Freelancing used to have more of a reputation for being just that – an occasional source of income in addition to a “regular” job. However, freelancing is finally starting to get the reputation it deserves as being an actual career – one that allows for more freedom and creativity, certainly, but also one that can include uncertain paychecks. So, if you know what it’s like to experience those lean times in between freelancing gigs when it seems like there are too many bills, and too little money, here are some ways to stay afloat financially.
Never underestimate the importance of those little online side earners. Although it makes sense to focus on getting (and attaining) those main moneymaking freelancing opportunities, it’s also good to have backups. Some ideas would be:
Remember, even if you only log in once and a while to these sites, cents can become dollars, and those dollars can pay a bill or two!
Own a home? Upkeep is key. Although it might seem frugal just keep your home at a basic functioning level, maintenance costs can really add up, and do become necessary if you ignore them over time. After all, you don’t want higher bills and/or a lower home value. So, when you have some free time in between freelancing projects, go through your home and make a list of the things that you can reasonably (and safely) repair on your own, and what requires professionals. Prioritize accordingly, taking things step by step, and it will be less of a shock to your wallet.
There’s always your local dollar store and thrift shop. Forget the notion that dollar stores and thrift shops only sell lower-quality items. Ever notice how many mainstream brands are sold in those sorts of places these days? The more observant you are, the better deals you can find. When it comes time to save money, the dollar store/thrift shop combination is a must.
Consider renting out a room, storage area, or parking space. Of course, this sort of thing is contingent upon the various laws where you live, but if done correctly, there’s even the potential for it to become lucrative. In the interest of safety, think about charging potential renters a fee so that you can get background checks on them.
Yard sales and eBay still matter! If you have a bunch of things that you know will probably never see any real use, why not sell them via a yard sale (check your city’s website for any permitting fees) or eBay? Sure, you might think that eBay’s oversaturated as it is, but the more unique your items are, the better the chance of you selling them! When it comes to calculating prices, factor in the shipping fee as part of the asking price, and then list the shipping as free to make it look like a better deal.
Harness the incredibly efficient power of the Internet. You probably use the Internet for at least some aspects of your freelancing career, so why not use it to save money, too? For example, when you know that you’ll be visiting certain stores for necessary purchases, visit manufacturers websites first to look for coupons. If you need to save money on gas, but have a lot of errands, see if you can purchase items in advance for free in-store pickup.
Above all, don’t panic, keep plugging away at work opportunities as they arise, be resourceful, and your financial worries can become a distant memory.
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