When you have the comfort of a steady paycheck landing in your bank account every month, it can feel very daunting to enter the more financially unstable world of freelancing. But there are so many advantages to this style of work that more and more people are taking a leap into the unknown to achieve their goals. However, before you make the transition, you should make sure that you are as financially prepared as you can be. Here are some of the ways that you can feel more confident in this regard.
Create an Emergency Fund
First and foremost, you should build up an emergency fund that covers three to six months worth of living expenses. Think about only covering your basic monthly expenditures so that you have something to fall back on if you make a slow start in the world of freelancing. This gives you the best chance of making a smooth and successful transition without having to worry about needing to get another full-time job.
Build Up Your Client List while Working
You can’t expect to quit your job and have a queue of clients without putting the work in. So, perhaps you could start working with one or two freelance clients while you are still in employment. You can also start networking so that you have a decent contact list of prospects who you can call upon in the future.
Calculate Your Expenditures
Think about the things that you will need to start your own freelance business and budget for them accordingly. There is plenty of advice and resources available online related to financial matters such as information about how to obtain a working capital line of credit. Of course, there are many tax advantages involved when you start a business, so you should take all of these into account in your financial plan.
Plan for Your First Freelance Paycheck to Arrive Late
Unlike the world of full-time work in which you can expect to get paid at the same time every month, freelancing tends to be a lot more precarious. So, expect that you will be paid late and do your financial planning accordingly. You also need to be prepared to chase clients for non-payment. Though this is something that you may have never done before and it feels awkward, you have completed the work and you need to get paid!
Keep Track of Your Income
When you are a freelancer, you need to keep a close eye on your monthly income. Start a Google or Excel spreadsheet and note every payment down. And remember that you also need to set some cash aside to pay your taxes each month. When you have started to develop a decent portfolio, over time, you should start to think about giving yourself raises in accordance with your experience levels.
There is no doubt that is can be a financially daunting proposition when you are becoming a freelancer after years of full-time work, but these are just a few of the ways that you can make the transition smoother.