, eBay, Craigslist and Amazon you can easily get high discount on office equipments. Further, your local thrift stores could also prove to be helpful to save your money.
4. Invest in Multifunction Equipment
Instead buying single-tasking equipments, buy the one which has multiple functions. For example, you can buy a three-in-one printer, scanner and fax machine just for $80. In addition, this will occupy a very small place in your office. If you are a hyper-faxer, you can go for a membership with eFax. Through eFax, you will be able to receive and send faxes via email. If you do so, you don’t have to buy a fax machine and print tons of papers, at the end saves you much.
5. Save on your Taxes
For freelancers, taxes are simply equal to nightmares. However, it’s really easy to deal with them. Below are the ways:
TurboTax: You can use TurboTax’s online Business Edition to measure your taxes. The annual subscription cost is just $75. It very simply and gradually shows your expenses and write-offs. Through it, you could even save up to $3500 yearly.
Bookkeeping: Many people prefer to pay someone else for bookkeeping. However, it is very simple to do it on your own, once you discover a good system.
There is an application called Billings which takes care of everything in your business on your behalf. You will be able to write up invoices and estimates, keep track of business expenses, client payments and deposits. Further, by using this application, you will be able to keep track of your 1099’s and do your taxes with ease.
Have you got any money saving tips which freelancers can use? Share them in the comments.
Image by Images_of_Money via Flickr.
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I would also recommend using Freshbooks as a way to save money. Yes, it does cost, but often times it pays to invest in a quality product that makes your life easier, and frees up your time to focus on your core functions. Freshbooks allows you to invoice multiple clients seamlessly, all while easily tracking your sales, date, and payments. I highly recommend it for a freelancer.
buying a multifunction device that doesn’t do any of it’s functions well is a waste of time.
keeping your paper usage down may be a better option.
100% agree, multi function devices are a complete waste as they don’t do anything particularily well. Better advice would be to shop for single function models on sale when the new models come out, just be sure they use ink/toner that isn’t overly expensive.
Here’s a good one. Get on a budget and get out of debt. When you see on paper where all your money is going it gives you power over your money. You are better able to allocate it to where it needs to go. At the same time, you also have more power to get out of debt, which when you pay it all off, it frees up your income which is your greatest tool to building your business and wealth.
Remember, that when freelancing you’re not alone. Find local businesses, friends and groups that help support your projects. Use social media as a free way of advertising and networking, this will save your fuel bills etc. Look for places with free conference facilities if you need a board room style meeting, as opposed to dialling up a conference call.
With Skype, Google Voice, Google SMS, and other similar services, you can reduce your cell phone usage without cutting back on communication with clients. I find Instant Messaging to be effective and allows greater communication between myself and the clients as it’s less invasive and more casual than a phone call.
Being more productive with our time. There are so many free tools out there that will save us time and in turn, save us money / allows us to complete more work in a shorter space of time without a compromise on quality!
First is to really develop a budget plan and stick to it as much as possible. Be realistic with your estimates, then monitor your expenses daily to check how much money is left for each budget item, so you will know if you are still on track on not. Remember that as a freelancer, you are on your own and responsible for your all your insurances, retirement, taxes and other things. Financial discipline is key to keeping a healthy financial condition.
Great resources here Stewart! One of my favorite tools as a freelancer has been the ability to send faxes by email, and receive faxes by email. So convenient to be just about anywhere and receive (or send) a fax on my laptop, ipad or smartphone. I used http://www.EmailFaxCompared.com to review what features were offered by the top email fax services and picked the best one for me.