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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.

 

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

 

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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Turn your hobby into a career

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The Beginning

Many people wonder how to Turn their hobby into a career. When you love your job, it is never really “work”. When you turn your hobby into a career, the impossible becomes possible, and life starts to have a full meaning. I remember when I had a traditional office job for a big gas company. It was a job I juggled before the twins showed up, and I truly hated every second of it. The only thing that mattered to me was my monthly pay check, and that was so little, it was pretty much gone few days after payday. Then the wait for the next pay check started.

 

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It was soul draining

Life was hard. It was a long commute to the office everyday, and I was miserable.I spent long hours indoors at work trapped in a call centre with a headset permanently on my head. To simply describe, it was soul draining.  It was so hard in the summer. I never got the chance to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. I got to work for 9am everyday and sometimes I would work until late in the evening. The only good about the job was the free vending machine on some days, and the building itself. It was nicely furnished with roof lanterns in some rooms which allowed me make the most of the amazing weather when we had it.

I had no interest in the job or the business, but it was the only job I had so I had to hold on to it. Then I stated Fashion and Style Police, and that gave my life a whole new meaning. I had something that was mine own and I put my heart and soul into it. This blog got me through that job, and even though it hardly brought me any income in the first year, it didn’t matter to me. It was a hobby that gave me hope.

 

Turn your hobby into a career

Most times, we don’t see how our hobby can become a career but most times it can. I enjoyed reading and writing from a very young age, and setting up a blog allowed me to create a home for my hobby. And now, that hobby has become a career. I write on her here for myself and my readers. Many of the articles are sponsored by brands, which allows me to continue to work from home and be there for my twins. I also write for my other websites, manage marketing campaigns for many clients as well as managing their social media platforms. My working life has become a dream come true and many times I still pinch myself when amazing collaborations land in my email.

 

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Yes you can

This post is not about me bragging about my working from home life and living the dream. I wrote it to motivate anyone thinking of turning a hobby to a career. I would say go for it. You never know until you try. To be safe, you can start working on growing your hobby into a career by the side, while you hold on to your regular pay check. If you like writing, set up a blog. If you have a good eye for fashion designing and are good at sewing great designs, think of setting up your clothing label. And if makeup is more your thing, think of setting up a makeup artist business.

The internet has made it super easy to start off any type of business with various useful content online and social media platforms you can utilise to help grow your brand.

 

No regrets

I am happy I took the leap of faith to work for myself. It has not been a walk in the park but I rather do this walk than any other. No regrets here. I would do it all over again if I had another chance.

 

What is your hobby?

 

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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