|"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."|
In many ways, I am truly my mother's daughter- both cut from the same cloth.
She values and instilled in me a love for learning, an appreciation for education, and a curiosity for life.
We both believe in speaking our minds--we call a spade a spade.
And like her, I really dig spending time in the kitchen cooking for friends and guests. Feeding their appetites, hearts and their spirits.
But here's where we are polar opposites and often at odds...
My mom is what the young folks call a "baller."
I kid you not: if she and I are out shopping and she sees a TV she likes for a thousand bucks, she'll buy it right on the spot.
As for me? No way, Jose!
This diva cuts coupons, comparison shops, checks online reviews, and will do whatever I need to, to stretch and bend my dollars like a skilled contortionist.
In these challenging times, a girl's gotta' do what a girl's gotta' do.
Factoring into the financial equation is the fact that freelancers often must contend with feast or famine cycles. True? One month I may be rolling in dough and the next month, searching for loose change under the couch cushions to make ends meet.
You know the script!
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 and money more wisely.
Accordingly, here are seven fool-proof ways to hold on to your writing dollars and your freelancing freedom.
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.”
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 ebooks 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.
Create multiple streams of income.If you write articles, try your hand at greeting cards. Edit other writers' works. Sell products in addition to providing services.
Work smarter, not harder.Retain as many of your writer’s rights as possible for resale purposes. Slant. Send simultaneous submissions. Opt to submit your work via email rather than snail mail. Keep in mind that time is money.
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.
Shop at local Dollar Tree outlets.My mom often states: "You get what you pay for." Not true. Not always.
Over the years, I have saved thousands of dollars by scoring quality merchandise at Dollar Tree Stores and select thrift store outlets. And you can too. The key is to become an educated consumer.
Do your homework. Experiment.
Here are a few of my suggested favorites from the Dollar Tree chain stores:
- Hardcover Books
- Kitchen Items
- Cleaning Supplies
- Party Decorations
- Mugs & Glasses
Cut the cord on cable.When people learn that I have NEVER had cable, they sometimes treat me like an alien life form. But the truth is, I have just never found it necessary. I have a variety of interests and hobbies that cost less and yield more value. For example, instead of paying a monthly cable bill, I can rent up to 10 movies at my local library each visit for free! I also use my library to "sample" music before I go out and buy CDs or add new books to my collection. Not a bad idea for you either. :-)
Cutting cable can translate into hundreds or thousands of dollars saved each year. Trust me here.
Contrary to popular opinion, there's a difference between being "cheap" and being "frugal."
You can cut corners without "short-changing" your quality of life. Follow these timely tips for optimal results. And remember, the more cash you can stash, the more money you'll have to buy chocolate.
Thoughts? Any penny pinchers out there?