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A Primer on Taxes for Freelancers

Every worker, freelance or not, is undoubtedly familiar with income taxes: the percentage of your income that’s paid to the Federal, state, and sometimes local government. (The rest of this post speaks primarily on Federal taxes.) When you’re full-time employed by an employer, the employer will typically withhold taxes from your pay. They send the withholdings to the IRS on your behalf. But, when you’re … read more

Time To Create a Financial Organization System

Another calendar year means another fiscal season for freelance writing businesses.  It’s a great time to organize your finances. You may have had an ineffective organization system last year, if you had one at all. No matter what you did last year, the start of 2013 is a great time to tweak your old system or to create a new one. When I talk about … read more

Managing Finances Without a Guaranteed Paycheck

If you’ve freelanced at all before, you probably already know: there are no guaranteed paychecks in freelance writing. I often tell my family and friends, particularly those who dream up things for me to do during work hours, that my pay is tied directly to my productivity. I don’t write, I don’t get paid. It’s not like a desk job where you clock in, stay … read more

Financial Goals for 2013

This is one of my favorite times of year, not because it’s the holiday season (that part is actually more stressful than enjoyable), but because it’s the perfect time to reflect on the past year’s progress and make plans for the upcoming year. I like to start doing this earlier in December, that way I’m ready to put the plan into action at the start … read more

Transitioning Out of Freelance Writing

By far, most freelance writing advice is building a successful freelancing writing business, not about leaving one behind. But, sometimes, writing businesses fail. Or, writers decide to pursue other opportunities. Your freelance writing business may morph into another business. There’s nothing wrong with that. The most important thing is to continue doing something that pays the bills and keeps you (somewhat) happy. If you have … read more

Who Can Afford to Write for Cheap?

“You want to hire me, but you don’t want to pay my rates. Tell me again how accepting a project that pays far less than what I need to survive on is going to benefit me.” My honesty is never this brutal, but it’s sometimes exactly what I want to say to those clients who want to hire me, but want to pay me in … read more

Handling Freelance's Biggest Financial Surprises

Some surprises are nice: surprise birthday parties, surprise gifts, surprise breakfast in bed. Other surprises are not so nice, specifically surprises that cost you. When you’re a fulltime writer, your income fluctuates often, so surprises are typically unwelcome. But they happen, even to the most experienced writers. Success and longevity hinge on your ability to manage these surprises. A big project falls through. Not every … read more

Freelancing Doesn't Have to Mean Financial Failure

If you asked my 20-year-old self what kind of job I wanted after graduating college, writing would not have been my answer. But, if you asked that same me what I was passionate about, I would have answered “writing” without hesitation. I’ve talked to many people who, like I was, are afraid to follow their dreams of being a full-time freelance writer because they’re worried … read more

Freelance Writers: A Checklist for Switching Banks

If you bank with a major bank, you’ve probably received notice that a monthly fee is being added to your account. For the most part, these fees can be waived if you maintain a certain balance, make a certain number of debit card transactions, or have a certain amount direct deposited into your account. Basically, you may have to go through a little bit of … read more

Documents You'll Need for Tax Time

Tax time is still a few months away but if you wait until then you could be in a rush to get all the paperwork together. You can make it a lot easier on your tax preparer (even if you do your own taxes) by keeping up with necessary financial documents throughout the year. W-9 forms for contractors to whom you paid more than $600 … read more