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Earnings Increased: A Desktop App Success Story

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Experience is definitely the best teacher.

Take Sankalp Agrawal, freelancer and desktop app user, for example. He does freelance work at Freelancer.com while studying Computer Science and Engineering in Delhi. Accepting freelance work for clients gives him the chance to sharpen his skills: website design and development, Android programming, UI/UX design, and even data entry. Being a smart and committed worker, he opts to maximize the perks of the desktop app in his many projects. Here’s our interview with him regarding his take on the desktop app and how beneficial it is to his freelance life:

Freelancer Team: How does the Freelancer desktop app help you in your projects, earnings etc.?

Sankalp: Freelancer desktop app is a great product which helps me get paid for the actual time that I put in for a client. It helps employers trust freelancers like me more because they (employers) can see what I have worked upon and under what time duration.

And, believe me, my earnings have increased over the time because of this. A fixed project might take more time than I’d actually thought of while bidding and accepting. But, having hourly projects done using the desktop app ensures I get paid for every single minute, even seconds that I commit into the project.

FLT: What do you like most about the Freelancer desktop app?

S: Being a UI/UX Designer, I really really like the design. It’s beautiful. If it were a girl, I would have definitely tried to make it my girlfriend. Haha.

It’s really amazing to see products being designed and developed while keeping users in focus since day one. If I have to get very specific about what I like the most, it’s the design of the “Start/Pause” button and the time counter. Plus, the functionality to create invoices with just one click.

FLT: What do you like least about the Freelancer desktop app?

S: Now, that’s a really tough question. I use Windows. On clicking the “Begin Work” button, it shows a loading sign for a very short duration of 1-2 seconds. That’s the only thing I don’t like. Maybe that’s because of Java.

FLT: What features would you like the Freelancer desktop app to have?

S: Since the desktop app already has all the essential features, there is not much else I would wish for. But, I do have two “nice to have” features:
Adding session notes. Adding notes to each image (the functionality that we have on website) is not that much feasible on the app but, being able to add session notes by tapping the pause button would be nice.
A small ping sound. For this, assume I take very short 20-minute breaks. It would be nice if I could customize and set the app to notify me every 20 minutes with a very subtle ping notification.

FLT: Cite or share other personal experiences on how the app assisted you during a project. This will inspire freelancers like you to benefit from the Freelancer desktop app too.

I have already said pretty much everything about the app and my experiences but yeah, there is one specific project experience that I can share.

Recently, one of my friends referred me to a person for some help. Since it was a referral I was very hesitant to quote an amount as the project was slightly complex and I could sense that it would require much time. In the end, we agreed upon hourly pay. Believe me, because I was using the desktop app, I got paid more than I’d have quoted for the whole project. So, it’s a win-win situation only with the desktop app.

Sankalp’s experience teaches us that with reliable monitoring tools like the desktop app, we can maximize our earnings from the hourly projects we take in from our Freelancer.com clients. Every working hour is time well spent because we’ll get paid accordingly. No more unpaid working hours. Plus it’s very easy to download and use!

Download the desktop app now and start tracking your working hours. It’s available in Windows and Linux (and soon in Mac OS!) It’s FREE and easy to install.

Editor’s Note: Do you want to share your own desktop app story? Email us at desktop-feedback@freelancer.com and let us know. You just might be featured in our next blog post!

A Freelancer’s Guide to Mobile Productivity

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“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.”
Leo Babauta

In today’s multitasking world, freelancers are left scrambling to better organize work, whether they are in the field or inside the office. If you frequently find yourself doing anything other than the task at hand, and have trouble narrowing down what is essential, try these applications that we’ve listed down to increase your productivity and output as a freelancer mobile warrior.

Evernote (Free)

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Evernote has been dubbed as “The world’s best note-taking app.” It has always been the top choice for cross-platform note-taking and workspace management — a write, collect, find, and present all-in-one application. Using Evernote, your notes, web clippings, images, and files are always organized and in sync across every device or computer that you use. It also allows easy and effective sharing and collaboration with different users regardless of their location around the world.

  • Alternatives: OneNote, Google Keep

Google Drive (Free)

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Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization application hosted and made by Google. It allows cloud storage, file sharing, and collaborative editing. It offers a combination of cheap storage and office programs for document creation, presentations, and spreadsheets. Google Drive is deeply integrated with Google Mail, which allows a seamless and singular platform experience. Free users are allowed of up to 15GB of storage, which can be upgraded with monthly plans that start at $1.99 for 100GB.

  • Alternatives: Dropbox, OneDrive

Todoist (Free)

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Todoist is a fun task management platform that is available on Android and 14 other platforms. This app gives you the ability to collaborate, share tasks, and assign tasks. It comes with Google Drive, Dropbox, DashClock and Widget integration which is ultimately very helpful for freelancers on the go. Todoist hits a sweet spot as the most complete task management platform for both personal and business.

  • Alternatives: AnyDo. Wunderlist

RescueTime (Free)

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RescueTime is a personal analytics application that finds your ideal work-life balance. RescueTime helps you understand your daily habit by tracking time spent on applications and websites, giving you a more accurate picture of how you spend your day. It’s a time measurement tool that keeps a close eye on what you do, helping you determine areas of improvement to become more productive every day.

  • Alternatives: Time Recording

Freelancer Mobile (Free)

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Freelancer.com, the world’s leading marketplace for outsourcing, has created an application that ports the website’s functions into a nifty application inside your phone. Freelancer Mobile allows freelancers to explore jobs, bid on the go, communicate with clients, and accept job offers where they are. Employers are given the ability to post projects, review bids and select freelancers from a global freelancer talent pool inside Freelancer.com and remotely manage projects. It’s currently available on Android, with an iOS app coming soon.

Mint (Free)

09-24-Productivity-06Mint is an online service that keeps tracks of one’s finances. It pulls in all your finance accounts and investments into one place, so you can track your spending, create budgets, receive bill reminders, and of course, save money. It gives you a great, up-to-date overview of your finances and keep it all on track while you are on the go. Currently, it’s been voted as the best finance application for the Android platform.

  • Alternatives: Check

Airdroid (Free)

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Airdroid works by giving your computer access to your Android phone. This gives you the ability to send and receive messages, call contacts and manage your phone conveniently from the comfort of your computer. Airdroid also lets you control your smartphone’s camera remotely and in real time. If you’re working on a laptop and need constant access to your smartphone, this is the perfect solution for you.

Google Translate (Free)

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As a freelancer, you will interface with employers from around the world. There are times when language will be a barrier in interfacing with them. Google Translate solves that easily. You can type in a phrase in a different language and have Google Translate change it to a different one. You can speak into your phone in one language and have the application speak it back to you in a different one. The best part is that this application works offline as long as you were able to download the necessary language packs to support it.

 

5 Ways to Deal with Difficult Clients

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Handling client concerns is not always easy. As a freelancer, you will encounter different kinds of people with different work styles. There may be those who don’t know what they want, those who ask for the impossible, and those who keep changing their minds. You may even have to face last-minute requests, confusing project briefs, non-existent payments, and personality clashes, among other things.

A freelancer-client relationship is a delicate one. Here’s how to deal.

Know the boundaries. Everyone involved should be aware of all the details at the very start. Identify all limitations as well as any roadblocks you might experience during the course of the project. Prepare a roadmap or timeline to guide you and your clients. Have a contract in place if you can. This way, expectations are clear from the beginning, and when clients change their minds or request things outside of what you initially talked about, you can always go back to the document you both agreed on for reference.

Ask questions. Don’t shy away from requesting clarifications when something about the job confuses you. Project briefs aren’t always easy to understand, so ask the employer for an explanation instead of basing it all on guesswork.

Pick your battles. You won’t always get the nicest of clients. You might not think the same, or you might not even like each other. There are times when you’ll find that you and your clients don’t agree on certain issues. They might even be difficult for no reason. Whatever it is, you have to know when to pick your battles.

Weigh the pros and cons before you decide to talk to your client about a problem. Ask yourself if the issue affects your work so much that you have to address it, or if it’s something trivial that you can let go. Keep an open mind about personality clashes – you can’t please everyone and vice versa after all.

Keep an eye on the clock. Have an employer who is fond of making last-minute requests? Ever feel like the hours you’re paid are not enough for all the hours you’re putting in? Be mindful of your time. If the client doesn’t give you enough time to do your job, let them know and ask them if they can extend your hours. If they won’t, have them look at the project timeline and explain the delay that last-minute request is going to cause.

Remember to keep track of the time you spend working as well, especially when you’re billing by the hour. The Freelancer Desktop App will help both you and your client verify hours and collaborate more effectively without wasting time.

Watch over your earnings. Not getting paid for work done is a nightmare for any freelancer. If your pay is late or non-existent, follow up with your client. If the reason given for non-payment is that you didn’t provide the work that was agreed on, you may either ask for a chance to improve your work, or go back to your initial agreement and explain how you were faithful to it. Realistically-speaking, there will be instances when you will have to break up with a client for non-payment, or a client will have to break up with you for not meeting expectations.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Request for a milestone payment before beginning work. It requires the employer to pay you for a milestone rather than waiting until everything is done to release payment for the entire project. It will give both of you a sense of security – the client will get to see your work and know what to expect from you, and you will know that the client isn’t shady and is willing to pay.

Client handling is part and parcel of being a freelancer. Tread carefully, always look before you leap, follow these tips, and you’ll be fine. 

Success Story: Civil Engineer Tries Hand at Translation and Succeeds

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The recession that struck Greece hard caused a surge in unemployment, especially for the youth under the age of 25. As a result, many have turned their sights overseas to earn a decent living, and for some, they shifted from regular employment to freelancing.

One of the many talented individuals affected was Ioannis Tsakiris, a 27-year-old civil engineer with a Master of Science degree in Antiseismic Design. “I am currently unemployed,” he said, “but freelancing has offered me a means to earn an income.”

Searching for the right online freelancing platform was easy for him. Following his friend’s recommendation and after reading positive reviews, he chose Freelancer.com, the world’s largest outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace. “The recommendation and reviews were very convincing and the use of Paypal was also a major factor for me in trusting the site more.”

But unlike other freelancers who choose to take gigs in line with their academic degree, Ioannis favored doing Greek to English translations compared to engineering-related projects. “I started translating a long time ago,” he explains. “I have proficiency in English from the University of Michigan. It is very common for youth my age in Greece to acquire this certification in their teens.”

His first translation project involved 15 pages of a financial website, each with 400 words. The client was very pleased that Ioannis was able to complete the job in two days as promised. Translations, Ioannis said, offer a greater amount of money for the number of hours worked and require very limited editing and changes.

To illustrate his point, he cited that the legal basic monthly salary in his country is 380€ for more than eight hours of work. “Even if my project was US$250 (or 180€), less than the basic salary, you have to take into account that I don’t have to pay for transportation; I am my own boss; I work whenever I want under my own rules (even in my pajamas); and to be honest, I work five hours a day max.”

Despite the prevailing unemployment conditions in Greece, Ioannis found the opportunity to navigate through the harsh economy by making use of his other skill through Freelancer.com. “Freelancer is the best choice to earn money, stay in your home country, and face work with a different perspective. It gives you real jobs where you have to compete with others, be confident about your skills, and be able to effectively deal with problems through communication.”

Looking for other avenues to earn from? Sign up on Freelancer.com and start bidding on projects now!

Work Anywhere with the New Freelancer Mobile App for Android

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The latest update for the Freelancer Android App is our biggest to date — and makes the process of finding freelance talent and freelance work easier.

Our mission at Freelancer.com is to make our users truly ‘free’ — free of their desks and offices — by enabling them to work anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. The Freelancer Android App plays an important role in this mission. It aims to translate the Freelancer.com experience into a simple yet powerful mobile application that will give our users the mobility they need without sacrificing the functionality they get from our website.

Our data shows that being mobile is extremely valuable for our community of freelancers and employers. Out of the top 100 earning freelancers on the platform, 43 use the App to make sure they are always on their game and accessible by their employers.

The latest update (v2.0) also addresses some of the most requested features by our app users — and we believe it’ll be just as popular as the current version, which averages 4.1-star ratings in Google Play.

Here’s a summary of features in Freelancer Android App 2.0:

Freelancers:

  • Explore jobs: Browse through hundreds of jobs across 700+ categories — or simply see the jobs that are relevant to you in the ‘My Skills’ section.
  • Bid: Prepare your proposal and place your bid on the go so you won’t miss any job opportunity.
  • Get work: Communicate with clients and accept job offers wherever you are.

Employers:

  • Post projects: Post your project straight from your mobile device, using simplified templates.
  • Find freelancers: Review bids and get your project started immediately by awarding jobs to successful bidders on the go.
  • Manage your projects: Communicate with your freelancers and share files via the messaging platform. Stay up to date wherever you are.

We’ll be adding new features and will continuously keep improving our Android app to deliver our users a truly amazing experience — so, stay tuned for more!

We’re not forgetting our iOS users, of course. Freelancer iOS app will be released soon.

Download the Freelancer Android App today and make the world your office!

Ilter Dumduz 
Product Director 

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Living the Freelance Life: What to Do When Work is Slow to Come By

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Freelancing doesn’t bind you in any way to a company on an eight-hour, five-days-per-week basis. It has convenient pros such as getting ahold of your time and working at your own pace. There are drawbacks however, such as the fact that sometimes, you don’t have a lot of work. After all, freelancing by definition means there is no fixed work and income.

There are hours or days when work gets scarce that you start panicking and wondering if you can get by until the next bill cut-off. These slow periods affect every freelancer no matter how awesome they are. When work is hard to come by, don’t sulk or brood, and most importantly, don’t panic. There is a reason why you chose freelancing in the first place –- it’s because you know that your skill set is in demand globally and you’re assured of a platform where you can always find jobs, such as Freelancer.com.

Now, how do you make your time worthwhile during these slow periods? Take a look below at some of the things you can do when work is playing hard to get:

Update your profile/portfolio. You tend to forget about these when you are too preoccupied with getting things done. Take the downtime as your chance to think through what you have accomplished and then update your profile. Since your business is online, make sure you keep your name and what you do out there so you will be easily found by prospective clients.

Learn a new skill. Get ahead of the pack by learning a new skill. It will increase the job categories that you can bid on, which will in turn increase your work chances and earnings. From learning how to use photo or video-editing software to programming using a new language, the possibilities are endless. This allows you to stay updated with the changing technologies that are fundamental to your chosen career path. Learning new skills is not that difficult now since, you can enroll yourself in free or paid courses online.

Sort through your emails. These days, the majority of professional correspondence is done through emails, which can pile up really quickly. Create and label folders to organize your emails for easy reference and delete the ones that aren’t worth keeping. Also keep an eye out for emails that you have put off for later; these might be jobs that you skipped because you were busy at the time.

Revamp your work space. Feel refreshed by decluttering your work area and moving your stuff strategically so you can feel more efficient and organized. Try to add some cheer too – you can repaint the walls, change the curtains, and place an indoor potted plant near your desk. A positive change from a dark, stuffy area can do wonders for your productivity.

Help someone out. Even if you won’t profit from it, try to help someone. Visit forums that focus on your interests, especially those related to your area of expertise. Not only will you establish a good name in an online community, but you also learn from people’s different experiences. It can also pave the way for future collaboration and partnerships.

Practice some fun brain exercises. Instead of worrying or thinking of what might have been, focus on de-stressing yourself by practicing some brain exercises that don’t only effectively pass the time, but also improve your focus and memory.

Run errands. You might be forgetting some important tasks such as managing and paying your taxes, tuning up your car, buying groceries, taking your pet to the vet, etc. Don’t hole up in your little home office, bidding your day away. Remember to attend to the little details of everyday as well.

Keep going. Having free time is fun, but do your best to stay productive as well. Find new ways to make project proposals. Target specific bids and see how you do with them. Experiment on how you approach your bids so you can gauge what works best. Don’t stop looking for and trying to get the projects you want. With patience and perseverance, you’ll land that next job in no time.

Don’t let anything slow you down. Even if you’re not working on any projects, you can still keep an active and productive life. Use your willpower and motivation to move through the slow times.

“Work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
-Leah LaBelle

Secret to Success: Make Real Friends

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Starting up as an entrepreneur or a freelancer isn’t easy. Harder still is going at it alone.

Doing business entails its own problems and risks, along with new things to understand. The same can be said with doing away with boring desk jobs and cutting the cord on nine-to-fives — there will be hardships along the path to security and success.

However, no one ever said you should remain untethered. Making business connections will mean some perks but it won’t speak the right volumes to many. Do away with defining friends as only for “business” or “professional” reasons. Instead, try making real friends and get into discovering what the person is all about. People will work with those they trust and those who they know won’t cheat them of their hard-earned bucks. They also generally work better with those they know are hungry for growth and success.

The next time you meet a freelancer, why not do a little interview? What is five to ten minutes of your time in exchange for getting to know your potential partner? Ask questions that will help make you decide on how much autonomy you are willing to give the freelancer.

Likewise, if you’re a freelancer, ask your employer questions. An exchange of small details should help you align your insights with what the employer needs, and will also help you find the best way to work along both your terms.

Take some time off “business” and get to know the person on the other end of the line. That person isn’t a machine churning out orders or a robot that automatically churns out work.

In this day and age of digital hyperconnectedness, do not forget that people are people with their own devils they deal with everyday. Make friends. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.

7 Ways to Have a Lucrative Full-time Freelancing Career

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A lot of people dream about having a full-time freelancing career, yet few ever follow through on the idea. It’s a scary thought to leave the security of a 9-to-5 job after all, and it’s even scarier to jump into a strange, new world.

If you’re considering becoming a full-time freelancer, take heart in the fact that a lot of people have made the jump and are all the better for it. It’s a risk indeed, and yet it is one that has the potential to be rewarding in the long run. Contrary to popular misconception, freelancing can be lucrative. Like all things though, it just takes work. Here are some pointers on making your full-time freelance career as beneficial as possible.

Be prepared to work hard.
Freelancing is essentially time freedom, but you should be willing to do more than the standard eight-hour job. Since you don’t have restrictions on time, you can work as long as you want. Work hard and show your employers that you’re worth the investment.

Ensure that you have multiple income sources.
Don’t rely on just one company or one employer for your income. You’ll earn more when you utilize your multiple skill sets to get several jobs. It also helps to have more than one job at all times to serve as backup in case a job folds.

Build a reputation.
Reputation is one of the most important things that you, as a freelancer, should look after. Find a niche and make it your own. Become an expert in your particular field. You’ll find that the jobs will start coming to you instead of the other way around.

Widen your network.
Make the effort to get to know people in the industry. Join freelancer communities. Make friends at coworking spaces. Attend events and connect with other people. This will open yourself up to more work, either from employers you meet or fellow freelancers who can send new jobs your way.

Price competitively.
At the start of your freelance career, you may have to do things at very low prices or even for free just to gain experience. Putting together a good portfolio may take a while, but you will start getting more jobs over time. When you reach the point where you can put a price tag on your work, make sure that you have the right number. Do your research and ask around to help you determine your rates. Be mindful of overpricing, but be careful not to sell yourself short also.

Spend time and effort in marketing yourself.
A lot of freelancers forget that an important part of this life choice is exerting the effort to sell yourself.  Get your name out there. Fire up your social media accounts or start a blog and share your freelance experience. Find online forums and join in industry-specific discussions. People will be more than willing to hire or refer you for jobs if they’re familiar with you or they feel like you know what you’re doing.

Do terrific work.
Lastly, try your hardest to do your best work for each project or job. Always give 110 percent, do more than you’re expected, and don’t shy away from working overtime if you have to. Great work will ensure repeat offers and rehires for you, which in turn translates to money in the end.

How Contests Help You Get Stuff Done

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So you’re just about ready to launch your startup and only have a few more things to cover, like, say, your logo design and maybe your calling card layout. Yes, it will be pretty simple to log in to Freelancer.com and post a project, get it done, and print it out. Or, you can post a contest instead.

Contests are opportunities to crowdsource projects. This lets you access a wider spectrum of ideas and insights. It promotes friendly competition among freelancers as well. In simpler terms, you get more options for about the same costs as hiring a freelancer for a project.

Contest by Uuncut
Contest by Adminize
Contest by Cups & Lids
Contest by SEVENTWONINESIX

At the same time, if you need ideas for that next big thing, why not ask 13 million people for their thoughts on just about anything and everything?

We asked some of our users who love hosting and joining contests and here’s what they had to say:

“Contests are great because you have a bit of creative freedom to really test your skills,” said Danny who just won a contest for making a logo.

“Contests allow me to get options at the fraction of the cost,” said Ervin, after asking designers to create a mockup of his website. He continued “Had I spent the same amount of money on just one freelancer, I wouldn’t have had the option of being able to draw from the best aspects of each of the entries.”

Host a contest here.

Living the Freelance Life: Keeping Track of Your Finances

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It can be quite easy to lose track of your finances when you’re a freelancer. You don’t get a fixed salary every month. Your income comes from multiple sources. You don’t have a company that automatically deducts taxes and contributes to various funds for you. You are your own accountant, business manager, and financial consultant. You have to watch over your money and do everything yourself.

All these things can make anyone want to sweep it all under the rug, but don’t let yourself get intimidated by the numbers. Take charge of your finances by creating your own financial game plan. The trick is to simply know exactly what you earn and break it down according to your needs and lifestyle. It will take some getting used to, but being able to manage the money you earn will make your freelance venture a truly worthwhile one. Here’s our hefty guide to finance for freelancers.

Take stock of your earnings.
As a freelancer, there will be times when you don’t know when you will be paid, how a check will come in, or where money will come from. Despite the uncertainty, you still need to take stock of your earnings. List down all your sources of income – regular jobs, if any, as well as the projected payments from upcoming projects. Having it all laid out in one place should give you an estimate of how much you earn every month. This will be the basis for all your financial plans.

Take precautions to ensure that you get paid.
Landing new gigs and waiting for the first paychecks can always put you on pins and needles when you’re a freelancer. How will the client pay you for the project? When will you get paid? Bank transfers are tricky to set up especially on an international level. Set up an account with Paypal, Skriller, or any other secure payment facility to make the payment process convenient for both you and your client.

It also helps to set up a milestone payment scheme with an employer before a project begins, since it lets you request advanced payment for the first stage of the project. This should help you avoid the risk of not getting paid after you’ve finished the entire project. Freelancer.com has a milestone payment feature that you’ll get a lot of use out of.

List down your expenses.
It’s hard to get into the habit of listing down everything you spend money on, but once you get the hang of it, it’s practically a walk in the park. Every time you pull money out of your wallet, just list it down. This habit will give you a clear picture of what exactly you’ve been spending your precious cash on.

Use a small notebook for this, or try expense tracker apps like Mint or Toshl. Are you spending too much on drinks after hours and pricey dinners? Are all those mid-afternoon coffee runs putting a strain on your budget? Is your sneaker addiction putting you in the red? You’ll soon realize just how much cash is coming out of your pockets.

Create a budget.
Once you know how much you’re earning and what your expenses are, you can create a budget that suits your lifestyle. Put in your basic needs first – groceries, rent/mortgage, utilities, transportation. Then plot in your other bills, such as insurance and credit card payments, along with your savings for the month. Allot money for the things you want – like a fund for that new gaming computer you’ve been wanting – only after you’ve set aside the required amounts for your obligations.

Having a set budget doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun though. If anything, a budget will show you exactly how much you can live it up without overspending until the next month rolls around. Being able to rest easy knowing that you’ve paid your bills will give you space to splurge a bit.

Track your hours.
Freelancer time is valuable time. When you’re being paid hourly for a project or job, take note of your work times. Each hour means money! Use apps like the Freelancer Desktop App to log your hours.

Pay your bills.
Bills are an unsavory but also completely necessary part life. Forgetting to pay them can wreak havoc on your budget, not to mention cause you a lot of inconvenience in the long run. If you’re the forgetful type, use services like Check – which alert you when everything is due – so you won’t ever miss a bill. Online banking helps as well. Not having to physically submit bill payments will save you a ton of time and effort.

Save for a rainy day.
The freelance industry can be very unpredictable – one day you have a project, the next you don’t – so prepare for a time when you might not have a job to fall back on. Try to have at least three to six months’ worth of earnings safely tucked away to live on in case you lose your job or encounter an emergency. It’s always best to be prepared for anything.

Open separate bank accounts.
Having multiple bank accounts may seem too much, but it will keep you from spending money you want to save for a rainy day. Put your savings into one account, your retirement fund in another, and you’ll find that it’s a lot easier for you to forget that you have money to spend.

Invest in your future.
Plan for the future and consider taking out insurance plans, such as health, disability, life, and automobile. Make it a point to set aside money for your retirement too because no one else will do it for you, and if you have extra money, invest in mutual funds or stocks to get the most out of your precious cash.

Make it a goal to be debt-free.
Believe it or not, some people actually lock their unopened credit card bills in a drawer, hoping it will all go away. It won’t. It’s best to deal with debt sooner rather than later. Try to pay a bit above minimum every time, and you’ll eventually get to the end of it.

Don’t forget your taxes.
Not having an employer to deduct your taxes automatically from your paycheck means you have to do your taxes yourself. Have a set schedule to work on it, and see if you can make quarterly payments so that they won’t feel as heavy as making a yearly one.

Keeping track of your finances and getting the most out of your earnings isn’t as complicated and tough as it looks. Just stick to your budget and live within your means. You’ll find that your hard-earned money can go a long way.