"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Frugal Freelancing For Tough Times!

There's no doubt about it. No matter where you are on the economic ladder of life today, or where you live, your dollar buys less than it did a few years ago. True? With the increased cost of living, everybody’s feeling the pinch. So what does this mean for today’s freelancer?

It makes it even more important to be good stewards of our sporadic income, and to save for that “rainy day” now. It means being more strategic and governing our time more wisely.

To this end, here are five fool-proof ways to hold on to your writing dollars and your freelancing freedom.

1. Take care of your health. This may sound simplistic, but it’s crucial in its implications. Poor health can often lead to the need for frequent, costly doctor’s visits, prescribed medications, less productivity and/or a modified lifestyle. Ralph Waldo Emerson stated it best “Health is the greatest wealth.”

2. Reinvest in your career. Take a few bucks from paid articles or writing assignments to put money back in your business. For less than a week’s worth of Starbucks, you can: purchase E-books with markets for your work, pay membership dues to a writers’ organization, buy supplies, or get a subscription to a literary magazine. You reap what you sow.

3. Create multiple streams of income. If you write articles, try doing greeting cards. Edit others’ works. Sell products in addition to providing services.

4. Work smarter, not harder. Retain as many of your writer’s rights as possible for resale purposes. Slant. Study online guidelines. Send simultaneous submissions. Opt to send your work via Email rather than snail mail. Keep in mind that time is money.

5. Keep a financial journal. Record expenses, sale dates, spending habits, expected income, and other information to help you to make prudent decisions regarding your money. And most importantly, stop trying to keep up with the Joneses.

These are the five laws of cutting corners without compromising your quality of life. Just make sure to take a little of the money you’re likely to have by following these tips, and put it away in a bank account. That way, you’ll be one step ahead of any tough times ahead of us… Just in case.

Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? What are your money or time saving "secrets"?

Image: Simon Howden


  1. Wonderful ideas for the new year. I need to refine my "frugal freelancing" plan for 2011 and this is just the boost I need. Can always count on you for great tips!
    Thanks and blessings,

  2. Thanks, Karen

    Here's wishing you a prosperous and progressive 2011!

  3. Jennifer, you're right on, friend. I heard Dave Ramsey say once that most people, "if they make $20,000 a year, they will spend $20,000 a year. If they may $80,000 a year, they will spend $80,000 a year." Most people don't take control of their budgets and live above their means, which causes them to be stressed out most of the time.

    Learning how to properly keep track of your money is the first step to getting your debt paid off and building wealth.

    As for the freelancing part, I am learning that goal setting is crucial. Write out exactly how much money you intend to make in a month's time or two months' time or a year's time. I find it makes me structure my marketing to try to make that count. ("For this much, I would need 1 web design, 2 Logo Designs, and 3 Articles.") That works for me. :)

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 7, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Good advice, Bryan. I try to set goals, and am pretty good @ adhering to them. The problem is I don't always assess them in terms of how much money I need to make. Definitely something to put in action in the year ahead!

    I value your input. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  5. Hi Jennifer,
    These are practical and simple tips on how to save up money for the tough times. I tend to keep a list of our expenses per month, and I try to limit our eating-out escapades so we could save up and/or buy something we really need. I usually try to learn to cook the foods we love at restaurants via searching the net, that way we get to eat the food we like without spending too much.

    Thanks for sharing with us some sound advice about freelancing and on how to earn extra income the smart way.

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 11, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    Hi Johanna,

    Good to get your input on this timely topic. You bring up a good point: by learning to cook some of your favorite eat-out foods, you get the same return for a lower investment. Smart idea! Thanks.