We know that the subject of finances, in general, is very complicated. In itself it is difficult to stay organized financially when you work in a company that pays you every two weeks, doing it as a freelancer, with varying payments, is worse. But, like everything in life, this has a solution and it's nothing that can be learned. The key we can give you to start taking care of your finances is our beloved Excel. With Excel by your side, everything is possible (as corny as it may sound). Here are a few tips you can follow to get your finances in order and you, satisfied.
Saving is not optional The stress of unreliable income diminishes when there's money in reserve in the bank for emergencies. Even normal expenses, such as groceries or a utility bill, can turn into an emergency when the money is not available. Usually about 3 to 4 months of savings is needed; some financiers would even recommend up to 6 months. The higher your expenses, the higher your savings should be.
Pay yourself first The clear, old-fashioned advice: pay yourself first. It seems logical, but it's not as simple as it sounds. With bills and little income, paying everyone else, i.e. people you hire to support you on larger projects, may seem like the most responsible option.
Paying yourself first doesn't mean neglecting other responsibilities. It's just a form of organization; in an employer/employee situation, the paycheck you receive is yours without any problem. For freelancers, there's a lot more to consider, but the money you receive is still largely yours.
Separate accounts keep your finances organized. Separate bank accounts give you the opportunity to compartmentalize your finances into manageable chunks, which helps avoid overspending and income instability. Here's an example of types of accounts that could benefit freelancers:
Company account: This account collects payments from each of your clients. It is the collection point where all your freelance income goes. Think of it as an "employer" account from which the employer gives his employee a fixed paycheck, only here the employer and the employee are the same.
Personal account: This account is for personal income, which is drawn from the employer's account pool. Consider this account as an "employee" account. Transferring everything from the company account to the personal account does not make sense. Decide on a fixed salary that your business account can support and transfer only that amount at intervals that work in your favor. This is how you pay yourself.
Taxes: Freelancers don't have the luxury of having an employer withhold taxes. You'll have to do it on your own. A separate account for taxes means the money will be there when the Boss (the government) wants its share. As with an employer/employee, the taxes come from the company's account, not your personal account after you get paid.
Savings: Every freelancer needs at least one savings account. You can have more than one if you have several goals, such as vacations. The main savings is your safety net with 4-6 months of earnings that you can draw from in any emergency.
Don't procrastinate. Financial management probably isn't on your list of favorite things to do, trust us, anyone's. It takes time, and the data that can come up can be intimidating. One thing is certain: the sooner you start, the better off you'll be. We can help you with a first step. If you register with Crema, you can designate a specific account where your project income will go; as mentioned before, it's the business account from which you'll pay yourself. This way you can be sure that we will take care of you so that you always get the money from your projects. Learn more about this benefit and more about living as a freelancer with Crema at crema.cm/en.