Are you a freelancer? Working online, “living the dream” (without regular income)?
We’ve all been there – you’re getting close to a bill’s due date and you’re scrambling to find enough to pay it… And then you’ve got to do it all over again with the next bill… and the next and the next.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could just manage all of that without having to worry if you’ll have enough to pay everything on time and have enough to continue to run your business?
Well guess what?
There is a way…
Here are 4 things you can do to better manage your money on a variable income:
First, and probably most obvious, you need to start off by planning ALL your expenses and your potential income. How much are you spending every month? It’s important to be realistic here in order to determine how much you will need to earn per month. If you feel that a month is too long and you’d prefer to be on the safe side and plan per week, go ahead. I’ve done it per week and felt more secure with my forecasts.
If you are unsure how to fully and realistically track your expenses, read my realistic budget post here which will walk you through step by step and provide a painstakingly accurate way of analysing your expenses.
Once you have a clear idea of where your money goes every month, you can start to plan what is essential and what needs to go. Of course, it’s important to prioritise your rent or mortgage, groceries, and other bills that are needed for everyday living – and then move on to whatever is next on the list.
Once you have created a plan for your expenses you need to create a projected amount of income. In this case, it’s best to go with a number that is the lowest amount you should be getting paid. For example, if your highest paying month you got $5000 but in your lowest you got $3500, you should be planning your budget based off of getting $3500. If you get more, then great! Off to the savings it goes to create a buffer if there are any lower-paid months! But if you only clear $3500 that month, at least you were able to pay for your expenses and your budget was realistic.
3. Get a Business Bank Account
It’s super easy to get side tracked when you have some extra money lying around and you’ve been wanting to make some upgrades in your business – it’s a great way to spend a lot of money you probably don’t have 🙁
The solution to this is to make a separate account that is solely for business expenses. It is important not to mix your personal transactions with your business ones because it can easily throw you off when calculating your expenses. And of course, when it comes time to submit tax returns, having them all separate makes life much easier too!
We all know that our business expenses can vary each month, but our personal ones should mostly be fixed. Two separate bank accounts is a necessary border to have in order to stay on track with your important bills. So when you need to buy that new laptop or tablet, you don’t need to go into debt or feel guilty!
4. Set Goals
Just because you need to be covering your essential costs doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for things you want and not need. It’s completely okay to spend money on something for yourself (or for your business) that you didn’t plan for… Getting new things and advancing is just a part of this lifestyle. You became a freelancer to be able to have the freedom to make your own choices! But when you can’t afford it, the best thing to do is to set a goal for each month. Setting goals in this timeframe is perfect because it’s not too short that you can’t achieve and not too extended that you lose interest and momentum. This month you can look forward to an upgraded version of your software and next month perhaps you’re saving just enough to get a stress-relieving massage. Small, achievable goals help you to gain momentum and see the true value of being a freelancer!
If you are not yet a freelancer but thinking of becoming one and want to get started with your side hustle ASAP, this course will walk you through getting yourself set up on Fiverr with a profile that attracts buyers AND helps you to get your first client as quickly as possible!