Our freelance writing incomes may not be much, but they’re ours. If we can hang onto enough of them to feed us, clothe us, house us, and/or – and this is the big one – give us the time and freedom to go out on more freelance writing gigs. Here’s some stuff we all need to know. (Don’t you love the word “stuff?”):
by Walter Glenn
Freelancing is rewarding, but it is not for the faint of heart. Yes, you get to do work you love and you get to do it on (mostly) your own terms. You also have play roles you may not enjoy so much, like marketer, sales person, and bookkeeper, some of which we’ve talked about before. And one of the biggest challenges in freelancing is managing an irregular income.P
Before I started working for Lifehacker, I spent over twenty years as a freelance computer consultant and writer. I loved working for myself, almost as much as I love with the people here, but managing the boom and bust cycle of work was something that never came easy. I did learn some good lessons along the way, though. P
Create an Emergency Fund
Everybody should have an emergency fund that they only dip into when they need to cover basic expenses and have no other recourse. You’ve heard this advice from us on more than oneoccasion. The common wisdom is to keep enough money in your emergency fund to cover six to eight months of bills. If you’re freelancing, you need more.
I recommend at least being able to cover expenses for a full year. Remember that it isn’t just personal expenses you have to think about anymore. You also need to be able to cover business-related expenses and there are some other advantages, too: