Working for yourself can take a lot of patience and determination, especially when you first begin to look for clients. Understanding the benefits of freelancing could help to motivate you more within your chosen field. In addition to this you may also find yourself able to spend more time doing the things you love.
Spend time with your family
One of the biggest reasons I love working as a freelancer is the freedom to spend more time at home. I’m available for school runs, if needed, and to take my daughter to any clubs or events. During the school holidays, I don’t need to worry about childcare, or missing out on that time together. This, to me, is the greatest of the benefits of freelancing. I can be there to support my child while simultaneously earning money. She also gets to see me work, instilling the importance of hard work to be able to afford your chosen lifestyle.
The cost of travelling can be incredibly expensive. Some studies suggest that petrol prices have been lowered by charging more for diesel. As an owner of a diesel car myself, this is rather worrying. The cost of living is absolutely extortionate at the moment. Many people query the profits made by certain companies, while it’s the people who feel the pinch. Financially, the benefits of freelancing can be made clear when you consider NOT having to drive each day. My car, as an example, would take around £90 to fill completely. This may give me about 350 miles. While that may sound like a lot, the daily commute can quickly slash that number, especially if you were to be stuck in traffic. Freelancing allows me to remain at home, meaning I only need to use my car for shopping or leisure. Likewise, this also means I don’t need my insurance provider to cover commuting, which could bring the price down at renewal.
Follow your passions
Freelancing doesn’t only involve writing. You might also be able to freelance in a number of other fields, especially if you have the experience or qualifications to do so. This can allow you to do something you love and still get paid for it.
I have a passion for writing (it’d be a bit silly for me to have a blog if I hated it, right?), so I source clients who need blogs or articles created. Being able to do something you love is incredibly special. After all, how many people can truly claim they love their job? That makes happiness and passion one of the benefits of freelancing that could really contribute towards a better life.
Illness means nothing to me
When you work for a company, you may need to be there at a set time, for a specific number of hours. Failure to do so could see you lose out on your wages. While some companies may offer payment for generic sick days, many might only offer Statutory Sick Pay. Quite frankly, this pay is a joke. You can only get up to £99.35 per week, and only claim it if you’ve been ill for at least 4 days in a row and earn at least £123 a week. For many people, this money won’t go very far. It might be less than a day’s wages. In short, some people might not be able to pay their bills if they take time off due to illness, which can contribute towards bugs and viruses spreading around places of employment. (Note: employers! Look after your staff!!!)
As a freelancer, I get paid based on the work I do. There is no sick pay or holiday pay. This freedom may mean the loss of some of those perks, but it still has its benefits. Should I be ill, I can happily lay in bed with loo roll stuffed up my nose, typing out my articles. When we had Covid last year, I pushed myself to still do work from the comfort of my bed. This may not be possible within a traditional job role.
Pensions and National Insurance
As a freelancer, you will usually be classed as self-employed. This means you need to handle your own finances, or hire someone else to do it for you. Each year, I send in my tax return. This tells me how much I owe in both tax and National Insurance contributions. In doing so, I continue to pay into my state pension. Likewise, I also set up a private pension, which I pay £25 into on a monthly basis. I became a freelancer through wanting freedom, so why wouldn’t I also think about my freedom in the later years of life? If you’re dedicated, and ensure you fill in any forms in a timely manner, sorting out your finances doesn’t need to be a total headache. You might even be able to reduce the tax you pay by submitting your working costs.
A final word on the benefits of freelancing
It’s important to note that this way of working might not suit everyone. Here’s a few tips for those thinking of starting out.
- You need to be incredibly dedicated and ensure that any client work is handed in on time
- You need to be able to manage your time. I use Google Calendar as well as a physical planner
- Be open to constructive criticism – this can help you to improve in your trade
- Take note of tax deadlines
- Join social media groups and forums for great advice and support
- Consider which niche might be right for you
- Pay attention to your mental health. While working for yourself can be rewarding, you may also experience burnout if you try and push yourself too much