Managing a Freelancer’s Finances

martinis and your money

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Managing a Freelancer’s Finances

I have a number of clients and friends who run freelancing businesses, and while the business is exciting and fulfilling, there is a very big challenge in how to best manage their finances; and these financial challenges not only apply to freelancer’s but also solopreneurs, small business owners, and anyone who has an erratic income stream.

Carrie Smith, founder of Careful Cents, is not only a freelancer/solopreneur, but she coaches other’s in how to best manage their businesses. It’s one of my longer podcasts; however, there is so much great information here and I think it’s a must listen for any freelancer, solopreneur, small business owner, or someone thinking about making the leap into this world.

What Are We Drinking?

Espresso Martinis

1 oz cold espresso or coffee

2 oz vanilla vodka

1 oz Baileys

(1 oz of half and half or some other creamer is optional)

Shake all of the ingredients over ice, pour into a martini glass and enjoy!

Podcast Notes
  • Shannon and Carrie discuss the ups and downs and pros and cons of starting your own business and important things to remember about the choice to do it
  • Freelancing Tips
    • Figure out how much you need to live and determine if you can realistically achieve this on your own before you start your business.
    • Understand what you are worth. What your time is worth and make sure you are getting it.
    • Create a client comparison system where you can evaluate the clients based on your efficiency, productivity and enjoyment working for them
    • Make sure you work out your income pie with your time pie. Are you getting paid enough for the time you are spending working on it?
    • Think about quoting custom rates based on your clients and your expertise
    • Remember that you can benefit from working with clients in other ways than just money
    • We talk about managing the erratic income stream to build your wealth while building your business
    • Carrie stresses the importance of automating your processes as much as possible to conserve time for making money rather than managing it
    • Carrie shares some great ideas for how to managing getting paid from clients
    • As you grow your business, remember to diversify your streams of income to manage your risk of not getting paid for your work
    • Carrie discusses the importance of managing taxes as a freelancer
    • We talk about business expenses that make sense as far as your business is concerned
    • Carrie weighs in on whether or not freelancers should set up as an LLC or not
    • Here is the link to many of the resources Carrie mentioned during the podcast
Random Three Questions
  1. Your husband is a chef, what is your favorite meal that he makes?
  2. When was the last time you cried?
  3. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Are you a freelancer? What are good tips for managing a freelancer’s finances?
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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.


  1. I probably would have been a lot better of a freelancer if I had figured out that people have no problem screwing you out of money before I started. I have 4-5 websites online that are literally unchanged from when I stopped developing, but I never got payment from them. Ah well, live and learn- at least I hadn’t quit my job.

  2. Oh I would love to have an Espresso Martini, haven’t had one of those before! One thing that scares me about freelancing and small business in general is the financial aspect of it. I’m not sure what it would take for me to feel comfortable on a full-time freelance/business owner income, but clearly there are many out there who are making it work. Some people are not just making it work but are thriving, so it’s an interesting topic I like to hear about.

  3. Yey! This is one of the best topics you discussed in your podcast, Shannon. I have learned so much about managing freelancers’ finances. Your discussion on diversification of streams of income to manage risk of not getting paid for your work is totally informative. Looking forward to your 44th podcast.

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