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9 Valuable Money Lessons I’ve Learned From Freelance Writing
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9 Valuable Money Lessons I’ve Learned From Freelance Writing

As a freelance writer, managing money can be a complex and challenging task. However, through the ups and downs of freelance life, I have learned valuable lessons about money management.

From creating a budget to invoicing clients and managing my expenses, my journey as a freelance writer has taught me a lot. 

In this article, I will share nine money lessons I have learned from my experience as a freelance writer.

Hopefully, these lessons will help you make smart financial decisions, minimize money issues, and achieve your financial goals. 

Here we go!

1. The Importance of Budgeting

One of the realities of freelance writing is that your income often fluctuates, making it essential to budget your earnings and expenses in order to stay afloat.

A budget allows you to keep track of your income and expenses and ensures that you are spending within your means. Besides, a budget helps you prioritize your spending, saves you from overspending, and gives you a clear picture of your financial situation. 

By creating a budget and sticking to it, you can avoid financial stress and ensure that you have enough money to cover your bills and save for the future.

Here’s how to create a budget:

  • Track your expenses: Keep track of all your expenses for one to two months to get a clear picture of your spending habits.
  • Categorize expenses: Categorize your expenses into categories, such as housing, transportation, food, and entertainment.
  • Set income and expenses: Determine your monthly income and expenses, including fixed expenses like rent and variable expenses like entertainment.
  • Identify areas for improvement: Look for areas where you can cut expenses, such as dining out less or reducing cable expenses.
  • Set spending limits: Set spending limits for each category to ensure that you are staying within your budget.
  • Monitor your spending: Continuously monitor your spending and adjust your budget as needed to ensure you are staying on track.

Read Also: The Ultimate Personal Budgeting Guide.

2. The Value of Saving for the Future

As freelance writers, we don’t have the same level of job security as traditional employees.  It’s thus important to save for the future and have an emergency fund in case you experience a downturn in work.

Having a solid emergency fund can provide peace of mind and financial security. By saving a portion of your income each month, you can build a nest egg that can be used in case of a financial emergency or to achieve long-term financial goals.

In addition to a rainy day fund, it's also important to consider other savings and investment options, such as a retirement account or a savings account for future expenses, like a down payment on a home or a child's education. 

By saving for the future, you are investing in your financial security and ensuring that you have the funds you need when you need them.

Remember, the earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow and the more secure your financial future will be. So, commit to saving for the future and start setting aside a portion of your income each month for this purpose. Experts recommend setting aside 3-6 months of your monthly expenses in an emergency fund.

Read Also: How to Plan for Retirement While in Your 30s.

3. The Need for Insurance

Having insurance helps mitigate financial risks and provides peace of mind. Since most of the time your employer won’t pay your health insurance, you’ll have to pay it yourself. You’ll also have to plan for your retirement

So research and compare insurance options to determine the best coverage for your specific needs. When looking for an insurance company, here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Coverage: Make sure the plan covers your needs and provides adequate protection.
  • Cost: Compare costs and look for plans that are affordable while still offering adequate coverage.
  • Provider: Consider the reputation and financial stability of the insurance provider.
  • Claims process: Make sure the claims process is straightforward and easy to understand.

Read Also: Insurance, a True Life Saver.

4. The Importance of Networking

The phrase "Your network is your net worth" highlights the idea that the strength of your relationships can directly impact your financial success as a freelance writer.

As a freelance writer, building a strong network can lead to new opportunities and increased income. 

Here are more benefits of networking as a freelance writer.

  • Finding work: Your network can introduce you to potential clients or recommend you for writing projects.
  • Building relationships: Networking allows you to build relationships with other writers, editors, and industry professionals who can provide support and advice.
  • Gaining visibility: Participating in writing groups, attending events, and sharing your work can increase your visibility and help you stand out in the freelance writing community.
  • Staying informed: Networking can also help you stay up-to-date on industry trends, best practices, and new technologies.

Also Read: 7 Financial Concepts Every Kenyan Should Know.

5. The Need for Diversified Income Streams

As a freelance writer, I have learned that depending on a single source of income is a risky affair. Some clients disappear without warning and there’s nothing you can do.

As such. I’ve learned to diversify my income streams to increase financial stability. Here are more reasons why diversifying your income is important:

Reliable income: Having multiple sources of income can provide a more reliable stream of income, especially during slow periods.

Opportunity for growth: Diversifying your income can also provide opportunities for growth and expansion, as well as the chance to explore new areas of writing.

Increased financial security: With a diversified income, you have a better chance of weathering economic downturns and other financial challenges.

So, how can you diversify your income as a freelance writer?

  • Write for multiple clients.
  • Sell writing products such as e-books
  • Offer guest posting and ghostwriting
  • Invest in stocks, MMF, RIETs, and Bonds

Read Also: Why You Should Diversify Your Income. 

6. The Importance of Financial Planning 

Financial planning is important for ensuring your financial stability. So, set a realistic financial plan to cater to all your needs. 

Your plan can include:

  • Debt repayment plan: Paying off debt can help reduce financial stress and improve overall financial health.
  • Investment plan: Building wealth through investments and saving can help provide financial security and independence.
  • Short-term savings: Maintaining a short-term savings account can provide peace of mind in case of emergencies.
  • Long-term planning: Setting long-term financial goals and creating a plan to achieve them can help you stay on track and reach financial security and stability.

Read Also:  A Guide to Planning Your Future.

7. The Value of Ongoing Education

As a freelancer, you’re paid for your skills. The more skills you have the better.  Here’s why.

  1. Staying current on industry trends and advancements can help you stay competitive and provide valuable services to clients.
  1. Regularly refining and improving your writing skills can help you produce high-quality work and increase your value to clients.
  1. Pursuing an education in new areas such as SEO and copywriting can help you expand your expertise and offer a wider range of services to clients.

So, how can you further your education as a freelance writer?

  • Attend writing workshops and conferences: These events provide opportunities to learn from industry experts and connect with other writers.
  • Take online courses: Many online courses are available that cover a wide range of writing topics, from creative writing to content marketing. Check out sites such as Udemy, Simple Learn, and Alison for courses that interest you.
  • Read books and articles: Reading books and articles on writing, marketing, and the writing industry can help you stay informed and continue learning.
  • Collaborate with other writers: Collaborating with other writers can provide opportunities to learn from each other and grow together.

Read Also: 10 Marketable Short Courses In Kenya for 2023.

8. The Value of  Self Discipline 

Self-discipline is a critical factor for success as a freelance writer. The key thing is to consider every day as a work day. Otherwise, you’ll lose your job.  

Here are a few lessons on self-discipline I’ve learned.

  • Time management:  If you have poor time management skills, you’ll miss out on deadlines.
  • Focus: The ability to focus and avoid distractions is essential for producing high-quality work. Concentrate like a Roman. 
  • Consistency: Consistently working on projects and delivering quality work is critical for building a reputation and retaining clients.
  • Organization: Keeping projects, deadlines, and invoices organized can help streamline the workflow and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Staying motivated: Maintaining motivation and inspiration is important for staying productive and continuing to produce high-quality work.

By developing self-discipline you can increase productivity, deliver quality work, and achieve success.

Read Also: Self Control: The Missing Link in Your Financial Health.

9. Know Your Self-Worth

Lastly,  it's important to understand and value your worth as a freelancer to avoid undercharging for your services. Here are a few steps to help you determine your self-worth as a freelancer:

  • Research market rates: Research the rates for similar services in your area or industry to get a sense of what others are charging.
  • Consider your experience and skills: The longer you have been writing and the more skills you have, the more you can charge for your services.
  • Factor in your time and expenses: Make sure to factor in the time and expenses associated with your writing services when determining your rate.
  • Negotiate with clients: Be confident in your value and negotiate fair rates with clients. Be open to discussing rates and reaching mutually beneficial agreements.
  • Regularly re-evaluate your rates: As your skills and experience grow, re-evaluate your rates to ensure that you are charging what you are worth.

By understanding your self-worth and charging fair rates, you can increase your income, build a reputation as a professional, and achieve financial stability.

Also Read: How to Figure Out if Somebody Is Worth Spending On.

Wrapping Up

In sum.  freelance writing has taught me valuable lessons not just in terms of improving my writing skills, but also in terms of managing my finances and running a successful business. 

From budgeting and invoicing to diversifying income streams, I have learned important financial lessons.

Additionally, the constant challenge of client acquisition and risk management has helped me develop entrepreneurial skills and resilience. Overall, my experience as a freelance writer has been a valuable lesson in both personal and professional development.

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Washika is a seasoned SEO content writer and copywriter with proven experience in creating unique, insightful and engaging content for a wide range of audiences that ranks high on search engines. Learn more about his work by visiting his LinkedIn profile.

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