Making Money as a Freelancer: 10 Must-Reads on Finance

Making Money as a Freelancer: 10 Must-Reads on Finance

As a freelancer, it’s vital to the success of your business that you’re not only organized but stay up-to-date on your finances. You’ll face a lot of obstacles — especially when it comes to dealing with irregular income or clients who don’t pay.

Here are 10 resources that will help you run your business smoothly and avoid common financial pitfalls most freelance writers face:

1. (from Examiner)

Most freelancers go into freelancing for the freedom to create their own schedules and work flexible hours — the freedom to do work that sustains their lifestyles. Unfortunately, with that awesome freedom comes the responsibility for freelancers to “withhold” their own taxes. To limit your tax burden, check out these different deductions available for small business owners.

2. (from FreelanceSwitch)    

In case of emergency, who will handle your freelance business? This post outlines the steps you should take to keep your business and finances on track during an unexpected and/or indefinite emergency. And let’s face it, emergencies are almost always unexpected and indefinite. Set up an emergency plan now and nothing will faze your business — or your financial goals!

3. (from

In most cases, freelancing means earning irregular income while facing regular bills. So unless your landlord only expects rent during “good income months”, you’ve got to budget! This post discusses things like health insurance, retirement savings, and separate bank accounts–essential items in the life and work of a freelancer!

4. (from WePay)

While it may feel good to blow a cash windfall on designer duds and gourmet eats, freelancers (and the rest of the population) should use windfalls to get ahead in a bigger sense. That’s why it’s vital to allocate windfalls into three categories: savings, investing, and long-term goals. I also strongly urge you to set aside 25% of your income for tax purposes. Your future self — and the future of your business — says thanks!

5. (from FreelanceSwitch)

“And I’ll need a recent pay stub and a letter from your job verifying employment”, said every apartment manager and loan officer ever. This post details the different documents you can use to prove your income to apartment managers, banks and even doctors. Just be prepared to receive a look that says, “What do you mean you can’t provide me with a traditional pay stub?” and “I’m pretty sure freelancing is just a filler on resumes during employment gaps.”

6. (from All Freelance Writing)

Freelancers are people, too. They get sick. However, they have a different set of procedures to follow than the typical 9-5 employee. Jennifer suggests five things you should do when you get sick (and you will!). My favorite is #4: don’t feel guilty!

7. (from Planting Money Seeds)

Inflation causes your expenses to go up over time and income shouldn’t be any different. One of the best freelance writers online suggests raising rates for new clients, and discusses the possibility of raising rates for existing clients as well. If you have a good relationship with your clients, they should be more than willing to pay you more.

If you have a good relationship with your clients, they'll be more than willing to pay you more.

8. (from Financial Highway)

What should you do to manage your finances as a freelancer? Budget, diversify, and assess. By taking these three steps, losing a client or having a “bad income month” won’t completely derail your business or your finances. Create a budget based on past trends, diversify income streams, and assess your finances to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and what’s changed.

9. (from FreelanceFolder)

Many freelancers have side projects to bring in more income. Before you decide to start up your own, you may be interested to know how much work they can really be. Laura highlights three popular freelancer side gigs — namely affiliate marketing, writing ebooks, and developing web themes — and discusses why they aren’t as passive as they may seem.

10. (from BlogHer)

Along with all the other things freelancers have to face, having a good system for billing is crucial. Whether you choose a subscription service with a monthly fee or invest in a software package, a good billing system will ensure that your clients are receiving their invoices, you’re keeping track of the money you’ve received, and you know which bills are still outstanding. Pearlie uses QuickBooks; what do you use?

Most of these tips are essential for anyone, but they’re especially important for freelancers and small business owners. If you need help working with irregular income, paying taxes, keeping your finances organized and billing clients or customers, then these are some of the best posts to help you accomplish that.

What other financial advice should we include here?

Filed Under: Freelancing

Featured resource

While it’s easy to start a freelance writing business, it’s much harder to actually run one. This guide will help your business thrive — not just survive.


  • MaryBeth Mazek says:

    This is full of all kinds of great information to questions I’ve had…especially on budgeting when you have no idea what your income flow is going to be. Thank you Carrie!

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