Delving into the freelance career may be a scary thought especially if it is your main source of income. When you have just started out, there is almost no guarantee that you would have as many clients hiring you as you have hoped and thus, it is of utmost importance that you learn how to control your finances and learn to budget as a freelancer.

The best possible way is to first set up separate bank accounts – one for personal use and the other for your freelance business. It makes it easier to keep track of how much is coming in and going out, and to keep receipts of any expenditures that you may have to claim from your respective clients. In this day and age, setting up a bank account is a simple and fuss-free process. Simply go on to your desired bank’s website and sign up from there.

Secondly, enlist the use of the zero-budget technique. This technique allows you to have a flexible budget as the amount of money you set aside varies accordingly to how much you would be receiving at the end of your project. If the client has enlisted your services and are paying you considerably higher, your budget can then increase as well. This way, it ensures that you will not end up in a deficit since your income will always remain higher than your expenses and that you continue earning. To plan out how much you should set aside for each project, try to think of the necessary services you may have to pay for – such as subscriptions to services such as Photoshop or Lightroom and create a list of such services and how much they may cost.

Thirdly, check in with your cashflow at least once bi-weekly. Have an organized list of clients and payments to ensure that you get paid on time and if there are any upcoming subscriptions you may have to pay for that you may not require that month and cancel them. Come up with a rough gauge of how much you would be making every month and decide on how much to transfer back into your personal account.

Lastly, enlist the usage of free trial subscriptions – it goes without saying that subscriptions to services are costly especially if you require multiple of them at a time. Most of these services have trial subscriptions where they offer 1-month free usage and then require payments subsequently. You could try to create multiple email addresses and at the end of each trial, just sign up for another one and you have basically extended it for another month! This may be a taxing process but if you are just starting out, it really is a great way to help save as much as you can.