Freelancing is a growing industry, and Fiverr sellers are in a particularly lucrative position for promoting their services and tapping into a large body of buyers looking for services like theirs. But even with the benefits of freelancing, sellers still need to create a savings plan so they can continue to work in the way they want to work, and still make ends meet (and even afford a vacation here and there).
Budgeting is a MUST. But nobody likes limiting the resources or perks they’ve grown accustomed to. So here’s a seller’s guide to smart savings without having to cut yourself into a corner.
Step #1: Hire an accountant (human or otherwise)
Managing finances can be daunting, and many freelancers opt to give this workload over to a professional. The question is whether it’s worth it to hire an accountant, though. Accountants can help you stay on top of finances, avoid late fees or interest or dues owed, as well as pay your taxes on time. But there are also plenty of apps that’ll do the trick for free. Mint, MoneyBook, and Taxfyle are a few great examples of apps you can use to keep finances in order without paying a hefty bill. You know yourself best – will you stay on top of things with an app, or do you need to pay the price tag of an accountant to get the job done?
Step #2: Track your expenses, big and small
We don’t realize how fast those little expenditures add up. A new mouse, an upgraded antivirus, even office supplies or travel expenses add up to a lot at the end of the month. A good way to get ahead of these spendings is to keep receipts and get reimbursed for necessary business expenses. This can be added into your buyer’s invoice at the end of a project. But even if you’re not getting paid back, keeping those receipts and paying attention to these small costs will give you a better idea of how much a job is really costing you to get done.
Step #3: Know how to outsource
While freelancing lends itself to wearing many hats, most people are just not a jack of all trades. So while a copywriter might also do editing, and a graphic designer might also do email marketing, sellers need to know when it’s time to outsource and when they can just switch hats and keep the work “in-house.” For example: you get a writing project that requires you to include a graph illustrating your research. You’re an excellent writer, but numbers just aren’t your thing. If it takes you three hours to get that graph made, you could be blowing all your time on this one project that won’t be paying you for your efforts. Instead, outsource that element of the project (there are great graph designers on a helpful site called Fiverr!), and you’ll actually end up saving more.
Once you surround yourself by a group of talented, trustworthy sellers like yourself, you can also take on more complex projects as collaborative efforts; this will be great for your portfolio, and will often bring in very lucrative work.
Step #4: Track (all of) your time
Time is money, as everyone knows, so make sure you’re getting paid for your time. That includes phone calls, research, paper work, as well as the actual project time. Due Time Tracking, TopTracker, and Toggl are great apps for tracking your work time, and they’re free. There are other more robust trackers that you can pay for, but the free versions generally have what you need anyway.
As a side note, this type of time tracking can also help you assess which type of projects are more worth your time investment than others. For example, if a project is paying you $30/hour but ends up taking you three hours to complete, it’s more worthwhile taking a project that pays $20/hour but only takes you half an hour.
Step #5: Invest in speed and reliability
The resource the freelance world most heavily relies on is the Internet, especially when clients are located on the other side of the planet. How fast you work will greatly depend on your Internet connection, so spending a bit to have a faster connection will save you a lot in the long run. Also, a portable Internet hotspot can be a lifesaver if you are on the go or if your Internet goes down for some reason in the middle of a job. So much time and money is wasted on downtime; don’t let that happen to you.
Step #6: Make small improvements for big changes
You may be surprised by how small, seemingly insignificant upgrades can really change the way you work. Put technology to work for you by utilizing apps, tools, and services that maximize your time, money, and efforts, and minimize your stumbling blocks. Do you work offsite often? Consider investing in a wireless mouse rather than relying on your laptop touchpad. If you work from your home office, an ergonomic desk chair can make a world of difference. Upgrade your design/writing/editing software so your projects are completed faster and more smoothly, and free organizational tools will keep efficiency high and expenses low.
Incidentally, some of these apps/tools will also open up doors to better, more interesting, and, most of all, higher paying Gigs. So they can really be worth the initial investment.
Step #7: Choose your payments provider wisely
Not all payment providers are made equal. When choosing how to get paid by Fiverr, make sure you’re making the best choice that will put more money in your pocket. Payoneer offers low fees for receiving funds from Fiverr, with the option to withdraw funds directly to your local bank account or to your Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard. To read more about how Payoneer can save you money and join millions of other freelancers, click here.
These are some quick and easy ways for you to save money without ever feeling the pinch. This way, you can keep working comfortably, and still save up for that trip to Maui.
Freelancers, how do you pinch pennies? Share your savings secrets in the comments below!