As a freelancer starting out it’s important to have a strong hold on your cash flow and money situation, particularly as some months might be leaner than others. Not having a regular income takes some getting used to so it’s important to keep the money under control.
That’s why we’ve compiled this series of money saving tips for freelancers to help balance the books when the going gets tough:
- Understand your business expenses
You need to understand which business expenses you can claim against on your tax bill for deductions. You must keep a strong record of all expenses and make sure you claim everything you are allowed to. If you don’t know or understand then seek advice from a tax specialist – you might be surprised what you can claim for.
- Watch the use of credit cards
While it might be tempting to use a credit card when times are hard, be careful and shop around to make sure you get the best deal. If you have a business credit card, then make sure you have the best interest rates and can afford the repayments. If you need to refinance then look at business loans and always speak to an expert before making a commitment.
- Compare your business phone plans
Have a look at your business costs – it might be worth shopping around for your business mobile and land phone lines as well as your internet provider, to make sure you are getting the best deal and that the package you have is right for your needs. You might be able to save money by adapting your phone package, particularly if you don’t use all your data and minutes each month.
- Get the best value when you travel
If you travel a lot for your business, perhaps visiting clients around the country, you can save money by planning ahead and possibly opting for season tickets or advance train tickets which are often cheaper. If you drive, then have a look at the miles per gallon of your current car and perhaps consider investing in one that’s cheaper to run if possible.
- Make sure your business is insured
Make sure you have insurance for your business and keep it all up to date and check that the cover you have in place is appropriate for the requirements. Not having insurance could cost your business a fortune if anyone did make a claim, so keeping your insurance on track is a vital step.
- Check all your outgoings
Check everything you pay for on a monthly basis; it may be that you are still paying for a membership to a club you never go to, or a service you no longer use – it’s easy to let those slip and forget what goes out of our banks each month. Assess your outgoings and see if you can make any savings there. You could downgrade your TV package to a free one, for example.
- Use online cashback and discount deals
Go online and look at cashback sites and offers as well as discount sites like Groupon – you might be able to save some money while purchasing goods and services online but make sure you are getting genuine deals and be cautious.
- Use reward and loyalty schemes
Take advantage of businesses which offer customer- reward and loyalty schemes – many offer schemes specifically for small businesses so these could be really helpful as you start out in your freelance business. You could also offer your own loyalty scheme.
- Cut back on your outgoings
Have a look at all your outgoings – are you buying coffees and lunches every day which you could cut back on, or could you switch to cheaper brands to save cash? In your business, could you cut back on outgoings like paying for premises – these are all areas where you could save some money.
- Adapt your business
It might be that you need to increase your income rather than reduce outgoings, so always be open to different ways of operating your business – can you offer extra services or package deals to customers and clients, or perhaps it’s time to put the prices up. It’s always worth assessing your business to make sure it’s working as profitably as possible for you.
These ten tips could help you to save money as a freelancer if you need to put some money aside for a rainy day or a time when work is perhaps slower, but there are many other ways to save money as well.
If you are having money difficulties then you should always take action and seek professional help – the worst thing is to do nothing and hope it goes away. There are plenty of services to help struggling business owners if needed.