As a freelancer, one of the most common questions I get asked is, ‘How do you deal with the unstable income?’. It’s quite a big issue and a valid problem at that.
One of the critical things that freelancers deal with is the loss of a stable income. There will be days when you have so many projects, you are turning down some, and there will be days (even months) when nothing works out, and you are merely dipping into your emergency funds and savings.
As someone who has shifted to a freelancer career for the past two years, after having a corporate job for eight years, here are some money-saving tips that worked for me, and could come in handy for you too.
Balance Your Freelance Projects With A Consultancy Role
One of the biggest things that have worked for me is having one steady project and a bunch of freelance ones. I have a regular consultancy job that ensures that I get paid a certain amount monthly, as I juggle other, slightly uncertain projects.
How does this help? When you have one constant source of income, not only are you less stressed, but you also don’t end up desperately taking up any and every project to make money.
So before you quit your full-time job to be a freelancer, or if you are already one, make sure you are looking out for a consultancy or a retainer role. This will balance out your income and not stress you out.
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Have An Emergency Money Fund
Six months before you decided to quit your corporate job and take up freelancing, start building your emergency fund. A good rule of thumb is having three months of your everyday expenses as your emergency fund. So start putting away 20-30 per cent of your income away every month.
If you are already freelancing, save money from one project as your emergency fund. Transfer that money to a separate account and don’t touch it unless it is an emergency. This fund will come in handy when you are dealing with having little of no projects.
Chart Out A Detailed Expense List
As a freelancer, you are your boss, so all expenses – personal and business based – have to be paid out of your income. This is where you will find a lot of unexpected costs coming in – repairing your laptop, paying for coffee meetings with clients, transportation, health insurance and much more.
It is best to write down your everyday expenses, slot them into three columns – business, personal and miscellaneous – and try to cut down unnecessary costs. Say, for example, you are working from home, so you no longer need to order food or coffee/chai. Make that at home, before you start your day.
Schedule your meetings near your home, or on video call unless you absolutely need to meet the client in person. Because, remember you are paying the cab bills here.
Cutting down simple things like food bill, and even your transport costs can make a massive difference to your daily budget. It’ll help you plan your finance better.
Try these simple steps to save money and plan your finances. Trust me, it’ll make a huge difference. And It’ll help you stay focused on doing good projects, and also making good money.
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