How Freelancers Can Have Financial Flexibility

If you needed a few hundred dollars for an unforeseen expense, could you boost your income to cover it?

Surely you have heard the woes of people with fixed income. They get a set amount of money every month. It’s just enough to live on. And if the cost of living goes up or an unforeseen expense arises, it’s a financial crisis.

A lot of freelancers aren’t much better off because there’s no flexibility in their income potential.

Freelancers’ income is often limited by their current clients’ needs. If you have two clients who buy two articles a week for $200, your income is fixed at $800. That’s your financial reality.

If need more money, you’re going to have to find new clients. That’s like finding a part-time job. It could take time—more time than you have. And taking on a new client could mean committing to more ongoing work, which may not be what you want.

For example, I got a speeding ticket while I was out of town last month. And it’s not just any speeding ticket. It’s coded as reckless driving.

That means I have to go to court, which is about 10 hours round trip. So depending on how long I have to sit in court, that trip may involve an overnight stay. In addition to those expenses, I’m expecting to pay fines and court fees totaling between $180 and $250.

There have been times that my current situation would have been a major financial setback. Like the kind of setback where I went from being broke after I paid my bills to being broke before my bills got paid. I didn’t have the ability to just increase my income by $200 or 300.

Learn from me. Don’t live like that. Give yourself financial flexibility.

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How To Have Financial Flexibility

One way to ensure financial flexibility is to get and keep OMT gigs. That’s my nickname for freelance arrangements that allow you to work as little or as much as you want, aka On My Terms. Believe it or not, there are a lot of companies who operate this way.

Writers’ Pool Publications

Some publications have writer pools and they’re always accepting submissions from approved writers. So, you can write one story this month, 10 stories next month and not submit at all the following month.

Usually, you’ll have to pitch the stories though, and they’ll need to be items that the publication feels are worthy of publishing.

Content Mills

If you aren’t familiar, content mills are companies that purchase large quantities of writing on an on-going basis. A lot of people frown upon them, in part, because the pay is generally low. For example, you may only make $20 an article but you are often free to write as many as you possibly can.

Sometimes content mills have a minimum quota that requires you to write a small number per week or month. But a lot of these companies don’t have any requirement. If you don’t want to write for six months or a year, so be it. But if you hit a rough patch in 18 months, the option is there.

Alternative Freelance Services

Consider companies offering freelance work outside your normal scope.

For example, last year, I joined the transcriptionist pool for a company called Babbletype. They post audio files daily and you can transcribe as many as you like. From what I understand, they pay weekly. I haven’t  picked up a Babbletype assignment yet, but I keep it as one of my OMT gigs.

However, since this month is Money Making May, I have vowed to do at least one assignment, which I will report about here. And depending on how well it goes and how much it pays, I may use it as a source of revenue to atone for my traffic sins.

This Money Bite is brought to you in honor of Money Making May. Check back all month or use the RSS feed for more tips to save and make money.