Money is difficult. Making it, estimating your own time as being worth a certain amount of it, and asking for it, is hard.
There’s lots of resources online for freelancers to help work out how much other freelancers in my area are charging and how to work out what tax allowances are permitted when working from home. But how to actually handle that money.
I bought a book to help do accounting, but reading is hard too — this one is more fun.
You could make spreadsheets and put them in your Dropbox (sign up + we both get free space) and while that works fairly well, who wants to install Excel or wait for it to open? (Business people, that’s who).
Instead of all that you can pretty much do it all with FreeAgent. Budget time with proposals, time-keeping, client/project tracking, invoice generation based on time tracking, a product inventory or fixed values. Pay staff, add expenses and track un-billable time, so you know that you’ll need to account for such time in the future. You can email invoices directly or output a pdf and print. It works really well, all you have to do is do you work, send your invoice and wait to be paid.
It’s not expensive, only £15/month if you pay annually, but if you sign up with my affiliate link and give it a go then you’ll get 10% off the subscription for life, as will I. Far cheaper than an accountant, and given that I’m not planning to invest in an off-shore tax scheme any time soon, just as worthile.
Bonus: they’re based in the UK (Edinburgh) and so all of their advice is aimed at UK taxpayers and businesses, their blog is up to date on changes to HMRC policy and all that.