26. December 2015 · Comments Off on How to Survive As a Freelance Writer – 3 Ways of Putting the Focus on Your Finances & Money · Categories: Finance

There are three areas you need to concentrate on in order to survive as a freelance writer. To focus your survival efforts on those areas you need to pick the right techniques.

One of those areas that you need to focus on in order to survive is finance and money.

In this article, I’m going to show you three specific techniques to help you survive and keep your focus on the money.

1. Always put money away for a rainy day.

There is a tendency when business is good to start spending. In fact, there is a tendency all the time to spend everything you have. That’s part of being human. It’s also one of the leading causes of insolvency. But for a freelancer that tendency is suicide. You see one of the characteristics of freelance writing is that your monthly income will vary over time. Consistency of earnings is just not heard of. And that can cause real problems.

To cover you when your income is below normal you need to have a safety net. Think of it as your own personal unemployment insurance. Which it is since you probably don’t qualify for the real version! Take a portion of every dollar you earn and put it in a separate bank account. Make sure you invest the amounts wisely since it can quickly get to be quite sizeable — and get wiped out just as fast. But be sure you always have some of the money accessible within a month.

2. Pay Yourself A Salary.

One of the things you need to learn as a freelance writer is that all the money you earn is not salary. Instead you need to establish a budget and a salary. You should be able to maintain this level of salary regardless of your cycle of earnings. Yes, you own the company but you are also an employee. As an employee you need to be paid a salary. Otherwise you’ll leave. So if the company wants you to be around they need to pay you every month (or week or bi-weekly). This also means that like an employee you need to keep your spending below your salary. And it means you need two bank accounts — one for you as a person and one for you as a freelance writer.

3. Keep a close watch on your costs and liabilities.

As a freelancer, you’re going to be under pressure to spend all the money coming in. That would be a big mistake. Paying yourself a salary is one way of ensuring that you remember that there is a difference between the income and the available money. But that’s still not enough. Now you need to watch the company’s spending as well. You need to remember that not all your bills are going to be paid immediately. Some of your business bills are not going to show up for months. So when you decide to spend money on your business always be sure that future liabilities are not going to drive the company into a cash negative position.

14. December 2015 · Comments Off on Where Do I Get The Money To Start Saving and Investing? · Categories: Finance

You might be wondering why anyone would write about saving, investing, and personal finance, when the stock market is down, when times are tight, and when now, with the economy down, many wonder if they’ll have a job tomorrow. This article is for those who believe it is impossible to get started.

Maybe you’re struggling just to make ends meet. Maybe you’ve been saving and investing but have been wiped out.

No one is disputing that sometimes life is hard. But, whatever resources you have, in virtually all cases, it is possible for you to build on what you have. Your resources can grow. Whatever your situation, growing resources beats sitting still and complaining.

The most important time to think about resources is when they are limited. Everyone knows to save during times of plenty to help sustain them in times of scarcity. But, in times of plenty, what you lose today, you’ll regain tomorrow. That is why they’re called times of plenty.

In times of scarcity, everything you do matters. What you lose today, may not be replaced tomorrow. What you keep today will be there for you tomorrow. Whatever you keep gives you a foundation to build upon day after day.

A lot of people believe they are stuck, money is too tight, and there is nothing to be done. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s do a thought experiment. Whatever your situation is now, make up something that makes it financially worse, like an accident, or unexpected car repair.

How would you get by? What would you do?

Using a car repair example, you might have to do without the car until you get the money for repairs. You might ride with a friend, or use public transportation. You might prioritize your expenses to repair the car by giving up something else. For some it may be putting off coffee or cable, others might put off something more substantial. It might be hard but few would go bankrupt. Most would make it through.

If you can be resourceful when events force you to, why not be resourceful now, BEFORE something happens?

How? Well, let’s try another thought experiment. This time there is no car repair. What happens if you make the same changes as if you had to pay for a repair? Now, there is money available! You can pay yourself instead! All you have to do is reroute the money to an emergency fund, to savings, to investing, to pay something down, or to invest in your own education.

The point is you do have resources you didn’t think you had. If you are living paycheck to paycheck it will take time to see significant results, but every little bit is progress.

At first, the goal is simply to grow an emergency fund to cushion against unexpected events. Even if your savings simply go into a jar under the bed, at least when some unexpected event occurs, you’ll already have saved towards the bill. You’ll be in a better position than you would have been had you done nothing. Best of all, if you are persistent, over time your overall position will improve, and there will be fewer setbacks. That is a core principle of personal finance, it is a tool to effectively utilize your resources.

Where do I get the money to start saving and investing? You get the chance to start by using your intelligence to be resourceful with what you already have. Then, you build on what you have by using the tools of saving, investing, and personal finance to improve your situation. This is only one step. There is a lot to this topic, enough to fill many books. Step one is simply to know that you can do it, and to get started. As for your eventual success, it is not only possible, if you are persistent, it is probable.

07. December 2015 · Comments Off on Personal Finance Money Management Guide For 2010 · Categories: Finance

Saving more than a couple of thousand dollars is not as difficult as it sounds. I am not going to harangue you on “you can do it”, or “importance of saving”, or “why not saving can kill you before the world ends in 2012.” No. Nothing like this. Here are few suggestions on how you can actually save few dollars, if not couple of thousands, next year.

1. Calculate the amount of money you spend buying kitchen paper. It may not be quite substantial, but why waste money on these papers when you can replace them with cloth napkins. Spending even a dollar on disposable papers seems to be a waste. Buy a cloth that can be washed and reused. You can save approximately $85 a year.

2. If your family comprises of you and your spouse, both working, why spend so much on cable. Unplug it and save anywhere round $600 per year.

3. Digital camera is perhaps the only device where we use batteries. If you use it a lot, switch to rechargeable batteries. Doing this will save not much, maybe $24. But every penny saved in this kind of economy is 3 pennies earned.

4. Why do we need a landline when all the family members own a mobile phone? I have disconnected it and I sometimes use Skype instead of landline, and mobile most of the times.

5. If you are still left with any gold after, after the “sell gold” advertisements, sell it off. Even if it is small gold scraps, sell it. But do not mail it across. It is better to sell it at the neighboring jewelry shop. You can earn some amount here.

6. Chopped and shredded vegetables, cheese, and fruits cost much more than the un-chopped, fresh ones. Instead of spending more, you can get the fresh ones and slice it at home. Doing this for a year can help you to save $250. Isn’t it worth a try?

7. Stop going to the gym and find a way to exercise free of cost. If the only reason you go to gym is losing weight, there are numerous ways to do it without a gym. By doing this you can save as much as $420 in a year. Till now, this is the biggest contributor to your saving.

8. Get rid of your printer. Okay, may be that’s not possible, you can at least promise yourself not to print unless necessary. Ink cartridges, color or black & white, can burn a hole in your pocket. I have to replace the cartridge once a year. However, it still costs me around $80 to $100.

Remember these points while preparing a budget for 2010. These are just 8 examples of saving money. We, together, can come up with probably hundreds of them, and imagine the amount we could save. If you have any such suggestion, please comment and suggest, for me, for all the readers. Let’s derive the most comprehensive and precise personal finance money management guide for 2010.

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