Money Talks: Lessons Learned First 6 Months Freelancing
It’s been about (a little over) 6 months since I’ve been freelancing. Freelancing has changed my entire way of thinking about life. One aspect of my life that I had to view from a different angle is money. When I worked a 9-5 I had a consistent paycheck every 2 weeks. It didn’t matter how I spent my time, if I was sick, if I was depressed — every 2 weeks I was direct deposited my check. Obviously, with freelancing it’s much different. Initially, my spending habits didn’t match up with my status as a freelancer. When I was employed I could literally afford to be financially irresponsible. I mistakenly had that same attitude while freelancing. There were countless times where I looked at my bank account & regreted buying things I knew I didn’t need.
In 2019 I vowed to be more conservative with money. One thing I learned from a few spiritual women is to tell my money where to go. & it works! Here are 5 mistakes I learned and what I’m doing.
Those face masks, bath bombs, snacks and coffee add up.
I treated myself way too often. Not that I didn’t deserve it — I always feel like I deserve to treat myself. However, treating myself essentially boils down to spending money despite the fact that no money is incoming on that particular day.
new mindset: if you didn’t make any money that day. don’t spend. you can go one or two days without a ‘want’. think about the peace of mind that comes when you have somewhere to go or something to pay for and you have money in your account to do so because you conserved money. One of my friends at the time told me something I’ll never forget “Let’s stop going broke because of self-care.” #facts
Save quarters, nickels and dimes
Quarters, nickels, and dimes have saved the day so, SO many times for me. I’ve literally traveled and eaten for two days off of quarters. & I ate well. I believe saving all change - even pennies - is a form of gratitude because these are STILL forms of currency albeit smaller ones. & they add up. & if you’re absolutely down to your last in your bank account like I have been plenty of times — change will you you right! Don’t be afraid to use change. Don’t be embarrased. It’s still money.
Use the zesty pickle jar that you just finished and save your change. Don’t dip into it for coffee. This change stash is for travel and/or when you’re low. Bonus points for stashing 1s & 5s. They just look pretty stacking up.
Be grateful for what you have and where you are in life
Being grateful is one of the biggest ways I changed my mind about money. Despite the fact that freelancing does have a side to it that’s hard and unpredictable — I chose this life. This is a life of freedom. This is what I craved for so many years. This is what I wanted and the Universe gave me just that. It’s easy for me to randomly get into moods sometimes where I’m a debbie downer and it’s like noooo bishh SHAKE BACK — how are you mad at what you are blessed with? Oh how quickly we forget what we asked for!
new mindset: I wake up everyday and I thank god/the universe/my family for having my back! I wake up everyday and answer to myself. All of the things I do I choose to do. I eat when I want, sleep when I want, and am in the presence of people I want to be around. I sometimes have to reflect on the unhappiness I felt while working at a typical 9-5. It’s my desire to never go back and so I must be grateful! I don’t want my blessings taken away.
Don’t spend when you’re sad
Boyyyy oh BOY. This is a huge lesson. When I am sad — new things make me happy. I will go broke as long as I have something to keep me occupied & away from what is my current woe. This is a huuuuge and hard cycle I had to break out of. Now when I’m sad I create. I put my energy into something that could bring me more income - rather than cover up my despair with dollars.
new mindset: create don’t consume. You know deep down you always regret spending when you’re sad. The sadness is temporary. The money mistakes you made while sad? May take you a while to recover.
Focus, like energy, is a form of currency. Theres been so many times where I procrastinated or simply didn’t do sonething that could increase my income and I didn’t because I wasn’t focused. Focus is as simple as sitting down and making a list of what I need to do and not allowing anything (nudge at myself to flip back and forth between apps telling myself ill put my phone down in 5 minutes and the next thing you know it’s been an hour). Everytime I was focused — the Universe showed me how much work I could get done. In a SHORT amount of time. Which furthered my belief that with concentrated effort my financial goals are realisitic and I CAN and will make them happen.
Saving, keeping and making money is a mindset. Once you become aware of your habits it is at that moment you can take control.