The key to success in freelance writing is not just working hard but also having sound financial habits. It’s important to keep personal and business expenses separate, and to have an idea of your daily account balance in order to avoid impulsive spending. Know what is covered by home warranty and what home insurance is important to have. This will protect your financial budget and allow for less stressful situations.
Good money habits include a budget, saving for emergencies, paying off debt and being mindful of credit card use. These habits will build financial confidence over time.
1. Create a Budget
The first step in creating a budget is to list all of your income sources and expenses. It’s important to be honest with yourself about your spending habits and to include any extras you want to save for or spend on like new clothes or entertainment.
Next, subtract your total expenses from your total income. This is where it gets tricky, especially if you’re used to living beyond your means. Don’t panic if you discover that your expenses are greater than what you bring in – this is normal and it’s just a sign that you need to make some changes.
To do this, you’ll need to cut your spending or earn more money. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do both! One way is to set up automatic bank drafts so that bills and savings deposits are automatically taken out of your paycheck.
2. Invest in Your Future
If you’re free of credit card debt and have money left over after paying your high priority bills, consider saving and investing it. Start by keeping track of your expenses, whether by hand or with a spreadsheet or app tool. Then, cut out unnecessary spending, such as morning coffees, lunches out and that bag of beef jerky.
Save for near-term goals, which will likely take less than two years to achieve, and long-term goals, such as a new car or a trip to Europe. Keep the cash for the former in a low-risk savings account, and invest in the latter with a brokerage account. Investing is an effective way to grow your wealth. It also helps you beat inflation. Cash savings tend to depreciate over time, while investments will appreciate.
3. Create an Emergency Fund
It’s important to create an emergency fund so that you can cover unexpected expenses. The general rule is to save enough money in an emergency savings account to cover 3 to 6 months worth of expenses.
Experts suggest keeping the funds in a high-yield savings or money market account so that they are easily accessible. Having these accounts separate from your checking account will prevent you from accidentally spending the money you are
To make this a regular habit, set up a recurring automatic transfer from your paycheck. This will help you stay on track and stick to your goal. You can also try to cut back on other expenses like streaming services or food delivery to free up more money for savings.
4. Pay Yourself First
If you’ve ever heard someone say “pay yourself first,” they mean to prioritize saving and investing money before paying bills or other expenses. It’s a way to ensure that you don’t short-change your long-term financial goals or forget to save altogether.
The best way to do this is through automatic savings or paycheck deductions that route some portion of your income into your retirement, emergency and/or goal based savings accounts without passing it through your checking account. This makes it harder to spend that money.
Changing your money habits can help you reduce debt, invest more and achieve financial goals that may have seemed impossible before. But, it all starts with a commitment to pay yourself first and sticking to that plan. It’s the only way to make it work!
5. Set Goals
Just like a flower doesn’t bloom without water, you can’t grow your freelance writing business without sound financial management. That means setting and sticking to goals, tracking expenses, and creating a budget.
Consider opening a separate bank account for your freelance work. This will allow you to easily track money that comes in and goes out for your business, which can be a huge help come tax time.
It’s also a good idea to set small, attainable goals that will lead up to your major goal. For example, if your goal is to save for retirement, zero in on a smaller goal such as putting $10 into savings each day. Revisit these goals frequently to keep them top of mind. This will help you stay focused and motivated to achieve them.