Managing your time and money is already hard enough when you have set business hours and receive a monthly paycheck with your taxes already taken out. Freelancing, however, takes time and money management to a whole different level — and potentially not in a good way. When you set your own rules, it’s easy to fall into the habit of ignoring them, or not setting any at all. As freelancing becomes more commonplace, however, these skills are going to become more and more necessary in order to keep yourself ahead of the game. Here are five things you can do to save yourself time and money as a freelancer.
1. Set a schedule
One of the biggest perks of freelancer work is being your own boss and having the freedom to set your own schedule. It’s definitely true, however, that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Being in charge of your own schedule can make it a whole lot easier to put things off until right before your deadlines. To make sure you’re giving yourself enough time, you need to create a schedule for yourself in order to stay on track. Try utilizing time tracking apps to keep the pressure on as well as time restriction apps so you can cut out all distractions.
2. Manage your invoices
As a freelancer, you’ll have to invoice a client for every single job you do. Invoices can be easy to forget about or mix up, which can lose you time and money spent creating and sorting through them. Since we spend so much time on our phones anyway, why not try using an invoice app? You won’t need to spend an hour trying to figure out Excel or worry about whether your template is good enough after you sent it off to your client. Plus, with everything in one place, you can easily track who has paid you and who hasn’t.
3. Keep track of your projects
Even if you’ve got everything written down somewhere, there’s no point in doing this unless you can see it all in one place! Visualization makes it so much easier to know what needs priority and what doesn’t. That’s why you should try an app or tool that’ll keep all of your projects, tasks, and to-do lists all in one place. Maybe you’re collaborating with others or just want to manage yourself a little better, but these services are perfect for teams of any size — even a team of one. You can see your progress on each assignment, see what other team members are doing, and mark tasks as done as you complete them.
4. Vacation time
Your approach toward vacationing may be a little different once you quit your traditional job, but taking time off is still important for your well-being. Maybe you’re working from home, but time away from the office is exactly what our minds need to recharge. And ironically, taking time away from your work is exactly what you need to save time. Once you return from vacation, you’ll see your productivity increase when you need less time to do your daily tasks, which equals more money for you in the long run.
5. Don’t forget about taxes
Possibly the worst part of freelancing is the taxes that you have to take care of yourself. Unlike a corporate job, you won’t get your income tax deducted from each paycheck. And with more time on your hands, you may find it easier to spend a bit more than normal and go over your after-tax income. The best way to avoid doing this is to take your taxes from the year before, do a bit of guesstimation, and set aside money each month so you don’t find yourself owing money at the end of the year. The age of digitization has made everything so much more convenient, including tracking your taxes.