While working as a freelancer can be easy, what with having no boss looking over your shoulder and having no need to spend hours just to travel between your house and the office, it does have its downsides. Still, many freelancers believe that the freedom they get from working flexible hours (and often getting bigger pay!) compared with working in the office setting is more valuable than the perks enjoyed by those in typical ‘regular’ jobs.
Still, this does not mean that you should just live a happy-go-lucky lifestyle at all times, if you are planning to become a freelancer!
Here are top 5 things that freelancers or would-be freelancers should prepare for:
Getting Fast (and Reliable!) Internet Connection
Of course, not all freelancers need internet connection as there are, for example, artists who do their jobs on canvas and don’t really need to connect to the online world; however, most of the freelancers these days do need to connect to the internet, not to do the actual work online but to connect with clients and/or promote their work/career.
Do not settle with a so-so internet connection that might conk out during the crucial stages of client meetings or during deadlines! Make sure to get fast and reliable internet connection. Some freelancers go as far as obtaining a second line, usually from a different service provider, just to ensure they have stable internet at all times.
Paying Their Own Utility Bills
If in regular offices you can use the internet and electricity without thought of how much it would cost you since the company pays for these, as a freelancer, you are on your own. While that might not be a big deal, remember to always pay your utility bills on time so you never have to worry about your internet and electricity getting cut off right when you are so busy with projects!
Getting Medical Insurance, SSS, Etc.
One downside to not being regularly employed by a company is that you don’t get perks like medical insurance and social security. That can be easily remedied by paying for these out of your own pocket. Of course, many often put off paying for these – and you are not required to do it yet for your own sake and your family’s, do prepare for medical emergencies and various needs by paying your social security (SSS) and Philhealth contributions. Get a medical plan, if possible.
Preparing for the Unexpected
In this type of work, you might get a job/contract in the middle of a busy month or you might find yourself with no jobs for weeks. This could be a huge blow to your budget, especially if your bosses decide to skip a month in paying your wages (yeah, that happens!).
So, always prepare for the unexpected – that could mean setting aside part of your wages for savings so that you have something to use in those weeks that you do not have work. In the world of freelancing, that is always a big possibility because you have less job security than typical regular workers in brick and mortar offices!
Preparing for Retirement
Retirement is also something that you have to prepare yourself since the companies you are currently working with as freelancers are not likely to give you money when you retire or resign.
Paying your SSS is already a good step to working on that retirement plan but because their pensions are often low, you might want to check other options. Finding a good investment option or insurance company with retirement options can help you prepare for the future.