I have been freelancing for a while now and things are going well. I thought I would share some thoughts I had recently about ways to manage your money and make life easier as a freelancer.
When I first started as a freelancer I was working for very low hourly rates just to get started. You can read the full story here. When there was a quiet week that just meant I couldn’t save anything or, worse, I had to dip into my savings to get through. Over time my rate increased (see my post about this here) and I was able to start saving more. Despite this I am still quite careful with my money; some may say stingy!
I do worry about what would happen if the clients I have suddenly disappeared. This has happened in the past, clients get busy themselves and don’t have time to delegate work to me. They still want to work with me, they just don’t have any spare time. There’s nothing you can do in this situation, no work = no money.
Agi and I love to travel and I talk about it on this blog. We don’t do things on a shoestring because we aren’t as young as we once were! That makes me sound really old but it’s true. We don’t enjoy sleeping in dorms or travelling for hours and hours in cramped buses. However, we try to make sensible choices about how to spend our money.
Transport on the road offers a plethora of options. I mentioned we don’t like buses very much but sometimes they are the only option other than an expensive plane. My preferred option? Take the train if possible. I love train travel. It’s cheap, you aren’t trapped in your seat and you can see the countryside. Also, if you can get an overnight train then that saves paying for one night’s accommodation. We recently travelled from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Air Asia offer cheap flights but the train was still half the price. I used my phone as a mobile data point and we even did some work on the way.
Food is another big one. I don’t know about you but I tend to eat at least daily. When you’re in a strange place it can be tempting to always eat in restaurants. If you’re in South East Asia or somewhere similar then restaurants are really cheap but you can still save money. I love eating out but when you go out for breakfast it is very tempting to have a bacon sandwich or something similar. This takes up valuable working time and adds to your waistline! Agi and I always try to buy some muesli from a shop. We keep it in our room, borrow bowls from the kitchen and have a quick, cheap breakfast. This helps maintain a routine, prevent overeating and save money.
These are a couple of the things we do to save cash for the lean times. We love the freelancing lifestyle and want it to continue. I would hate to be forced to find a job because I spent too much! Get in touch if you have any good money saving ideas.