Freelancers are required to wear many different hats. Not only must you be skilled in your field of expertise, but you must also be a manager, bookkeeper, social media strategist, and the list goes on! It seems as if each operational task takes you away from doing the one thing you started your business to do. If you do not work smart, your freelance career can fail to grow.
When I started my freelance career, I figured this out within the first few weeks. As my business grew, I incorporated tools that would help me run my business effectively and efficiently. If I spend 90 of my day includes designing and developing, then it’s a beautiful day!
When it comes time to managing my freelance income and expenses, I use one tool for everything – Quickbooks Self-Employed. It’s my bookkeeper and invoice-sender; plus, it prepares me for tax time, so there are no hidden surprises!
Tracking Business Expenses
When I first started freelancing (while working a full-time job), I mixed my business and personal expenses together. One day before filing my taxes fueled up with several cups of coffee, I went audited and classified each transaction from that year. I knew this method would not be sustainable year-after-year, so I signed up for Quickbooks Self-Employed and setup a few other financial strategies.
Once I created my account, I started to understand my income and expenses each month fully. I set personal goals on what I needed to generate to go full-time and monitored my expenses to make sure that I lived well within my means. When tax-time arrived the following year, I completed my taxes with ease; it only a few hours to do everything! Plus, Quickbooks Self-Employed users find an average of $4,340 in potential tax savings per year and more than $18,000 in deductions.
As a long-time Quickbooks Self-Employed user, I strangely did not use it for invoicing. When I first started freelancing, I used PayPal, then transitioned to 17Hats for project management capabilities. To work more efficiently and smarter, I decided to consolidate this process and use Quickbooks Self-Employed. I access the platform weekly for bookkeeping, using it to send my invoices seemed like a logical transition. I don’t have to move money from my Quickbooks Self-Employed to my bank account; it goes straight into my account. Plus, the rates for transactions are better than PayPal.
15-Minute Weekly Routine
Managing your finances can seem a little scary, crazy, depressing. Initially, it did for me. However, once I setup my account with Quickbooks Self-Employed, I started to understand my business better and set tangible goals for growth. I know exactly how much I’m making and spending each week; plus, tax time is never a surprise because it calculates my quarterly and yearly estimates.
Each week I review my transactions and analyze my growth compared to previous months and years. With my reoccurring monthly expenses (like my cell phone bill and Internet), I can setup a rule in Quickbooks Self-Employed to automatically mark these transactions in the appropriate category, saving me time. I only end up reviewing a handful of expenses. I’m proud to say that taxes have never surprised me, and I’m now into my fourth year of freelancing. Since using Quickbooks Self-Employed, I know what I need to pay quarterly and yearly on my taxes.
Financial Empowerment: Time For What Matters
When someone asks me about transitioning into a freelance side-hustle or from side to full-time, I always recommend that they have a sound understanding of their financial needs and goals. Financial piece-of-mind leads to smart business decisions and provides you with the opportunity to build a healthy work-life balance. This year, I’ve finally taken advantage of my financial management, including my sabbatical and trips to Tulum and Maui.
What do you use to track your freelance finances?
Photography by Delbarr Co
Editor’s Note: This post was sponsored by Quickbooks Self-Employed. The compensation received in exchange for placement on the blog is used to write/edit the post, hire a photographer, and support continual development of dynamic, unsponsored content. While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are my owned. Sponsored posts like this allow for the development of dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting my partners!