When Money is Tight

Budgeting

It is interesting how much you learn about yourself as a freelancer. Without a steady paycheque coming in, you learn how to budget well- and fast! You learn the difference between your wants and your needs, and ultimately you realize that you can live without all of that “fluff”.

That “fluff” can be anything – shoes, cosmetics (obsessed) clothes, throw pillows (obsessed), vacations, candles (obsessed), craft supplies or lots of eating out. It’s that nice, cozy padding. I’ve learnt that not only do I not need those things, but I thrive on the challenge of being thrifty, saving money and finding sales. Now I am more excited to grow my savings, then to be spending. The funny thing is that “fluff” that you are obsessing over online, in store, in your head and in your dreams will just disappear.

What helps me is that I love budgeting, spreadsheets and colour-coding. This is something that I find fun and not daunting in the least bit. If you do find it a daunting task, schedule time in your calendar to stay on top of your budget, that way there is no excuse not to do it.

I like to think of “freelance fluff” as the money you’ve been able to stash in savings until an “unexpected event” happens. Maybe  you run over a nail and need to buy 4 new tires (true story), or need cavities filled at the dentist. So be sure to account for monthly savings in your budgeting. Also, budget for taxes! You want to make sure that you have that money for when you need it.

Budgeting

One of the many great things about the internet is that there are a lot of free online tools for budgeting. Whether there are excel templates or microsoft word printables. There is no right way, just use the way that works best for you.

It helps with the stress of the ups-and-downs of freelancing when I can count on my budget. I know exactly how much I need to cover everything – rent, gas, insurance, cell phone, internet, cable, savings and tax money. I also budget in for things like entertainment and restaurants. Budgeting doesn’t mean that you can’t spend any money or have any fun. Just be smart about it. Believe me, it will pay off.

Have problems budgeting? Have certain tools that you love? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

{[Melissa]}

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “When Money is Tight

  1. Hi….my husband and I both work, he being the salaried one! What I have started doing is meeting expenses from my bank account , and letting his be the ‘ savings’ bank account. So after every couple of months, I plan to take money from his account and invest it ( most if it in my name of course!)…and he’s more than happy with this arrangement, cause otherwise he’s just spend his money buying every possible video game!

    • Oh my gosh. My husband would buy EVERY video game if he could, so I totally know what you are talking about! It sounds like you have a really great method for managing your money and growing your savings – keep it up! Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment, I really appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s