Bad Financial Habits That Can Cut Short Your Freelance Career

Freelancing is tough. And many new freelancers make it tougher by falling into bad financial habits. Sometimes right from the start. Here are a few bad habits to avoid if you’re trying to make it as a freelancer.

Bad Financial Habits That Can Cut Short Your Freelance Career

Financially a job is very different from being a freelancer. When you have a job money comes in automatically, on time, each pay day. It’s easy to assume that as long as you have steady work, freelancing will be the same. But it’s not.

Treating freelancing like a job

Treating freelancing like a business

Yes you are officially ‘in business’ once you set yourself up as a freelancer, but a freelance business is different from most other start-ups. Most of us can probably start freelancing with the skills and equipment we already have, allowing us to potentially get started with very little investment

It’s easy to get yourself into financial trouble come tax season by not keeping detailed records. You’ll also find that keeping good records helps you track what’s working and what’s not, and which part of your business is most profitable, which will help you to be more successful going forward.

Shoddy record keeping

Not setting rates correctly

Keeping rates reasonable can be an advantage you have over big companies or agencies with high overheads, but don’t charge so little that you put yourself under financial strain. Have confidence in your ability and learn to charge what you’re worth.

It can be good to learn new skills, but you don’t want to spend dozens of (unbillable) hours on working out how to do tasks you can easily outsource. Focus on bringing in money with your core skills, and outsource things that would take you hours to work out to an expert who can do the job in an hour.

Not outsourcing appropriately

One reason freelancers fail is that they really aren’t that clear on what they offer. This means they end up spending time on tasks outside their comfort zone that eat away at their time.

Being unclear about your services

That’s why it’s important to be clear on what you offer and what you charge. It avoids the ‘task creep’ we’ve probably all experienced in regular jobs, where we end up taking on a lot of extra duties that don’t really fall within our job description.