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How to Cope as a Freelancer by Ageing your Money

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I left traditional employment after having my twins, and I have been freelancing ever since. The decision of not going back to my old job after pregnancy was kind of made for me. Going back to my old job was not going to be worthwhile so I created jobs I could do from anywhere for myself. Being a freelancer/self-employed is not easy but it is worth it. I always weigh all options in life, and the pros of working for myself from home massively outweighs the cons, which is why I am still doing what I know how to do best.

 

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How to cope as a freelancer by ageing your money

Coping financially as a freelancer has been a learning curve. I have had to learn how to ask for the right amount of money for what the job I do. I have also had to learn how to manage my money so it covers all my living expenses and a bit more. Having some kind of savings is important for every one of us, regardless of the work we do. But it is really important when you are working for yourself, as you really have no guaranteed income. The only income that is guaranteed is what you currently have in your bank account. It is very possible to not make £1 for a whole week, only to make as much as £1000 the next week. Which is why you have to learn how to age your money.

 

Ageing your money

Ageing your money is something I have always known about and I have put into practice for as long as I have been earning money. However, I became more aware of this after reading the Wall Street Journal Bestseller – You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham, earlier in January. The book really resonated with me. It was so good, I couldn’t stop reading it. I finished reading the entire book on my Amazon Kindle within 3 days.

I picked up a lot of tips from this book and I recommend it to all business owners, freelancers, self-employed, and even those doing traditional jobs. The book opened my eyes to ways of really making my money work longer for me, and I picked up many vital tips that I have now implemented in my life.

The whole idea behind ageing your money is you not spending your income as soon as it hits your bank account. It can feel like a delaying tactic but it really works. All you need to do is to try it for a month and see the difference in your bank balance and your mental health. Ageing your money stops you from living pay check to pay check. It helps you get out of debt and stay out of debt.

 

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Having a budget helps age your money

Having a budget helps you stay on top of your income and expenses. Your outgoings are all planned and you are in control of your finances. Being a freelancer means you never really know how much you would make from month to month, so having a realistic budget is important because it gives you that peace of mind.

My income varies from month to month. I have been freelancing for a few years, so I know on average the minimum I would make, so I plan my bills with that in mind. Also, I make sure I keep any extras I get for months when I am short. I age my money by spreading my bills so they all don’t go out in the same week. That way I am never short of cash, and I can keep aside payment for each bill weekly.

 

Ageing my money is how I am smashing my freelancing/self-employed world. It works great for me.

Are you working for yourself from home? How do you stay on top of your finances?

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How to Manage Time Off as a Freelancer

The holiday season is fast approaching. Unlike those with a 9-to-5 jobs, freelancers work around the clock. That’s the nature of your job as a freelancer.  But just like everybody else, we deserve a break to enjoy the festivities.

As a freelancer, you’re your own boss and you have no one to ask for a day off. So you have to find a way to create such time for yourself.

That can seem like a very daunting task as creating that block of time to enjoy the holidays seems almost impossible. But the good news is that there is a way you can have the free time you need to enjoy the festivities with everyone else. Here exactly how you can manage time off as a freelancer this holiday season.

 

 

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Plan ahead

If you want to have the holidays to yourself, then planning ahead is key. To get more time off for yourself means you need to put in extra hours. But don’t worry, it will be worth it. I promise.

Get all your projects and tasks you have of the month in perspective.  This will help you prioritize the tasks and projects that you need to give urgent attention to first.

That’s just one aspect to planning ahead.

The next thing you need to do is to draw up a budget of how much you need to make for you to comfortably enjoy your time off without feeling the pinch in your finances. This will help you know how many projects you need to take up to make up for that period.  Since you’re the boss, no one is going to give you a bonus unless you work it out yourself.

 

Be disciplined

It will take a lot of discipline to make sure that you follow through with the deadlines you set for yourself. Since you’ll be working harder and for longer hours you need to remain focused and resolute to carry out your projects as at when due. Use incentives to keep you motivated to keep going. What better incentive than to know that you’ll get to spend time with your loved ones during the holidays and relax to your fill!

 

 

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Learn to say “NO”

Sometimes you may be tempted to take up a project or two even though you’re full to the brim with projects. At that point you need to allow yourself to be practical and say “No” to the offers that come in.

You may want to get yourself some time off but that doesn’t mean that you should work yourself into burnout.

 

Outsource what you can

If you tried but couldn’t get yourself to say “No” to the project that comes in, the next practical step to take is to outsource those projects to freelancers who will be available during the time when you’re going on holiday.

The best part of being a freelancer is that you have access to a friendly family of freelancers. The freelancer community is full of talented freelancers who do awesome work.

Once you’ve outsourced the job, you can have the freelancer send the project back to you to for vetting before you send it back to your client. That way you will still earn from the project and help create jobs for other upcoming freelancers.

 

How do you manage time off as a freelancer?

Finding the Time to Freelance and Parent

Freelancing and parenting on their own are two extremely challenging activities. But when you’ve got to combine both freelancing and parenting this challenge can turn into an uphill battle.

 

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With running my own business, I am having the time of my life doing my own thing from home and making money. But I must admit that juggling both working from home and parenting 2 under 5 has its fair share of challenges especially when it came to managing my time.

As always, I’m here to share my tips with you. For all the parents who are freelancers out there, if you’re finding it difficult to create time for freelancing because you’re swamped with parenting, here are some tips for you.

 

  1. Steer clear of anything that will distract you

Scrolling through social media, watching TV or flipping through magazines may be harmless at first glance. However they can take away your precious time. Time is limited and so you need to clear away anything that has the potential of eating up your time.

Limit the time you spend on social media. Commit to using it only three times a day for a short period of time. Keep your phone away while you’re working.

Getting rid of distractions also involves you informing your family members of your working hours. During these times you should not be disturbed unless there is an emergency. Setting such boundaries will ensure you have uninterrupted time to work.

 

  1. Build your schedule around your children

Although it may seem from the outside that taking care of children could take up all of your time, it will interest you to know that there are little pockets of time you can leverage on to have some work done. A good example is nap time. Nap times are ideal for you to finish a freelance project or two. You can also work when your child falls asleep at night. Since my kids started reception, I now do 85% of my work while they are at school and 15% at night when they are asleep. I hardly work weekends these days and when I do, I make sure to do my work when they are in bed.

Do your kids have activities that keep them busy? Use that time to work as well. On school days, when the kids are not at home, you can focus on your freelance work.

 

  1. Locate short batches of time

Most freelancers feel that it is practically impossible to have work done in less than an hour. Some even think that they have no time to work unless they have long stretches of time to work on their freelance projects.

The truth is that you can get work done when it’s broken down into smaller batches of time. For example the 10 minutes you spend reading the newspaper at the breakfast table could be used to do some research for an article that you have to submit to a client. The 20 minutes you spend waiting for your kids at the parking lot for them to close from school could be used to send emails to prospective clients.

When you look hard enough you will find a few minutes here and there to get some work done.

 

  1. Set your priorities

Having time to balance work and parenting requires you to set your priorities right. Sometimes we engage in activities that only take our minds from our work and parenting.

When you set aside time to work or spend time with your kids you need to make sure that it’s non-negotiable. Don’t allow anything or anyone to steal into the time you allocated. This may be a little challenging but with practice you’ll get it right. All it requires is for you to remain focused.

 

Do you freelance and parent? How does it work for you? Please share your tried and tested tips in the comments section below.

 

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