In Career

Living my life on credit — The Freelancer’s Way

As a freelancer, I was thinking the other day that we actually live our whole lives on a form of credit, that is a credit to ourselves.

Every time I stop working, I am aware that the crisis has set in and there is no more money coming in. I hoard my money as savings, and I slowly watch it trickle down and away while I live through months without income.

I borrow from myself, the savings I have hoarded during the times of feasting while I am in (semi)-famine mode.

With freelancing, there is no guaranteed income coming in next week, or in two weeks, there is only the future promise of finding a contract that will bring in that income, but you have no idea WHEN, which makes all this budgeting and expense tracking so much trickier but so much more necessary.

While I don’t necessarily beat myself up for NOT spending only $1000 a month during my months of Famine, I do keep a careful eye on my savings dwindling down from $35,000 to $30,000 and so on.

When it hits the $20,000 mark, it’s when I start to sweat.

I feel my line of credit (from the Bank Of Myself) running close to its limit and running dry, and I start to cut back even more in my spending as the months go on.

It’s only when I get a contract and work, that I feel any kind of income relief.

Of course, this is all somewhat fabricated by me, myself and I to create this sense of perpetual semi-crisis or semi-poverty so that I don’t start spending like a rockstar, but it seems to help me make it through to the next contract.


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Posted on February 28, 2013

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  1. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    When I was self employed, my income would fluctuate through the year, but was pretty predictable based on the season. So, I put myself on a budget based on a low amount of income and anything extra was gravy.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I should do that….

  2. Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way

    For the last four years, I started as a freelancer. It’s not easy not to be a freelancer, that’s why I should always keep an eye on my budget.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m pretty lax because I make so much….

  3. Maria at Pocket of Money

    Cool. Interesting idea of viewing your savings as your own line of credit. Do you also pay yourself interest as a way to try and shore up for the next income drought?

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      No 🙂 I just save whatever is left

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