Money & Budgets

Being a freelancer might seem like you’ve got it made. You get to control your income, make your own schedule, and work on your own terms. Not to mention, you can create your ideal work-life balance. For these reasons and more, 33 percent of the workforce – or 53 million Americans – are now working as freelancers.

However, all of this freedom means you have to have the discipline to work when you need to work and pay extra attention to your finances. As freelancers often don’t have a steady income, it’s even more important to focus on maintaining good credit and avoiding debt, while saving. Freelancers also have to think about how they’re going to get the same benefits they’d get working a regular job, things like health insurance and a retirement savings plan. Thinking about all of this is what stops most people from freelancing full-time.

If you’re a freelancer in America, you’ll need to figure out how best to manage your income and expenses, file taxes as a freelancer, get insurance, and save for retirement.

Keep reading to learn how to set yourself up for freelancing financial success.

3 Tips For Success

1. Get Freelancer Benefits

Even if you’re not working a full-time job, you can still get benefits if you work for yourself. Consider government-issued healthcare, getting on your spouse’s healthcare plan, or using Cobra coverage. You should also check out the Freelancer’s Union and any professional associations in your industry.

2. Track Your Expenses & Create a Budget

Track both your business and personal expenses and create a budget. That’ll help you get your finances in order and keep them that way. Write down a list of all the income you receive each month as well as your expenses. If you’re spending too much each month, figure out where you can cut expenses.

3. Pay Yourself First

When you get paid, it can be tempting to want to pay off all of your bills and debts first. After all, that’s what we’ve always been taught. But if you want to remain financially stable, you need to make sure your finances are always in order. That means paying yourself first. Put aside 10 to 20 percent of your income for savings for your future (retirement).

Now that you know how to get your freelancer finances in order, you can start taking steps in the right direction to set yourself up for success.