Money Saving Tips for Freelancers

“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money” – Pablo Picasso.

A recent poll in Freelance Heroes showed that the biggest pain point for 26% of UK freelancers was either from their clients paying late or simply running out of cash, possibly because of the first issue for some. So we went back to the group and ask, as a result, what were the best money saving tips they could offer. Here are their very useful answers…

“Think about your little spendings…giving up one takeaway coffee a day = £1000 in a year!” – Paula Goude, Wild Roots Marketing

“Be brave and negotiate more (win-win). For example, when you get a new client or a new project or a new supplier. What can you trade which is of high value to them (often time related) and low cost to you so that you get more cash into your business which is high value to you but low value to them? For example, can you negotiate any of higher fees, more payment upfront or monthly direct debit or expenses in advance or software or equipment bought that you can share/benefit or skype meetings rather than travel etc?” – Tony Robinson OBE, Enterprise Rockers and MicroBizMatters

“Being bolder on up-front deposits is my learning from this year; and making sure the client has the budget in place before having lengthy discussions that end up leading to nothing!” – Nicole Reilly

“50% up front, 50% on completion if a one off project” – Stephen Edwards

“Before even earning a penny, keep your financial commitments/direct debits to a minimum. Get 2 or 3 bank accounts to split finances into different pots – 1 = wages/fun money, 2 = money left aside for tax & pension, 3 = money for bills. Splitting fun money and bill money takes away the worry of accidentally going into your overdraft and you can budget for the fun things more easily once you start earning. To add to the commitments bit – I don’t say this because I enjoy being a tight arse, more the fact that it allows you to be flexible if you decide to pivot and focus on something different that earns you more money” – Sean Muntaner, Palma Bay Creative

“I gave up having coffees and breakfasts at nice cafés except as a rare treat. Instead I enjoy better quality coffees and breakfasts at home! I saved literally thousands. Also I’ve made hundreds this year selling stuff I don’t want/need any more on eBay. Less clutter in your house/life and the item doesn’t get wasted/trashed either.” – Virgil Ierubino, Virgil Thinks

“I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and the old saying ‘work smarter not harder’.

A few things I’ve been doing:
-Taking meetings via phone or Skype where possible rather than travelling to them to save my time.
– Similarly, being astute with coffee meet ups and only committing to the ones that have a high chance of going somewhere rather than going to everything and anything.
– Being bolder with my quotes and not coming down on my prices or giving discounts. The price is the price.
– Saving extra or ‘nice to have’ cash in my savings account to use in the future when the month might be tighter. Only taking what is necessary to pay rent, bills and to live off without too much extravagance!” – Helena Murphy

“Ignore pressure from family and friends to keep up with the Jones. If I can’t pay cash, then I can’t have it.” – Christina Radisic

“Literally living life on the bare minimum, but that doesn’t mean lentils every night, being smart with everything you have to pay for. Takes work, but once you’ve worked out what works for you, it’s a godsend.” – Nik Jones, Hello I’m Nik

“Not sure how many people this affects but going through my own accounts the other day I realised I am spending almost £500 a year on dormant web ideas, emails, hosting and domain parking. It is v easy to ‘get a good idea for a website’, buy the domain and then nothing ever materialises. It’s like the freelancers equivalent of home gym stuff” – Dickie Wilkinson, DRWM

“Claim legitimate expenses whenever you can. “Home as a Office” =£4 a week & there are %rebates on utilises if you work from home. Ask your accountant now. Every penny helps.” – Leiyu Yang

What About You?

As a freelancer, what are your best money saving tips or experiences?

Share your thoughts using #FreelanceHeroes on Twitter, Linkedin, or Instagram.