In January I reached freelancer bliss – I was a month ahead on all of my bills. For an entire month, I wouldn’t have to wait until client payments come in to pay the credit card. I could hustle knowing that everything was taken care of. Quite frankly, it’s the financial stability all freelancers hope to attain at some point in their careers.
But how do we get there? How do we become so financially stable when we have variable income and don’t get paid every two weeks like everyone else? Here are my tips on how I got a month ahead.
Raise your rates.
Last year I started asking for more money than I’d ever negotiated for in my life. It was very scary at first, but it’s been absolutely worth it. This alone has helped greatly in making sure I can get ahead of my bills and stop worrying about whether or not a client payment is going to come through on time.
Make it easy for people to pay you.
One of the fastest ways to make more money is to make it easier for people to pay you. For example, are you still accepting checks? It may be time to switch to ePayments so that your clients can easily pay their invoices.
Take on more work.
No one likes to hear this, but it’s true. If you want to make more money you may have to hustle a little harder. Last year I started accepting projects for video creation and brand ambassador work. It was a part of my plan to diversify my income, and it’s led to a lot more hustle on my end.
Don’t spend the extra money you’re making.
When you start making more money, it’s very easy to increase your expenses without even realizing it. I’m not talking about reinvesting a portion of the money back into your business because that’s necessary in order to continue growing. What I’m talking about is those non-business expenses that creep into your life once you start making more money – subscriptions, upgrades, clothes, eating out more, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to enjoy some of the extra money you’re making. What’s not okay is going overboard without realizing it just because you think you now have money. By keeping yourself in check you can keep more money in the bank which you can then use to get ahead on your bills.
Pay your credit card on the closing date, not the due date.
This technically won’t get you a month ahead on your bills, but it will give you at least 21 days. By using your closing date as your new due date you get three weeks ahead on your credit card bill and you can skyrocket your credit score (of course, this is only if you pay in full). It’s a win-win.
With proper care and planning, you can get a month ahead on your bills as a freelancer. Simply follow some of these tips and you’ll be well on your way to more financial stability.