Get Your Financial House in Order before You Freelance Full Time


By Yolander Prinzel

This week, Joe did a little tongue-in-cheek (okay, that saying doesn’t even make sense. Where else would your tongue be??) post about quitting your job today and going full time into freelancing. I thought I would piggy back on his post and write one that is tongue-out-of-cheek, which may mean I’m sticking my tongue out at you as I write this, I’m not sure.

Here are some financial things to consider and do before you quit your job to freelance full time:

1. Find out how close you are to your next vesting year. For every year that you are with an employer, you are more and more vested in the corporate contributions to your retirement plans. If you are thinking of quitting now and you are just 5 months away from being 20% more vested, you could lose hundreds of dollars by leaving too soon.

2. Save at least two months worth of expenses. Yeah, no, I know, you have a huge client list and your business is going really well, so it’s all good if you have no savings. Except that no, no it’s not. How are you going to deal with it the first time a gig falls through? The first time you lose a regular gig because the company goes bankrupt? The first time a check gets lost in the mail or sent out late? There are so many variables to worry about that you definitely want an emergency slush fund above and beyond your other savings.

3. Do what it is you think you are going to do. You know how much money you need to earn each day in order to live. If you need to make $200 a day and your regular gigs make up $150, then you need to find another $50 in gigs each day. You really do need to go ahead and do that. It’s very easy to just…not…and sit around reading instead. If you do, you’ll find you start depleting your savings pretty quickly.

4. Keep marketing and networking. Even if you have enough work this month and next, you need to be marketing and networking for your future months. You don’t want to be caught off-guard when your workload starts to slow and then try to scramble to find some real quick-like.

Yolander Prinzel, ACS is a financial writer as well as a series 7, 66 and 2-15 licensed financial representative with a decade of industry experience. She was the National Director of Marketing and the Director of Operations for The Compass Agency USA and has also been a trader for Raymond James Financial Services. None of her posts are meant to be advisory. Only an advisor with close, personal knowledge of your financial situation can offer advice. You can get her new e-book You’ve Found Your Specialty–Now What? Tips and Tricks to Finding and Scoring Clients and Making a Living Writing What You Know here for just $7.95.

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