Small Business Finances | SCRIBACEOUS.COM

Freelancing offers the fantastic opportunity to work from anywhere, create your own schedule and pursue a passion while earning a livelihood. However, with this freedom comes more responsibility, especially in managing finances.

A strong financial plan is crucial for success in the freelance world. By embracing responsible money management practices, you ensure freedom and flexibility as a freelancer. Then, you can continue to do what you enjoy while building a financially sustainable future.

RELATED l An Incredible Freelance Opportunity: Build, Create & Earn as a Hubmaster

9 Ways to Successfully Manage Your Money

1. Set Clear Financial Goals

As a freelancer, setting financial goals is important in your money management strategy. Objectives motivate you to achieve financial success and help you focus on what is important. Goals are also essential because they give you specific targets, enabling you to create a plan. They help you stay on track so you know how much money to spend and save.

When setting financial goals, consider what you want to achieve in the short and long term. Short-term goals may be to save up for a new work computer. Meanwhile, a long-term goal may be to purchase a home. Write these down, then decide how much you need for each target and set a deadline. You’ll have a clear plan to work towards, making managing your money easier.

2. Implement Effective Invoicing & Payment Systems

Correctly employing invoicing and payment systems is crucial for freelancers, especially since 74% have reported not getting paid on time in 2022. These delays can severely impact cash flow and financial stability, making it one of freelancers’ biggest challenges.

To implement this effectively, you must establish a clear invoicing process. Set professional payment terms upfront, like payment due dates and late payment fees. Clearly outline these terms in your contracts and on your invoices. This method sets clear expectations and helps clients avoid confusion.

Another important strategy is automating your invoicing and payment tracking. Using digital tools, like 17hats, can help you generate invoices quickly, send reminders for overdue payments and track paid invoices. Automation saves time and lets you focus on your work for clients. Plus, it makes finances less of a hassle and simplifies your workflow.

3. Keep Finances Separate

Separating your financials is key for freelancers because it allows for clear moment management. You can achieve this easily by opening different bank accounts. For example, one account should be for business income and expenses, while another could be a goal savings account.

A goal savings account is dedicated to specific financial targets, allowing you to keep track of your savings. Using distinct accounts simplifies tracking business performance and personal spending. It also helps in budgeting and ensures you maintain clear financial boundaries.

Budget Plan Graphic | SCRIBACEOUS.COM


4. Create a Budget

A budget is essential for successful money management for freelancers, as 38% of new businesses fail due to improper budgeting. With budgeting, self-employers understand how much money they have, what they spend it on and where they can save. With a good budget, you can avoid spending more than you earn, which is especially crucial since freelancers’ income can be unpredictable. You might make $5,000 one month and $1,500 the next.

Use these steps to create a budget for yourself:

  • List your monthly income.
  • Then, track all your monthly expenses — everything from rent to coffee.
  • Categorize these expenses into needs and wants.
  • Subtract your total expenses from your income to see if you spend more than you earn. If you are, look for areas to cut back.

Remember to keep track of your budget using a program or Excel to understand your business’s financial health. That way, you gain more control of your money than letting it control you.

5. Maintain Adequate Emergency Savings

Life as a freelancer can be full of surprises, such as emergencies. These can appear suddenly, disrupting your work and income. Whether it is a slow period for you in freelancing or time you need to take care of yourself, it is wise to have an emergency fund.

Start by regularly setting aside a small portion of your earnings into a separate savings account. Ideally, this fund should cover at least three months of living expenses and more. Having this safety net means you are financially prepared for unplanned situations, ensuring stability when an emergency occurs.

RELATED l 8 Common Bookkeeping Mistakes to Avoid as a Freelancer

6. Plan for Retirement

As a freelancer, you are your own boss, meaning you must also take charge of your future retirement. Planning for retirement is key to successful money management, but it can be quite a transition when you are used to working for someone else. A helpful retirement savings strategy starts with exploring your options.

These can include IRAs or solo 401(k)s tailored for the self-employed. Once you have a suitable plan, the best practice is to regularly contribute a set percentage of your income. Even a small contribution can grow significantly over time with consistency, thanks to compound interest.

Income taxes | SCRIBACEOUS.COM


7. Manage Taxes Appropriately

Freelancers are responsible for managing their own taxes, which can be more complex than traditional employment. Therefore, setting aside some of your income to save for taxes is essential. That way, you have enough money to pay it off once your taxes are due.

It is crucial to understand the different taxes you may owe, including income tax and self-employment tax. Consulting with a tax professional is critical — they can set you up for success. Once you have an idea of how much to save, it helps to keep this money in a separate account to guarantee your preparation.

8. Insure Yourself and Your Business

Insuring yourself and your business is key to keeping your finances secure. Freelancers typically implement this financial practice because it protects them from unexpected financial losses, including accidents, lawsuits and health issues.

One option to consider is liability insurance. Professional liability insurance protects you against legal claims. If a client were to sue you, liability insurance would cover legal expenses even if they win the case. Other insurance types to consider include those that protect your business’s property and personal health. Additionally, disability insurance can provide income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.

9. Spend Wisely

Careful spending involves balancing your needs and wants while investing in your business growth. This financial practice is crucial as freelancing is unlike a traditional job where you can anticipate your monthly income. A freelancer’s income may fluctuate monthly, so you should track your spending to stick to your budget.

Consider prioritizing spending on tools and services that enhance your productivity and professional growth. Be cautious with expenditures during high-spending periods, and be sure to allocate funds to savings or reinvest in your business.

Employ Money Management Practices as a Freelancer

Adopting effective money management practices as a freelancer is pivotal for long-term success. These strategies lay the foundation for financial stability. Ensure you follow these practices to keep your business going. When you manage your money wisely, you create a more prosperous future for your freelance career.

Eleanor is a UX/web design and digital marketing writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She spends much of her time as the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. Her writing and knowledge covers the depths of web design, digital marketing, user experience, social media and branding and how it relates to small/medium businesses.

About the author : Janet Doré

Janet Doré is the founder and CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of Scribaceous, Inc., a boutique design company specializing in branding & graphic design, IHubApp PWAs, WordPress websites, and optimized blog content. She is also the proud creator of the Hub Mama program where she trains and mentors those looking to grow their own freelance Hubmaster business.