Though I would still consider myself a “recent graduate”, I also believe that I’m rapidly approaching a point in my life at which I’ll need to begin operating as a real adult. This is not to say that the two are mutually exclusive by any means. Some of my best friends my own age have been real adults for years. What I mean by this is that I’ve just settled into my first rental agreement, landed my first full-time job (that pays more than $100/month), and am in the midst of organizing the finances for my business as a web developer. I’ve read lots of articles, books, and blog posts about freelancing. I recently came across this article, which goes so far as to list suggestions for specific tools you can use to help you get your shit together.
While the article covers everything from deciding whether or not freelancing is even for you to the nitty-gritty of keeping track of your to-do lists, I found myself paying special attention to the section on finances and invoicing near the bottom. I’d already decided to give FreshBooks a try (it’s going really well so far), but it got me thinking seriously about the significance of the work I’m doing. In college, web development was something I dabbled in because I thought it was interesting. Now, combined with teaching and some administrative work, it’s what keeps a roof over my head. Luckily, I spent the last year as a Jesuit Volunteer. One of the keys pillars of the program is simple living. I know how to get the most out of my money while making choices that are as healthy and sustainable as possible.
Thanks to my year of service, I’ve gotten used to living on a tight budget. While I certainly don’t expect to continue living on quite so little, it gave me some strategies for determining what I should include in my monthly budget and how much I should allot for each budget line. That experience has luckily given me the confidence to approach the budgeting for my freelance business. Obviously, this sort of information depends heavily on the individual, but there are definitely steps that anyone can take to bring their monthly expenses down.
- Get rid of the boob tube (Ain’t nobody got time for that anyway.)
- Buy in bulk (Even if you’re just one person, you can always freeze stuff.)
- Look for discounts (I found a discount code for $60 off Gravity Forms!)
- Carpool (Or, even better, invest in a bicycle.)
- Consider using a co-working space (Like they do at Grand Circus!)