Living in a family with one freelance parent must be a bit tricky at times, with one person’s contribution being potentially unstable, but having TWO freelancers in the house? Let me tell you, it definitely has it’s pros and cons! We love the fact that we’re able to choose our own hours which means we’re able to work around school holidays, go to the gym during the day when it’s less busy (because we’re both usually working in the evening!) and be flexible when it comes to meeting deadlines, however the uncertainty with freelance work can also be a worry.
It also means that we have to keep two sets of accounts throughout the year, which should be easy given that I’m an ex-bookkeeper, but it’s not always simple. We’re lucky in the respect that neither of us really has any expenses related to materials needed to work (as long as I have a laptop and an internet connection, I’m usually good), but we can factor in using our home as an office as well as writing off a small portion of our utilities because we work from home, as well as other little things to be remembered. Last year, we bit the bullet and invested in some accounting software to help us keep a track of everything, but stuff like this is only accurate if you remember to add everything so it’s still not a perfect solution!
If you’re a freelancer and struggle with the admin side of things, here’s some tips to help keep on top of it all:
Filing might seem like a massive pain in the bum, but both virtual and physical folders can be a real help. Create a folder within your email inbox which allows you to file emails for work related purchases, as well as an actual ring-binder in which you can keep paper receipts and invoices. If you leave your accounts til the end of the year, you’ll likely forget a few things so keeping records is super important.
Keep It Simple
Probably the single most important thing for keeping on top of freelance finances is to KEEP. IT. SIMPLE! Setting up complicated proceses will just create you more work in the long run and you’re setting yourself up for failure. Try to keep things as easy as possible in order to make things run more smoothly.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
There is absolutely no shame in admitting that doing accounts just isn’t your forte. You might be the best writer/marketing manager/social media consultant/whatever on the planet but it doesn’t mean that you’re good at doing accounts. Even entry-level bookkeepers usually have some form of training or qualification and starting your own business doesn’t automatically mean have the skills for the money side of things. Finding a good accountancy firm who can take care of things for you will usually cost far less than you think and will free up time for you to concentrate on doing the thing you love!
Do you have any tips for freelance families like mine? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear them.