Why I Freelance: Multiple Streams of Income Help Me Manage My Finances Better

I’ve spent 20 years being told that I’m just bad at financial management. I mean, my mom made it very clear so and I gotta admit that I was terrible when it comes to my money.

I had no clue how it was possible for some people to be able to save their money, because whenever I got my paycheck, my first instinct would be to spend it and I barely had nothing left by the end of the month. That was the story of my life until some time last year.

Imagine, it took me 30 years to have this awareness to save. Before then, it’s like even though I wanted to save, I often had no money to save then. The salary that I earned was like Bruno Mars’s song: easy come, easy go.

Starting last year, I’ve finally found managing my finances a bit easier, and I got better at it. So, whether you’re just starting as a freelancer, or you just wonder how we could save money from freelancing jobs… I hope my post today will help you find the answer!

Source: Pexels.

Some of My Income Streams Since I Started Freelancing

I started freelancing since 2017, but it was only last year that I began having multiple streams of income that allow me to save and secure myself financially.

In a way, I’m also quite thankful that these days, there are so many platforms that are super helpful to manage my personal finances. From tracking my income and spending, to the platforms where I can easily invest in stocks or foreign exchange. These are the platforms that I wasn’t so familiar with back when I still worked my office job.

But other than that, I think the perks of having multiple streams of income is also that it’s easier to split my income to several account without worry that I’d run out of money by the end of the month.

I mean, I could get a payout several times in a month so saving up what I have now couldn’t affect much if I’d get paid again in the upcoming week.

1. My part-time job as a copywriter for several local brands.

As you probably know already, I work as a copywriter for a few local fashion brands. 3 in total, but they’re under the same group so I get paid under the same payment slip. It’s a monthly payment, and if I gotta be honest with you… They pay peanuts. LOL.

But, I don’t give up on them yet even though I complain about them all the time because I could really use the salary to pay all my bills. They pay me on the 1st day of every month so it’s perfect to pay all my bills earlier in every month, from my credit cards, my blog-related stuff, and some other things related to my social life.

2. My virtual assistant jobs.

As for now, I have 3 on-going clients in total. One local client with the other two are international clients who pay me more decently.

The payment due for all the three is in the middle of the month. But you know what’s essential about an ideal client? The client who pays on-time.

I have no problem with it when it comes to my international clients because we signed the contract and everything so we never got any dispute when it comes to payment time. My local client, however…

She’s basically the reason why I refrain from finding more local clients. I don’t think it’s worth the mental drain I have to endure every month when she pays me late to the point that I feel like I beg for my right. That sucks.

I know, I deserve a better client and everything. But for now, before I could find another long-term clients who could at least pay me the same amount of money she does, I gotta suffer at least one time on a monthly basis.

Source: Pexels.

3. Sponsored posts on my blog.

I’m not saying I’m that person who would recommend people to quit their job to start a blog, but well… I was that person who quit her job with no back-up plan so she got no choice but focus on her blog. For a good reason.

Well, I’m not gonna claim myself as a full-time blogger since I spend more time working for clients than for my own blog. But I always get extra income through sponsored posts on my blog. It could be some sponsored posts, or even some paid guest posts that I occasionally get from clients.

I don’t earn 6-digit income from my blog alone, but I think in average, I usually earn more or less $200 from this blog. It doesn’t sound plenty, but hey… I live in Indonesia where $200 could be used for a down payment on a house. 😛

4. Affiliate marketing.

This is the only passive income that I’ve got now, even though I’m personally not a fan of affiliate marketing. As I mentioned a few times in my other blogging articles, affiliate marketing doesn’t work well in my blog like everyone said it should. LOL.

I suppose I don’t have the right strategy for it yet. But, even though I despise it, it doesn’t mean that I’m totally against the idea of affiliate marketing because as you could see that I have some ads on my blog here. It took me almost 2 years to my first payout for only $100 USD, but I got paid so I should count on this too. LOL

So yes, I also have this as my passive income even though the payout is only once in a million years. But hey, if it helps me add some balance in my bank account, it’s always a plus!

What I Do to Manage My Finances

The advantage of having multiple streams of income when it comes to managing my finances is that it’s easier for me to split the money into several savings. And it’s even better since I get paid several times so I don’t really have to worry about trying my ass off to survive within a specific timeline.

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure whether the reason why I couldn’t save during my office job was because it was too overwhelming to manage my money when I only have ONE main income in a month, while my expenses were way too many from the credit cards, the rent, and the utilities and all that… Or is it because I simply didn’t know the easy way to save up?

Anyway, this is what I’ve been doing to save up my income so far.

Source: Pexels.

1. I split my income into a few different accounts.

Right now, I have 2 different bank accounts that are still active. I use both CIMB and BTPN (both are Indonesian bank accounts), and I use mainly my CIMB account for almost all the payment where I get paid through direct bank transfer.

Since I use Paypal for most of my international clients, I usually withdraw my money to my BTPN accounts whenever I get a payout through Paypal. In that case, I have 3 accounts that I actively use to manage my finances: CIMB bank, BTPN/Jenius, and also Paypal.

2. I spare a little of my income and do some foreign exchange.

Some Indonesians who use BTPN/Jenius probably already know the unique features offered that include foreign exchange too, so I mostly save my money in foreign currency.

It’s easier to commit to save when I have my money in the form of other currencies. Believe me, everytime I have some savings in IDR, I always get in touch with my shopaholic evil that lures me into spending it. LOL.

So yes, whenever I get paid for something, I always try to buy forex no matter how little. I open my forex accounts in both USD or SGD. USD for the stability and SGD because I often go to Singapore and having it could come super handy.

Source: Pexels.

3. I buy stocks and gold.

You know, the idea of buying stocks and gold has been in my head ever since I earned my first paycheck. However, it was so hard to actually do it when there’s no money to spare due to your commitment to rent and any other stuff at the time.

Well, even until now I still can’t explain how the technicality behind buying stock is. But in Indonesia, it’s pretty easy to buy stocks through Tokopedia. Heck I could buy stock from as little as IDR 10,000 (around $0.7 cents), so I don’t see any reason why I don’t join the bandwagon.

Same as gold, now I also buy gold through Tokopedia. Not only is it easier, sometimes I could easily add a little of gold transaction whenever I buy something through the platform. And mind you, I use the e-commerce a lot of times for shopping and groceries, so it’s really great to easily purchase gold when I buy some cat food, for example.

4. I start tracking my financial flows.

You see, I spent a couple of years living far from being organized. My money comes and goes without anyone tracking the expenses. Could you imagine? But yeah, I lived by. But not anymore.

As for now, I track my income manually in a notebook while I also have Money Manager apps in my phone for me to track both my income and expenses. So far, it helps me track my financial flows and find out how much money I’ve earned monthly, in average.

I figure tracking my financial flows these days is important, especially since now I’ve got several team members that I need to pay on a daily basis. I mean, no way I don’t track my expenses and calculate how I could pay them. So that’s that.

Well, those are the things that I’ve done to track my finances so far. I know, I’m quite late to the party when it comes to being literate in finances. But hey, it’s better late than never.

So, how else do you do to track your financial streams? Share your tips below, and cheerio! 😀

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