Life as a freelancer, especially if you can work digitally, offers a great deal of freedom and flexibility. However, there are rules and regulations you must follow along the course to becoming your own boss. The tips below will help you decide if life as a freelancer suits your way of life.
You Can Set Your Schedule
It’s natural not to be crazy about the typical eight to five p.m. work schedule. Whether you’re a night owl or an early morning lark, many freelancers find that working a set schedule offers more stability. You may find that you can easily live on a work schedule of less than 8 hours daily. It depends on how much you take on and your time management.
Routine is key. Sitting down to work at the same time daily keeps the pipeline full and money coming in. This daily work habit will soon become an itch between your shoulder blades. On the days that you don’t sit down to work, you may become anxious. Or, you may feel that you’ve missed a step. Keep a list of household tasks or enjoyable activities. Having a list ensures you can step away and take short breaks without feeling like you forgot to do something.
You Can Travel at Will
Many nomads take on short-time gigs and travel to new job sites. As a freelancer, you enjoy working at a particular job for a set amount of time without staying long-term. For those who freelance in person for short contractual engagements, it may help to have a ritual.
If you need to relocate to start your contract, plan to get there a few days early. Stock up on groceries and plan what you will do with your first time off. Halfway through your contract, start looking for the next one so you know where to go next. Plan a few fun stops on the way so you can keep looking forward to new opportunities. Doing so will allow you to live life to the fullest and ensure you make the most of each job.
No Paid Time Off
Loss of access to sick time and paid vacations may only seem like a big deal once you get sick. Or, you haven’t taken a vacation in a while and want to go on one! To plan accordingly, it’s critical you put savings in place. Save up enough money before taking the freelance leap. If you are a digital freelancer, your emergency fund must also cover replacing the tools you use to earn your pay.
Many workers, whether freelancers or regular employees need help saving money. If you’re seriously considering life as a freelancer, start freelancing as a side hustle. Route that income into a savings account that is easy to load and hard to empty.
As a side note, if you need help deciding on a side hustle, you can apply for work on sites like UpWork. Selfgood also offers tips on the best bike delivery jobs if bike deliveries interest you.
Get in the habit of saving money so you have a cushion during the time you have less work. Putting money aside ensures you don’t have to stress about finances before lining up your next gig.
Taxes and Unemployment
As a freelancer, you must pay quarterly taxes. Track your income carefully and pay at least the minimum you must cover each quarter. If you need to improve at saving money, consider paying extra. Paying extra is better than adding extra cash the following tax season. You can quickly get behind and owe the government a lot of money. When that happens, it can result in you accruing debt.
There are unemployment options for self-employed workers and freelancers. However, these benefits are not guaranteed. Plus, the benefits may take a while to kick in. Again, savings are critical. You must have enough savings to cover your basic needs for at least a month, preferably longer. If you have a family to support, do your best to stash three months of expenses. The more money you can set aside to become a full-time freelancer, the better.
If your freelancing gigs dry up simultaneously, you can keep a roof over your head for a few months. Meanwhile, you can look for an hourly job or build up more freelancing income.
Always do your best to keep your head above water and plan for the worst-case scenario. Then, when you experience rainy days, you’ll have enough funds put aside.
Life as a freelancer can be enriching. If you’ve been fighting the alarm or are sick of punching a time clock, freelancing may be the income source that suits you best. Those who love travel may find the life of a freelancer to be a source of joy. However, you must do your homework to protect yourself against financial shocks.