I love being a freelancer and working for myself. It is something that fits perfectly with Ben and his schooling and my depression. There has never been a time in the last almost 4 years that I have hated it. If it is something you are considering doing then these are 5 things you really need to consider and do.

A cup of coffee and a laptop computer sitting on top of a table

Never throw away receipts

If you have receipts on email or paper that relate to your work don’t throw them away. The stress caused by trying to get replacement receipts can so easily be avoided.

Remember this can include fuel to events or reviews and pens, paper etc. Of course, bigger purchases are less easy to forget like a laptop, desk, chair or even a business vehicle like a van!

Keep a spreadsheet

I started out keeping a notebook of all my incomings and out-goings. It was a crazy idea in hindsight and I should have done a spreadsheet from the start.

I find the best plan is to include the date you invoiced and the date you received payment. If you only include one you will find this doesn’t work in the long term.

Invoice properly

It is so easy to design a proper invoice that looks professional and has all your business information on it. There really is no reason you should not do this at the beginning and then just edit and save for each invoice.

Remember to number them sensibly so they tally up well with your spreadsheet. Don’t forget to include terms regarding late payment as this can prove really useful if you have a client who tries to avoid paying on time!

Take time out for you

When you work for yourself it is so easy to get carried away and check your emails all day every day. It is easier said than done.

Remember the saying though that you can’t pour from an empty bottle. There has to be some time for you and your family because without that you will burn out.

Check what benefits you could be entitled to

If you have children check out the tax credits help you may be entitled to. This can change year on year so never be afraid to double-check.

There are a number of ways to find out what you could be entitled to but a quick google should help and the government website is a mine of knowledge.

The job centre can help too. If you are thinking of having a baby then when you are self-employed you could be entitled to Maternity Allowance.

I love blogging and writing and have shared a little here about starting a blog. Do feel free to have a read.

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