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Self Employment on a Budget

I have been self-employed for a few years now and although I love it, it does come with its challenges. On some month, I am super busy and my bank account is smiling. And some other months, it can be super quiet. One minute I could be wondering how to pay some bills, and the next minute I could be laughing all the way to the bank. That is pretty much the life of a freelancer/self-employed person. Our income fluctuates and there is so much financial uncertainty but I won’t trade it for a job in an office with a regular pay check. The pros of being a self-employed person massively outweighs the cons for me, which is why I do what I do.

 

You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want image

 

 

You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want

Having said that, the key to surviving the self employment world is to have a budget. I love reading finance self-help book on my Amazon Kindle. The book I am currently reading is You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want by Jesse Mecham. It is the first book I am reading this year and I am loving the budgeting tips and advice. I have picked a lot from this book and I recommend it to anyone struggling to make the most of their money. You need to read this book. It is full of wisdom and valuable tips. 

Everyone needs a budget regardless of what you do for money. Business owners and freelancers need a budget more than everyone else because of the income fluctuations. Having a budget helps you plan your money and make your money work for you. If you budget right, you can survive on periods where work is quiet because you would have saved money from the busy months. 

 

Self Employment on a Budget

I am going to be handling my money a little differently this 2019. Generally, I am good with money but there is always room for improvements, and I plan to be better this 2019. Here are some things I would be doing more of –

 

Ageing my money

Jesse Mecham advises us to age our money. What this means is for us not to spend all of our money as soon as it comes in. This makes a whole lot of sense. Ageing your money allows you think smartly and set your priorities straight. It takes off the stress of having no money in your bank account and it allows you plan your life.  Ageing your money allows your money wait on you instead of you waiting on your money. It sounds pointless but it works. Trust me, I have tried it. The longer you can age your money, the better. I aim to age my money for at least 30 days. It is a work in progress but I am slowly getting there.

 

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Spend less than what you earn

This should be common sense but it is amazing how we spend way more than what we earn. Which leads to us having to use our overdraft facility, store cards and credit cards to make up for the difference. Spending less than what we earn is the way to financial freedom.

 

Grow the savings

Having money saved away is the way to survive self employment. With the income uncertainty, you never know for sure when you would be short, so it makes sense to always have money stashed away for when the need arises. Growing the savings is one of my many goals this 2019.

 

Make more money

2019 is the year of making more money. That is another goal I plan to seriously work on this year. The way to financial freedom is to have many streams of income. I am planning on working hard on making money via affiliates and I am using an affiliate link in this post for the first time in a long time. Having many streams of income means you have various ways of making money. No one should ever rely on 1 pay check.

 

Do you have a budget?

 

*Affiliate link used.

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Work From Home Would Not Work For You

Many people love the idea of being able to work from home or from anywhere. The fact that you can work in bed with your pyjamas on if you like, and not have to commute sounds appealing to many. It is also amazing when you have kids as you don’t have to deal with the expensive childcare fees and all. It also allows me bring up my kids which is a blessing.

Working from home is the dream. I have been working from anywhere for a few years now and I won’t have it any other way. But this way of life would not work for many.

 

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So why won’t working from home work for you? Here are some of the main reasons why –

 

You get easily distracted

Now this is a major issue. If you are the type of person that gets easily distracted, working from home would not work for you. With no boss to micromanage you, you could easily find yourself spending hours doing nothing. With the many social media platforms and entertainment everywhere you turn, you have to be serious-minded enough to ignore distractions to work from home effectively.

 

Addicted to the TV

Being addicted to the TV is a major issue for many, which is why working from home will not work for them. I am not a huge TV fan. I watch few selected programmes on replay. So you will never catch me watching TV all day. Which is why I can get many things done. If you know you will be tempted to pop the TV on while working, then maybe getting a job outside your home would work better for you.

 

You get easily bored or down when by yourself

I like the company of others and I also like just being by myself. I don’t get bored or down easily because I truly enjoy the company of myself. Being an introvert makes working from home very easy. It does get lonely sometimes, and some days are harder than normal but it works great for me overall. If you prefer to be in the company of others or you get easily get bored, then working from home may not be right for you personality.

 

Poor money management skills

Working from home usually means you are self-employed. For you to run your own business from home or from anywhere successfully, you must have great money management skills. You must be on top of your finances to make it work. Every penny must be accounted for. If you struggle with managing your money, then a job with a steady salary may be the best bet for you.

 

No passion

In other for you to be successful, you have to be passionate. No passion means no determination. For you to carry on, especially in the early days when work is few and far between, your passion and determination will carry along.

 

Working from home is a blessing. It is a dream come true for me and I always count my blessings. But it is not the best for many, which is why I decided to write this post so people don’t struggle with what they are not good at.

 

Do you work from home? Please share your thoughts on this.

How to Survive the Quiet Months as a Self Employed

The earning potential of a freelancer or self employed is limitless, unlike being an employee. As a self employed person you determine how much you want to earn so long as you back it up with the work that will make that figure possible. In a 9 to 5 you’re only entitled to a fixed salary from month to month.

There are pros and cons for each career path, so it all depends on what matters to you. Working from home works for me and my family at the moment, and I don’t see that ever-changing. I enjoy my work and the flexibility it brings. Plus, I make more money every month than I did at my previous traditional 9 – 5 job.

 

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Although being self employed is great, there are times when you face those dreaded quiet months where the inflow of projects or gigs is slow. This can pose a challenge in your life. However, if you’re prepared for those quiet months you’ll be unperturbed when those months knock at your door. Here are some quiet months survival methods for when you are struggling with new ideas to bring in money.

 

Survival Tip #1: Plan ahead

As much as planning for success is important, you should also factor in moments when things may not work according to plan. That’s where most self-employed miss it. They don’t expect that anything can go wrong, but that’s nearly impossible in real life.

Have a list of all the things you want to achieve next month and how you will make them happen. Now on another list write all the mishaps that could probably happen and how you would get over the problem.

This little exercise will give you a realistic perspective of your monthly goals as well as a road map out of possible things that may go wrong. The idea is not to focus on the negatives but rather help you make necessary improvements to smash your goals.

 

Survival Tip #2: Contact previous clients

Clients are the livewire of your business. So, if you’re having quiet months then you have a problem. The good news is that you don’t have to go very far before you can get clients.

One of the ways to get clients to patronize you is to reach out to your previous clients. Ask them if they have any projects you can help them with. Give them offers that will make them come back.

If they aren’t ready to hire you for the month, don’t stop there. Ask them if they know anyone who would need your service or product. You’d never know how many gigs can come out from just asking. Reach out to various corporations and see what happens.

 

Survival Tip #3: 10X your outreach

During those dry spells, you have to put yourself out there constantly and consistently so that more people can know about you and the products and services you offer. The more people know about what you do, the higher the chances that someone will buy from or hire you.

There are so many ways you can put yourself and your business out there. You can join meet-ups or other networking events and connect with people. Guest posting to showcase your expertise and attract your target audience is another great idea. You can help your target audience with problems or questions they have as a way to let people know what you can do. Pitch to companies or small businesses you can offer your services to.

 

Survival Tip #4: Promote on Social Media

Never estimate the power of social media. With the help of social media, you can be based in the UK, but still reach people as far as Detroit or from China. Ensure you always promote your business on social media. Make use of the social media platforms that work best for your kind of business and get the word out there.

 

 

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These survival tips are tried and tested by me, and have worked beautifully for many years now.

How do you handle the quiet months in your business? Do you have any tried and tested tip to share with other self-employed persons? Please drop a comment in the comments box below.

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*Collaborative post.

 

 

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