Money Management for Freelancers

Easy money is what everybody wants to get their hands on. This phenomenon gives rise to the entire idea of freelancing or commonly called work from home. But as they say there exists nothing on earth that is problem free. Similarly, the art of freelancing incorporates a few loose ends here and there. The catch is if you get successful, you are successful; if you aren’t, well you aren’t. Freelancing is mainly based on the idea of having to work from the comfort of one’s own home.

Money Management for Freelancers

A freelancer does not have to travel to an office rather works in a casual environment for hours that he sets himself. Initially, it seems to be too easy but the reality differs a little. The area of population that is being benefited by freelancing most, are the housewives. Meeting the formalities of a 9-5 job is tough for them therefore becoming a freelancer is the next thing they can consider doing to help ends meet.

A freelance job is usually one that has been turned into a profession and was primarily only a hobby. There are innumerous individuals who have adopted their hobby as a full-time profession and are earning hundreds or probably thousands of dollars. Where the problem arises for these work-from-home professionals is their payment and procedures of payment. In a corporate world, one comes across different individuals and as you meet a new person you expose yourself to a new personality with entirely different set of needs, wants and demands. If your previous client history has been perfectly sound and stable then get ready to meet someone who will change your perception soon enough. Let’s analyze first the type of clients a freelancer can come across:

  1. The Confused One

    Such a client always has work for you but would never be able to give clear cut details as per how they want the final product to be. Give them your advice and they’ll love to take it because a defined idea is what they lack.

  2. The Not So Interested One

    You may call him/her a disinterested client. These would want to get involved in your work but are rather least interested. Save your special efforts because such client will not want any of those and all he would want is the work done with little care and a lot of speed.

  3. The Rigid One

    A rigid client as the name implies is one who has a set plan and would want you to work according to it. Your suggestions are something they would hardly ever involve in. Clean details, pride on their own achievements and a sound outlook overall is what you can expect from such a client.

  4. The Encouraging One

    The encouraging client will turn your job into a fun experience. He would appreciate you on all the work you serve him with and will be there to tell you where you went wrong but in a friendly tone. These clients are people who every freelancer wants to work with.

  5. The Budgeted One

    To them, if you’ve been communicated a budget that is it. The end of story. No negotiations and no matter how much effort you put in or exceed their expectations with excellent work, a single penny won’t be raised on your project. So a little care is what you need to work with clients like these.

Once you have decided which client you are willing to work with, the next thing is deciding upon which way to charge the client for the work you’re serving him with. Practically, there are four ways a freelancer can propose to charge a client. These are:

  • Per project
  • Per word
  • Per hour
  • Per page

When the method of charging the client is sorted out, the next biggest issue is to receive the payment from them on the time decided. For a number of freelancers, getting the money in their hands is a massive problem. Clients use money transfer services such as PayPal and Moneybookers but not all of them are supported worldwide. As a result, all the money a freelancer has earned ends up remaining in the account set up online with no place to withdraw.

Best Online Payment Options

Moreover, every online money transfer system may not be safe to leave your money in. In order to guide freelancers, below are discussed some famous payment transfer systems and their pros and cons.

1. PAYPAL

instantShift - PayPal

In PayPal’s terms, “the world loves to pay and be paid using PayPal”, but to what extent is it true? Whether you shop or transfer remittance to your loved ones, PayPal works for both. It claims to be the safest and easiest way of money transfer online. It is estimated that 87 million of the world’s population uses PayPal. Freelancers who are willing to use PayPal to charge their clients can login to www.paypal.com and set up an account. A few minutes are all it takes.

Pros:

  • A PayPal account asks for no membership or monthly fees, set up your account and start using it, easy as that.
  • It’s a site that has great name and is reputable in the corporate world.
  • It is a digital wallet which means the funds are received as soon as they are transferred.
  • Offers a variety of options for making payments such as via the account itself, by credit cards and also by cheque.

Cons:

  • Your PayPal account can be locked or frozen at any time without any prior warning.
  • For several reasons, PayPal may doubt the authenticity of a customer’s transactions; the system reserves the right to take up any funds from your PayPal account and also from a personal banking account that you may have transferred your funds to.
  • Transactions to a PayPal account are limited under the range of $500. No transaction can exceed the limit.
  • PayPal promises to be serving the world on the contrary there is a list of countries that PayPal does not support which includes Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan and more.

2. 2CHECKOUT

instantShift - 2checkout

Another payment transfer processor by the name of 2Checkout is being used by freelancers widely. A simple account set up at www.2checkout.com can give freelancers access to making quick transactions. It offers transactions and credit card payments in 24 currencies and languages. However, it is only ideal for small sized businesses. Overall it is not a good choice for freelancers to use.

Pros:

  • Simple and quick process that requires a onetime payment of $49.97.
  • No membership, monthly or application processing fee.
  • Unlike others, the service comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Payments released twice a month, giving customers instant access to their earnings.

Cons:

  • The fee is no doubt to be paid once but is a little high, higher than PayPal and set at a 5.5% with an additional $0.45 at every transaction.
  • Larger businesses cannot count 2Checkout as an option for them.
  • The way 2Checkout has been designed does not account for frequent invoicing and payment requests that are needed at the end of the month by freelancers.
  • Lacks technical proficiency and does not update customers about server issues.

3. MONEYBOOKERS

instantShift - Moneybookers

Skrill or Moneybookers as it has been named previously is a cheap and comparatively a simple way to process payments. Serving more than 29 million customers, it has become an alternative for countries which PayPal does not support. If Moneybookers is your choice, www.moneybookers.com is the way to go!

Pros:

  • Moneybookers has by far the widest range of currencies to choose from while making transactions.
  • The commission or fee Moneybookers charges is very low. Where PayPal charges $5 with the exchange rate of 2.5% and an additional rate of 3.5% and $0.30 every time you are paid, Moneybookers charges $2.45 and 1.99% for all their exchange rates.
  • All in all it offers 100 and above payment options in 41 currencies with service expanded to 200 countries.
  • Users can set up a business or consumer account as per their need and can transfer money even using an email address.

Cons:

  • An account on Moneybookers is set up in one definite currency which cannot be changed later on.
  • Payments can take a while to transfer. Often there has been experienced a delay of up to 3 weeks in receiving a response from the technical support.
  • All options are not available for use in Russia. The only way Russians can withdraw using Moneybookers is bank transfer.

4. PAYZA (Previously AlertPay)

instantShift - Payza

For a country like a Pakistan, where world famous PayPal does not serve, Payza is a great option to transfer and receive money. The service promises a deadline of 24 hours and your money will be within your reach and in your bank account. Link up any bank account to Payza or ask for your money to be converted to Pakistani Rupees, Payza will do it all.

Pros:

  • Unlike other payment processors, money can be easily transferred also to an individual who does not have an Payza account.
  • Registration for all Payza accounts is absolutely free. Freelancers do not have to undergo a hassle of registration fees.
  • A complete payment system that is available for access to almost all countries in the world.
  • Extremely friendly user interface, preferred by most individuals.

Cons:

  • Payza does not have many disadvantages; however, one that could keep freelancers from using Payza is its language. The services are only offered in English.

The above given pros and cons of famous payments systems can help most freelancers decide the way they think is safer and efficient in terms of receiving money on time. Every business is full of risks and so is freelancing but using the right tools can turn the business into an overwhelming success. Initially when freelancers start working, the salary in the month is not usually much and may arise thoughts of quitting the freelancing business altogether. However using the right tools can help a freelancer work up his way to profits increasing month by month.

Invoicing and Its Techniques

Besides, payment processors, proper invoicing techniques can also be of great help to freelancers in managing their money. Some of the invoicing techniques are:

  • Making use of an invoicing software: If you can’t keep track of how much money you are owed, these softwares will do the job for you.
  • Designing policies: Irrecoverable are a part of every business. While freelancing one will come across clients who are late payers or do not pay at all. To avoid such circumstances, a freelancer can come up with policies which can be implemented when clients make late payments or refuse to pay altogether.
  • Set a value for the services you offer: In order to attract more clients, a lot of freelancers charge low prices which ultimately pose a not so good image of your services. Make sure that you calculate your charges which can help you arrive at a better price that you can charge.
  • Decide the mode of payment: When the project is being assigned, confirm the method the client will use to make the payment. All clients are not comfortable with payment processors and may want to use cheques or vice versa.
  • Set a Due Date for payment: When sending an invoice to the client, check and recheck for the due date because the invoice should bear a date or it may result in late payments.
  • Do not forget to mention Contact Details: An invoice is called to be complete when all contact details are mentioned in readable terms. This will help the client to get back to you via any phone, mail or email whatever he deems convenient.
  • Keep track of all invoices: An easier way to achieve this is to number every invoice. It makes life a 100 times easier. It is obvious for you to deal with many clients if you are a freelancer, and all invoices cannot be possible remembered or memorized, therefore number them in order to avoid the hassle.
  • Check on your Clients: A follow up is important at every level. If you are permitting a client to check up with you at every stage until you deliver them with the finished product, then at the end it is your duty to check on them for payments and late payments if there are any.

To strengthen the effect of these tiny tips, freelancers may consider using tools specially designed to serve the purpose of efficient invoicing. The five top invoicing tools that are being used round the globe are:

Freshbooks

instantShift - Freshbooks

Very popular and first choice. freshbooks deliver fast and simple invoicing and time tracking services that help you manage your business. freshbooks believes running a business is hard enough. We believe financial record keeping should be easy, fast, (and perhaps even fun), but still detailed enough to satisfy your accountant.

It build a strong relationship between hours of tracking, project management and invoice or we can say that FreshBook a management tool. It has all the features needed by a freelancer to work efficiently. Supports automatic invoice in any currency, collect online payments.

The Invoice Machine

instantShift - The Invoice Machine

The Invoice Machine takes a new clever approach to online invoicing. It’s beautiful and simple-to-use interface makes producing professional looking invoices a very pleasant experience.

It also allows you to send invoices directly to the mailbox of your clients with a PDF file to an email. This way both you and your clients will be required to do the least amount of work.

Harvest

instantShift - Harvest

Harvest lets you and your staff track time and send invoices from one integrated application. Get set up in just a few minutes and instantly start tracking time and invoicing your clients. Contractor and employee timesheet and timesheet approval is included. You can create an online invoice and easily bill your client. Get paid faster by collecting online payments from your clients instantly and securely via the web.

Blinksale

instantShift - Blinksale

Blinksale is perfect for anyone who needs to invoice clients for services or products sold. Blinksale is an excellent choice for designers, IT professionals, software developers, and more. Basically, if you need to send invoices, Blinksale can work for you.

Blinksale invoices are typically sent via email. You may also print and snail-mail your invoices if that’s your thing.

Zoho Invoice

instantShift - Zoho Invoice

Zoho Invoice has gained the loyalty and trust of companies and the individuals around the world by providing a feature-rich and user friendly interface. Quickly, easily send elegantly formatted invoices and quotes to your clients. Track invoices, send reminders, accept payments online and acknowledge receipts.

Invoicera

instantShift - Invoicera

Invoicera make online invoicing a straightforward and uncomplicated process. With a sole objective to deliver its user the quality which they desire while sending invoices and adding to their experience, Invoicera has successfully managed itself to set up as a value-oriented invoicing service provider. With its wide variety of features, user-friendly interface and enriched functionality, it allows you to overcome most of the accounting complications which unnecessarily cause delays in your projects. It also supports a number of languages and currency systems.

 

If you put to use a good mix of tips and tools given above, there is simply no chance for your money to escape anywhere without your knowledge. Lastly, because your clients are the backbone of your freelancing business, treat them with top class professionalism and prompt responses, they will surely keep coming back for more!

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for this detailed resource. Freelancers tend to face a great deal of problems while getting their dues from clients. One needs to be skillful enough to extract his or her money, otherwise there is always a chance of a client going rogue.

    Anyways, your inputs are appreciated.

    Regards
    Max

  2. For invoicing, I’ve really enjoyed Invoiceable (previously Invoice Bubble). It’s simple and a straight forward payment (recently changed to be a one-time payment). You can use it for free to see if it works for you and then pay to remove ads, etc.

  3. Another amazing online billing system is http://snapbill.com
    The features that it has is truly amazing!

  4. I have never found an invoicing app that works the way I want it to. They all have weird templating systems that you have to struggle with to get it to look how you want. And/or they make your logo look awful because they plop a low resolution version of it in the invoice. Invoices are almost always printed at some point, and if you are a designer, your logo needs to look good when it is printed. It needs to be kept as a vector object. I have yet to see an invoice app that does that.
    I use Apple’s Numbers and it works great.

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