Monday, November 19, 2007

Organizing Your Freelance Finances...

As a freelancer, so many things revolve around money. Mostly, we writers focus on when we're going to get paid, how much we're going to get paid, how can we get paid more...

There was a time, and I'm not proud of it, when I would get a payment from a client, run and cash the check (you can never be too sure) and toss the paystub on my desk, or in a box or with a pile of receipts. I never separated my purchases i.e., work items and family groceries, nor did I bother with keeping track of mileage. Essentially, I was constantly throwing money away.

Now back during that time I didn't make enough for it to make a huge difference really. But still, the principle makes me shudder. All of those business lunches and dinners! My husband and I always strategize over a meal.

What about all of that ink and paper? Before I kicked the habit to save more trees, my editing process consisted of printing out my articles to review them. So, for Monday Monday - if I had a nickle for every blog that started out with that today, here are a few tips for organizing your finances:
  • Keep a log book in your glove compartment so you can log your mileage
  • Add a pen to that log book - come on folks wake up it's Monday!
  • Get a small accordian file, like the ones people use for coupons, and use it to keep your receipts; be sure to label each section: supplies, utilities, subscriptions, etc.
  • Write on your receipt what a purchase is for, i.e. business dinner, travel expenses.
  • Think about getting an accountant, claiming a home office, etc may be out of your realm of expertise, get someone who can not only make sure your deductions are legal, but they can also get you more bang for your buck.
  • Invest in some sort of billing software, I use Billable and it's fabulous. No more will I use a MS Word template and then try to keep track of what's going in and coming out, or setting a watch to calculate I work on something when I'm charging by the hour, my program does it all.
What financial organizing tip do you have? Come on, share with us!

No comments: