How to Save Money as a Freelance Writer

“A good freelance career will last a long time — which means we need to prepare for the lean years, as well as for our golden years. …

Saving for the lean times

Prior to becoming debt-free, I was putting 20 percent of my pre-tax income towards debt repayment — which means that if I earned $5,000 in a month, $1,000 of that would go straight to debt.

Now that I’m debt free, I get to use that 20 percent of my income for other things, which means I can earn a little less as a freelancer and still feel like I have the same amount of spending money.

Plus, having an emergency fund means I have cash in the bank to help me during an emergency or a lean period. I don’t anticipate a true lean period coming any time soon, but as we all know, freelancing is often unpredictable!

Most importantly: earning enough money to pay off my debt and save up an emergency fund means that I have more financial room to make choices about my career. I don’t have to take any job I can get, especially if the job is low-paying or is unlikely to benefit me long-term. I have the freedom to choose who I want to work with, which is likely to lead to better client relationships and higher earnings in the future.

Saving for retirement

On the subject of ‘the future:’ the other thing I’m doing with my $10,000 monthly paychecks is setting up a retirement fund.

I have an active 403(b), thanks to the four years I spent working at a nonprofit before I became a freelancer, but I can no longer make contributions to that accountwhich means I need to start putting my freelance earnings in a new investment vehicle.”

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