If 2020 did anything for freelancers it reinforced the importance of a rainy day fund.
Whether you found yourself on pause for months at the start of Covid-19, you’ve started a new freelance business after redundancy, or business has been surprisingly consistent, having realistic savings goals for 2021 and beyond is really useful.
If you haven’t prioritised saving before it can be difficult to know how to start (that’s why it’s so easy to put it off…) This is a simple guide for anyone and everyone who’s responsible for their own income and wants to feel more secure with some decent savings.
Set A Savings Goal
The ideal way to save is to not have to think about it. Put the planning and prep in now and you’ll accumulate a decent pot of savings by this time next year.
Automate your savings by setting a specific goal amount each week or month. Make it comfortably affordable after your expenses but be a little bit ambitious.
The more you put aside the more you’ll have for emergencies, big plans, and rainy days. Set up a standing order when most of your invoices are due to be paid and your business account balance is at its fullest. This will make sure you prioritise saving at the right time each month.
Look Into Your Cash Flow Crystal Ball
Your freelancing income will fluctuate week to week and month to month. That’s just how it goes. Cash flow forecasting means you can predict it and budget for it.
In your forecast, include all fixed expenses like bills and utilities, subscriptions and expenses, and then incoming cash and retainers from your clients.
You’ll be able to see exactly how much you need to earn and how much you can comfortably save, depending on time of year and all kinds of other factors.
This will make any slow periods a lot more comfortable – and predictable!
Motivate Yourself With Positive Reasons
Why we save is just as important as how. If you’ve got something positive and motivating to save for you’re more likely to put cash aside and get to it faster.
It could be that you’re saving to see yourself through difficult times in the future, but positive motivators are a lot more, well, positive!
Think about saving as a way to get to a more secure or stable place, a path to expansion, or a significant purchase that’ll make a big difference to your business. Positive is always more motivating than negative.
Swap Expensive Tools For Free Alternatives
Sometimes money leaves your business and doesn’t give you much in return.
There will always be those essential business expenses, but if you look at your direct debits and PayPal transactions you might find you’re regularly spending money on tools and software you don’t actually need. Those $7.99s really add up!
If you’re using expensive, all-singing-all-dancing accounting tools like QuickBooks and Xero, and only using the invoicing function, you’re doing it wrong.
Solna’s easy invoicing tools are FREE FOREVER and include invoice reminders, an intuitive dashboard showing all your expenses, and bulk and recurring invoicing to save you a load of time every month.
Solna’s FREE Features:
- Automatic invoice reminders
- Recurring invoicing to save time
- Online payments (get paid 3x faster on average!)
- Intuitive dashboard
- Bulk invoicing
Nothing is guaranteed when you’re a freelancer. You need time off, holidays, and retirement funds just like everyone else, but the pressures of working for yourself can make saving for the future tough.
Even a small savings pot is better than nothing. Put these savings goals and tips into practice and 2021 will start feeling more secure as every month goes by.