By Jenny Daniels
There you are, trying to balance work and life. You’re pulling in that income from your freelance work and blogging efforts but like everyone that’s been in the position (especially me) there are months when the income dips either because you couldn’t devote enough time, you lost a client, or an unexpected health problem popped up.
So then what happens? You begin to look into living frugally.
Freelancing and frugal living is actually a match made in heaven. You’re already saving a ton of money by not commuting to work, buying lunch while on the job, and keeping up with professional appearances (via new outfits for work). You also have a lot more free time around the home, which means you can take the time to rework or repurpose things.
And … let’s not forget the fact you can go digging for coupons, network and barter with other professionals, and work with virtual employees.
I’ve been there. I’m a freelance writer, too. And so I want to share four somewhat simple (but effective) frugal ways to get more out of your business efforts.
Check these out:
You’ve got time to coupon
Your grandma had a stack of coupons. Your mom told you they’re worth the effort. But as a busy freelance professional, you’ll often feel your time is best spent doing work rather than taking away that time to clip coupons.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, especially since there are plenty of coupon websites, browser plugins that automatically detect better deals, and forums where users share and discuss the best deals.
There’s always downtime in freelancing and so you might as well take those few moments to check the deals – if you could save a solid $20 – $30 off a service that means you can relax a bit on your work.
Example: Let’s say it’s that time of the year to send out the family portrait. You could do a search for and find some family portrait coupons in about 10 seconds and boom, you’re already saving a decent percentage.
You don’t have to become one of those extreme coupon people. Just use your extra time wisely, between work, and it’s a win/win.
Bring back the bartering
What ever happened to bartering? It’s such a great option to exchange goods and services but we never seem to do it anymore because we all want that green.
But hold on a second. You obviously have skills that are in demand especially if you’re freelancing. Most likely you’d put those skills to work, you’d earn money, then turn around and purchase a product.
What about, instead, you just mastered the art of bartering, networked with those with the products/services you want, and did an exchange?
Example: Let’s say you know how to set up a website but currently need a new computer desk. You could get in touch with a small business offering the product, pitch them an idea for creating their website, and in exchange get one of their better (comparable in pricing) models.
Again, everyone wins in this scenario, plus you can bypass the middleman (i.e. cash).
Tap those virtual employees
There’s really no reason to go at it alone in your business anymore – you don’t have to manage every single element of its operation. In fact, you should probably hand over a lot of work to others so you can focus on the bigger picture.
Virtual employees are a good, frugal choice for up-and-coming businesses. These virtual employees provide services you need at an affordable price. In the meantime, from the time you’re saving not doing those tedious activities, you can devote more of your time toward bigger, higher-paying activities.
Example: Hand off the work of taking thousands of pictures for an eCommerce site to the VA while you work on the landing pages, marketing campaigns, and advertising.
Take your hourly income into perspective. It’ll help you realize it’s a better, frugal option to just hire out than trying to do it all. That’s smart thinking with your money and that’s what frugality is about.