A step-by-step guide for freelancers to finally know exactly where you stand financially day-to-day, month-to-month. Thinking about making a budget for 2016? Worried about your cash-flow or being in debt?
Many of the people we work with are super passionate freelancers: they earn their living project-to-project and don’t take home a regular pay check each week. There’s incredible freedom and insanely hard work behind the scenes to make it all happen.
There’s thousands of resources out there on how to gain more clients and to market yourself more effectively in the form of blogs, consultants, coaches, courses, books, etc.
And, there’s plenty of apps which integrate in with your bank accounts to help you forecast your earnings and set budgets. And, if you look hard enough you can probably find a handful of blog posts and books talking about managing cash flow as a freelancer.
BUT, most of this cash flow advice works for people who are employees working full time for a company who know exactly what income they’ll be earning this week, next week and next month.
One of the biggest problems for freelancers is figuring out how to manage their cashflow when things can be so variable from month to month. You can’t always predict when your invoices will be paid, a project gets delayed and “averaging things out” can be insanely misleading.
The more books you read about money and personal finance which is geared for a different scenario, the more confused you can become!
Why freelancers need to read Cashflow for Freelancers
My friend and colleague Dianna Huff has been wrestling with these questions for many years, and has put together an incredibly practical guide on figuring out where you stand financially day-to-day, month to month. The exercises do take a bit of time to do but it is well worth the investment and resulting in less gut-wrenching uncertainty. It really is a life-changing workbook.
What I also love is that this guide isn’t from someone who has made it big time and forgotten how hard it can be to pull together money to pay the bills, juggle responsibilities and stay sane through it all.
Even better: along with step-by-step exercises and thorough examples, Dianna’s warmth shines through with real, inspiring stories from other freelancers on how they manage their cash flow.
She’s avoids the type of hype commonly seen in financial advice books and there’s not a hint of making you feel guilty about debt (hooray). She doesn’t lecture you on how you spend your money.
Why I freelance
Dianna asked me to include my story about why I freelance in her guide… so if you’re curious, here it is!
I started my WordPress design business in 2008. At the time, I was teaching at the University of Auckland and could have stayed and had a very successful career.
But staying on that career path would have meant leaving for work at about 5:30 a.m. and arriving home at about 4:30 p.m. every day, traveling long distances, and getting minimal time off each year. I would have been expected to travel to overseas conferences each year and be away from my children for extended periods.
So the number one reason I work for myself is freedom — freedom to be there for my four children. Had I stayed at the University, I couldn’t go along to things like their school assemblies when they get certificates, or take them on after-school coffee dates. I couldn’t have nursed them when they were little as long as I have.
Another reason I work for myself (as does my husband, Regan), is because we both love to travel. I’ve been to 29 countries. We want to pass on the love of traveling to our children. Right now we visit Hawaii each year for a month during New Zealand’s winter.
Working for myself means I have more time with Regan — having his company and eating lunch together. We talk over ideas and juggle responsibilities. Working for someone else means I couldn’t enjoy the lovely view as (our house is situated on a hill overlooking an extraordinary vista) or the peace and quiet we have here during the day when the children are in school!
I’m grateful that I’m free to experiment and try new ideas. I’m thankful to be living in New Zealand and making lots of friends in the last couple of years since my oldest child, Eli, started school. Before, I used to feel down that I didn’t know many local people. Now I keep meeting people locally and when I do, I think, “Oh wow, I want to build a friendship with them, they are amazing!”
It would be easier to work for someone else. But all the best things in life are hard work — raising children for one!
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