5 Ways I Simplify My Finances as a Freelancer

5 Ways To Simplify Finances as a Freelancer

Thank you PayPal and Walmart for sponsoring this post. Introducing PayPal cash in and cash out money services, the financial services alternative which allows you to manage your cash flow on your own terms!

I’ve talked here in the past about my experiences with my husband’s and my not-so-typical jobs (Robbie is the Stage Manager for a band and I am a full time blogger with a greeting card side business), and I’ve touched on the wonderful things about having careers that are so different from the 9-5, as well as the parts that can be difficult. For me personally, one of the biggest challenges with my particular jobs (and one that most freelancers face) is the lack of a predictable paycheck where the same amount of funds are deposited into my account on the same days each month. Because of this, I can’t just set up direct deposit for monthly bills and not think about it, or go to an ATM and withdraw paycheck cash like clockwork every other Friday, for example. There are, however, ways I’ve learned to simplify, organize, and ultimately give myself more financial freedom as a freelancer.

This is my busiest time of year for both my full time job as a blogger and my side business as a greeting card designer, and it’s also the time of year when I most often need easy access to cash for things like holiday gift shopping and grocery shopping for holiday gatherings. So it seemed like the perfect time to share the ways that, as a freelancer and small business owner, I simplify my finances – so I can spend less time stressing and more time doing the things I most enjoy, like playing with my babes, hanging with my husband and girlfriends, and even (gasp!) taking time for myself.

1. I keep business and personal finances separate and organized. My business is registered as an LLC, but I am still paid as a sole proprietor. Because of this, I am not paid a salary, but rather draw money from my business as needed to pay myself. This makes it imperative that I keep detailed records (which I do using everything from accounting software to an old school checkbook register) of where every incoming and outgoing dollar is received/spent, and properly categorize business and personal expenses. This makes filing taxes much easier, and helps simplify my personal finances along the way so I’m more aware of what I’m able to spend and/or need to save.

2. I create a budget. I am admittedly not one of those awesomely organized people who creates a personal spending spreadsheet and sticks to a strict budget, but I am aware of exactly how much money I have coming in (even if I don’t know an exact date of when), and what bills I need to pay every month. Once I subtract my monthly expenses (both personal and business) from money I know I’ll have in a given month, it’s easy to create an approximate budget for myself. And doing that makes my life in general much less stressful.

3. I plan for taxes. Depending on the previous year, I either make quarterly estimated tax payments, or make sure I have enough in my business bank account to cover any taxes owed each April. In both taxes and freelancer life in general, surprises are not fun when it comes to your business owing money. Having those funds either paid along the way or set aside untouched is crucial.

4. I plan to use PayPal Cash In and Cash Out. This is new for me, but it is a big one in terms of convenience and making my life as a freelancer simpler. PayPal recently teamed up with Walmart to offer PayPal cash in and cash out money services, and guys, it is a game changer for allowing freelancers to manage finances on their own terms. Both as a blogger and greeting card line owner, I receive a lot of payments through PayPal, and I always keep a balance in my PayPal account. With this service, I can go to any US Walmart store and access the money in my PayPal account, including the ability to load and withdraw money. So I can easily withdraw cash at Walmart for groceries, clothes, office supplies, things I need for my kids, holiday gifts, etc. If I make cash sales as a craft fair with my cards, I can even deposit it right into my PayPal account when I’m doing my everyday shopping at Walmart. It’s pretty great. On top that, PayPal Cash Mastercard customers are able to pay bills or make purchases online or at any place where Mastercard is accepted, along with being able to use Service Desks, ATMs, and the cash registers at Walmart to access cash from their balance (at just $ 3 per service).

Convenience is everything for a busy working parent of two little ones with a non-traditional line of work (and really, for any freelancer), so I am very grateful to have access to PayPal cash in and cash out. If you’re a blogger, freelancer, or just have a nontraditional job and want to simplify your finances too, you can learn more about this amazing service and how it can give you more financial freedom right here.

5. I plan for the highs and lows. Although there is never a set amount on which I can rely from my jobs at any given time, I am aware of patterns and times of year when things are busier and slower. For example, I know that from late October through mid December, my work schedule (with both my blog/social media accounts and my greeting cards) will be much busier, I know that January and February will be the time period when more money is coming in (from the extra work in the preceding months), and I know that early summer tends to be slower both schedule wise and with incoming funds. Being aware of this allows me to make educated guesses on when to save and when to spend.

I am by no means a business expert, and as a creatively minded person, it took me a long time to figure out how to properly manage my finances as a freelancer. Now that I am more organized and have more specific ways to simplify my finances, my life in general is less stressful, and I’m more able to focus on the things that really matter. If you have a nontraditional job, I hope this post proves helpful. And if you have any other tips for financial freedom with an atypical job, I’d loved to hear them!

Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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