Tips from the pros on managing your finances as a freelancer

Tips from the pros on managing your finances as a freelancer

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There is a certain glamour to going the freelance/independent way . As freelancers, you are your own boss, you have a cosy nook at home that you work out of, you can take off in the middle of the week, and of course, you earn a great pay packet too. As someone who has been working independently for the last 13 of my 20-year career, I often describe being a freelancer as being professional in your field, supported by being your own marketing manager, negotiator, financial planner, tech specialist, and muscle man for those clients who require some chasing come payday. Especially in these times, the idea of going freelance may seem appealing or may even be the need of the day. Knowing how to make your work financially viable is important, and we have veteran freelancers from different fields share their thoughts on key aspects of financial planning. Negotiating Smartly One of the key aspects of freelancing is being able to negotiate the value of the work you do and make sure that you are not short-changed. Of course, a lot of such negotiating knowledge comes from experience, but there are some tips that you can keep in mind. Image: Courtesy Shivya Nath/Instagram Shivya Nath , travel writer, best-selling author, environmentalist, and social entrepreneur, quit a full-time job in 2011 to go independent. She has two ground rules when it comes to negotiating terms – the first is a 50 per cent advance payment that also works as a kill fee. “The second is the willingness to walk away from assignments that don’t seem to value my work by trying to undercut my rates substantially. Also, I don’t give myself a salary at the end of the month. Instead, I think of delayed payments as forced savings,” she says. Some other tips that freelancers follow on this aspect are never doing unpaid work for brands and ensuring complete clarity on the deliverables as well as payment terms right at the beginning. Always having all communication recorded via email or through a vetted contract is essential. Of course, there can be some give and take with discounts being offered based on the volume of business, but those are strictly based on the freelancer’s choice. Making enquiries on new clients and their track record is also a habit to have in the negotiation phase. Making money from freelancing Image: Courtesy Kalyan Karmakar/Instagram Freelancers agree that you can’t give yourself a salary at the end of the month. Considering that every company has its own invoicing protocols and payment release time frames, payments are not as regular as a salary. It is precisely for this reason that Kalyan Karmakar , food writer and brand consultant since 2012, does not fix his financial goals on a monthly basis. “I have done an analysis with my financial consultant in terms of my savings, expenses, and career goals and have worked out annual targets based on which my savings have been divided into fixed […]

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