Freelancing Ain't Free…But Sometimes It's Best to Budget Like it Is

  • By Tracy Soren
  • November 25, 2020

Freelancers are some of the hardest working people around, but even the hardest worker experiences times of low income. Sometimes, no matter what you do, projects are hard to come by and business is low. Does that mean you can’t enjoy the finer things? No! You’re a freelancer so you’ll just have to get creative. To spark your imagination, here’s a list of things to do when you need a pep-in-your-step that your wallet can’t provide.

Panera is Your Friend

The stereotype is right: freelancers love to work out of coffee shops. There’s caffeine, Wi-Fi, and the smallest chance for a human interaction when an overly trusting person asks you to watch their computer (that last one is a double-edge sword). But when you’re low on funds, coffee can add up. Time to let go of your hipster brew and head to a chain restaurant like Panera. Panera has free refills and most establishments don’t care if you stay for ten hours or more. Seriously, hole yourself up in there. Trust me on this because I’ve done it. So stock up on that free java because there won’t be anyone judging.

Give Your Jeans Another Wear

As Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh said, “DON’T WASH YOUR JEANS!” When I heard that advice, I thought, “whoa, that’s gross!” but now I think, “whoa, that’s not as gross that I used to think it was!” Washing them less can save you time and money. I used to wash my jeans after almost every wear, LIKE A MODERN-DAY FOOL. But now, I’d rather have that sweet cash in my jean pocket, no matter how dirty it is.

Learn To Cook!

Always being on the hustle can keep us out of the kitchen. But when money is tight, cooking is a fun way to keep cost down. Freelancers like to create, right? So why not create and get the added bonus of feeding yourself at the same time. And hey, no need to become a master chef in a day. This isn’t the 2009 Streep/Adams/Tucci dramedy Julie & Julia. You can do wonders with cans of tuna fish or a cheap Crockpot. Forgo that Seamless app & open up Pinterest. You’ll be amazed what you can make for less.

Stop & Listen to Street Performers

Just because you can’t afford a concert ticket doesn’t mean there aren’t live entertainers for you to see. Street performers want strangers to stop and enjoy their art. It may not be your thing, but having an emptier wallet makes you appreciate the world around you. On a nice day, it definitely beats spending $60 for the cheap seats in an arena where a bottle of water costs $8. Or, if you do have a buck to spare, why not share the wealth with a street performer? They are essentially freelancers just like you.

Settle-in & Binge

Date night & a movie? Not so much when you’re counting pennies. Seeing a film in theaters is now a special experience due to the price. Don’t even talk about getting a bucket of popcorn and a soda. You’ll need to take out a loan. Monthly subscription services cost less than a movie ticket and you can watch as much as you want. Have you seen Stranger Things on Netflix? It’s legitimately unbelievable. Who do you love more, Niles Crane, Frasier Crane, or Eddie? If you can’t answer that question seriously, than it’s time to get binging. Mean Girls is streaming right now and who doesn’t miss an up-and-coming Lohan? So while we need to support films at the box office, give your piggy bank a break and find your favorite spot on the couch. It’s time to stream, baby.

Take A Walk

Needs no explanation but I will add this one caveat, keep your phone in your pocket and look up.
There’s a lot of ways to stretch a dollar when you need to without feeling like you’re missing out. Creating frugal ways for you to experience life will help you consistently throughout this journey to build your business. Work is only one part of life and there’s so much out there to take in!
P.S. My favorite Frasier character is Niles Crane. Happy to talk to you extensively about why 🙂

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