4 UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO SAVE MONEY AS A BRAND SPANKIN' NEW FREELANCER (WORKING FROM HOME)
When quitting a job, there are some who take the textbook approach. Which probably looks like this:
Reading every published article that begins with "How To Crush (your desired occupation)"
Landing that job and giving your two weeks to your current employer
Tearing up over the "We'll Miss You! Good luck!" banners thumbtacked into the wooden beams of your favorite restaurant
The "goodbyes" and vows to keep in touch
Aww. how. sweet. *single tear running down plump cheek*
Then there are those who took more of a —shall we say —"non-traditional route", which goes down more like this:
Repeating affirmations on the drive to work and brainstorming other ways to keep from feeling worthless to your boss
Sobbing over beer #5 at the bar, sick at the thought of working the next day.
Getting a rush of courage out of left field to quit. Like. Right at that very moment.
Lugging your man along to help pack up your desk after-hours with one last tearful look around and a mic drop.
This won't be the part where l confirm or deny that I opted for the 2nd scenario...
I will share that I didn't have much of a cash cushion to land on after leaving my last job.
Even though my partner was a temporary sponsor when I took the leap, I knew it was going to be awhile before I could financially contribute to the household again.
And I'm not good with that. Ugh.
But what I am good at is finding ways to save money.
Here are some of the ways I cut expenses and saved (and even earned) money as a new freelancer working from home.
1. SLASH VEHICLE EXPENSES
Cutting the commute to work is one of the amenities listed in the all-inclusive "Work from Home" package (crowd noise with oooh's and aaahhh's).
Since your odometer isn't racking up mileage, you're already reaping some benefits:
decreasing wear & tear (think brake pads and tire tread)
having to gas up less frequently
no unsightly seatbelt cleavage mark
lowering odds of getting pulled over for expired tags (kidding!..ish)
added bonus: carbon footprint reduction
That should give you the warm and fuzzies.
Ok, so you're like "Doood...Tell me something I'm not doing already!"
ADJUST YOUR CAR INSURANCE COVERAGE
If your average monthly mileage plummets because you're not commuting to work anymore, you're less of a liability to your insurance company.
You can call them but I've found it easier to hit up their website or go through the app (Geico's is awesome) if I'm just adjusting numbers.
Check out your deductibles. Raise any you feel comfortable with in order to lower your premium. I raised my collision deductible but wasn't cool with touching comprehensive because I live in an area prone to severe weather damage
Know what you're paying for and reduce accordingly. When I combed through my policy, I was clueless that I was shelling out for the maximum car rental reimbursement option. Took it down from $50/day to $30/day and lowered my costs.
Review each item carefully. Figure out if you can do away with some of the services altogether (e.g. roadside assistance, emergency road service) now that you won't be driving as much.
I saved about $15 a month but I'm sure there are others that have saved a lot more than that just by being aware!
Of course, factor in your individual needs and circumstances, but you'll probably find something to shed, especially if you haven't looked at it for a few years.
Remember, you can always change it back once your cash flow picks up.
2. BEAUTIFY LESS, SAVE MORE
I don't know about you but my average work day consisted of prepping with a hardcore beauty regimen.
As women, we spend exponentially more on cosmetics and toiletries than guys.
Depending on brand preference, it's easy to cross the thousand dollar a year mark.
We are such suckers, right? But I DO love me
Here's my list of confessions...
professional hair serum
Any of these on your agenda? Most? All? More?
Daily. All of it. Just for work.
So why get dressed up with no place to go?
skip the hair goop and daily blowtorching
keep the skin bare or opt for light coverage
save the face cake for the weekends
...or days you just feel damn unpretty.
Your hair and skin will show it's appreciation and so will your bank account.
*Bonus money-saving tip: I hesitated keeping my Ipsy subscription but I'm glad I did...
For $10, I get five items each month ranging from mascara to facewash. I rarely have to buy beauty products anymore. I actually have more than I know what to do with!
3. COUPONS: THEY'RE FREE & MAKE STUFF LESS EXPENSIVE
When you pay less for something, you can buy other things.
Sure, searching and clipping can get a little tedious, but you don't have to go "extreme" to save a decent mound of cash. (THERE ARE SOME STRAIGHT UP KRAZY COUPONERS OUT THERE.)
If you're "not good at scissors", download digital coupons directly to your phone.
Here are a few resources I use:
I will say...I've seen awesome return from Ibotta (affiliate).
And trust me. It doesn't take long to rack up $20 (the minimum withdrawal balance) and you can get your rewards via various gift cards or straight up cash via PayPal.
I used some of my Ibotta money to help fund this blog!
Signing up for loyalty programs has also saved us hundreds of dollars. I encourage you to take advantage of those programs, wealthy or not!
You'll be saying "Take that you entirely overpriced items!" in no time.
4. TREAT YOUR BANK STATEMENTS LIKE A CHECKLIST
Go through your statement and find out what's being automatically withdrawn from your account.
WARNING: Tallying up how many of life's little luxuries you gave the autopay green light to may cause shock.
Outta sight, outta mind items:
Music: Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music
Meditation: Headspace (difficult to cancel), Calm
Netflix or other streaming services
Makeup or wine clubs
Your subscription to Highlights or other various magazines
There are several free alternatives to the fancy apps you're used to paying for.
For instance, I used Headspace for my guided meditations. But it was around $14/mo. So I traded it in for Insight Timer which I ended up liking a lot more in the long run.
Don't forget about the bills that are set up for automatic withdrawal from your bank account.
Cancelling, freezing, or deferring some of these expenses can be an option if you're strapped just make sure to keep those companies in the loop.
Hopefully your memory is out for a jog after reading this so you're not stuck trying to mend some major money wounds!
KEEP MOTIVATED ON THE ROAD TO BECOMING GREAT
Although making these cutbacks might bum you out, remember all the bullshit you left behind to be where you are.
Being miserable sucks. Being depressed sucks. Being miserable and depressed at your job exponentially sucks.
Remind yourself that you had enough courage to jump into the unknown so you could live a quality life of happiness that all of us deserve.
Always practice gratitude for the opportunity to pursue your desired career and creative goals.
Consider any sacrifices as an investment in something fantastic.
When you're trying to get your freelance career up and running, the last distraction you need is a financial one.
Take the steps to eliminate or lighten the burden while you focus on becoming your best self.
What are some things you've done to save money as a new freelancer?