Thanks to modern technology and the internet, it’s now perfectly possible to monetise your skills to earn an income. No longer do you need to be stuck in a 9-5 job that you hate, instead you can explore your passions and interests and make money doing something you genuinely enjoy. However, it’s not always a bed of roses and there are two sides to freelance life that need to be considered. Read on to find out more.
One of the biggest downsides to working as an employee is that usually, you have to work the hours that you’re set. As a freelancer and your own boss, you can choose when is best for you. While you do have to meet your clients requirements, you can decide how many you will take on and make your job fit around your life. If you have children and other commitments this means you’re much better able to navigate work around them.
When you work as an employee, you’re generally working for someone else’s dream. You might enjoy your job but you’re still working for someone else. Being a freelancer means doing something that you enjoy and on your terms, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction.
One thing about freelancing is that the pay can be excellent, you can be paid really well for your skills. Since you’re the boss, you get to set your own rates and can decide what you think your time and skills are worth. Providing there’s a market for what you’re selling, this means you can make excellent earnings. Whereas with a standard job, you’ll always be paid for the amount of hours, not the amount of work you complete.
All of us pay taxes on our earnings, whether we’re self employed or not. However, when you’re an employee for a company, all of your tax is done for you so you don’t have to worry about it. As a self employed freelancer, you’re responsible for your own tax return which means keeping accurate figures and filling in your tax return properly. If you can’t, or don’t want to tackle this yourself then you have the option of hiring a tax accountant although this will be at a cost to you. For most people, tax returns aren’t as scary as they seem and now that everything is done online it makes everything a little easier. However, depending on your situation things can be a little trickier. For example, if you’re earning money elsewhere such as through property, you work another job or claim certain benefits then this all needs to be properly declared.
The Legal Stuff
Most of us start freelancing because we have a skill we’re good at- it could be anything from writing to photography to design. Very few of us are qualified lawyers or even know the first thing about business law, so this side of things can leave many freelancers stumped. But it’s important to know so you can protect yourself and your business. For example, you’ll need the right insurance in case anything goes wrong. You’ll need legally binding contracts to ensure you receive payment for all of the work that you do. You can find legal advice and software online, as well as contract templates for the type of work you do. For example, if you’re an interior designer you could use an interior design contract template.
No Guaranteed Income
Unlike a regular 9-5, there’s no guaranteed income with freelancing. Your money can fluctuate month to month which can mean uncertain times for many freelancers. Securing as many regular clients as you can will help to minimise this.
Published by Samantha Brown