We often set up reminders for scheduled appointments, meetings and other important occurrences. As a freelancer, solopreneur or small business owner, we need a similar reminder to keep better track of our finances. If you’re struggling to do this, here are 3 tips to do so.

1. Have a set location to collect all of your earnings.

As a freelancer, I receive payment in multiple ways from different clients. When I was starting out, I felt like my money was all over the place. I received some payments via Paypal, checks came in the mail and others through an Intuit account. I quickly learned that I had to funnel all of the money to one location in a systemized, timely way to keep better track and stay organized.

When I first started booking entrepreneurs on podcasts, sometimes I would forget to transfer what I earned from PayPal to my account. I wouldn’t have as much money available as I had planned, even though I was technically “paid”. It was frustrating not to have access to my funds when I needed them. I now make sure to transfer the money as soon as I can to have it available when needed. Luckily, life is much easier now that I’ve switched over to an ecash digital wallet. I can avoid fees that I would incur with Paypal, gain quicker access to my money since I don’t have to transfer it, and eliminate extra steps like depositing checks. I’m kicking myself for not doing this sooner.

2. Have a set time to do your bookkeeping.

To avoid feeling scattered and financially all over the place, make sure you schedule time to handle your books. If for some reason someone doesn’t pay you, you can have a system to keep it on your radar and avoid having the payment fall between the cracks. You’ll want to contact the payer to receive their payment promptly. This is not something you want to let slide. If weeks or months go by, you’ll have to remember when you did the work, track down the invoice sent, and contact the person that handles accounts payable.

While it’s not a glamorous task to set aside time for bookkeeping, it’s vital to getting paid and will help streamline your business finances. Devote some time to this on a regular basis. Pick a day of the week and put it on the calendar. When you handle your invoices and payment regularly, you won’t have to spend as much time playing hide and seek with your money later on. For example, schedule a  half hour or so to look and see what is due from customers. Also, try to be consistent when you send the invoices, so the client comes to expect them at a certain time.

3. Streamline payment processes.

Sometimes it takes a little extra time and effort up front to make things run smoother. It can be hard to sacrifice precious business time to set up something new when you might be trying to get featured in major media outlets, you’re working on how to make a new client questionnaire or your just trying to get a handle on your email.

Just like you need to set a aside time for bookkeeping, make it a priority to streamline your business finances by switching to mobile payments. It can free up time over the long haul which will give you more time to grow your business and enhance your cash flow. So don’t keep putting it on the backburner. Look into Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and even Due, which is like the Venmo for business owners.
If you’re a freelancer, small business owner or a one man (or woman) band of any sort, it can be hard to keep track of the money you make. If you’re spread super thin wearing many hats and taking care of every little detail, you can quickly lose sight of your bottom line. Use the tips mentioned to get back on track.

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Karen is a Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Writer who sharpens her skills at US News Money. You can also find her placing clients on podcasts and reading about home office organization, productivity and habits.

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