By Sabrina Loh
The life of a freelancer can be incredibly rewarding. It allows you to choose your own hours, pick your clients, and have complete control over your workload.
However, as a freelancer, you are also your own ‘business’ — that means managing your own cash flow, as well as simultaneously staying on top of your daily tasks.
Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or an established one, saving money is always important. These hacks will help you keep costs down.
Work from home when possible
Sure, you can work from anywhere as a freelancer. But should you do it every day? Probably not.
Working out of a cafe or a co-working space will incur all sorts of expenses, like food, coffee, transportation, or rental. You can save tons by working from the comfort of your own home.
Cut the cost of subscriptions
Regularly comb through your work-related subscriptions to check what services you’re not using, and cancel them. With the subscriptions that you do decide to keep, consider paying for them yearly than monthly, as it is usually cheaper.
You can use your BigPay account to pay for international subscriptions and payments as we offer one of the most competitive exchange rates in the market. On top of that, you’ll collect points which you can use to redeem discounts on airasia rewards later.
Create a business budget
No two months are the same when it comes to freelance income. Therefore, having a budget can help you to manage your expenses through these fluctuations.
A budget can also ensure that you’re allocating money to your retirement and taxes, which are typically taken care of by an employer.
Eat and have coffee at home
Dining out or ordering food delivery can add up quickly, and the rising prices of groceries in Malaysia aren’t helping. Try out these hacks to save money on your groceries and prepare your meals at home.
Keep costs of meetings low
If you’re taking all your clients out to lunch, you can quickly go over budget. Although it’s only natural to want to make sure your meeting goes well, it’s still important to think about these extra costs. Consider doing it through video calls or meeting at inexpensive locations instead.
Keep track of your time
As a freelancer, your time is your money. Keeping track of your time for each project will give you insights into what needs to be billed and how much time you’re spending on each task. You risk undercharging a project if you don’t keep track of your time spent working.
Prepare for taxes
Your taxes are automatically deducted from your paycheck when you’re a full-time employee. But as a freelancer, you’ll have to take care of this yourself. Save yourself the headache at the end of the tax year and set aside a few hours a week to do some bookkeeping.
Review your rates
It’s normal for newbie freelancers to set their rates lower to attract clients. However, you shouldn’t stick to those rates forever. Make sure you review your rates as you gain more experience so that you’re not working tirelessly for peanuts. In turn, this will help you to save more money.
Choose long-term projects
While this may not always be possible, try to work on long-term projects as this promises a more consistent source of income. Short-term or one-off projects are typically not as profitable.
Tune into the BigPay blog every week to learn more finance tips like this.