Depending on whom you ask, financial freedom may constitute a number of ideas. To one earner, financial freedom may mean achieving a positive cash flow, paying off debt, and being able to set aside money for an emergency fund. Still, another may dream of having money to invest with or money for early retirement.
Most people choose to work their way up as rank-and-file employees of corporations, thinking by default that this is the best means—or the only means—of accomplishing financial security. But thanks to the rise of free market capitalism and digital technology, there is one more avenue to achieve financial freedom: the freelancing model or the so-called “gig economy.”
By the definition of labor expert and Business Mirror columnist Rene E. Ofreneo, a freelance worker is “a person who sells work or service without any regular salary, because he or she is an ‘independent contractor’.” Freelancers commonly score individual gigs from referrals, on social media, or via a freelance job search platform that advertises their skill sets. Contrary to old assumptions about the kind of life freelancing entails, many freelancers actually have incredible self-discipline, responsibility, and motivation to do well for themselves and their families. And truly, this is the kind of disposition that can help someone achieve financial security and independence.
Are you thinking of becoming a part-time or a full-time freelancer? What are the qualities of the freelance model that will make saving, earning, and managing money easier than ever for you? Here’s a five-part argument for how you can meet your financial goals through freelancing.
- You can cut down on work-related expenses. You may not notice it because it’s the norm for other 9-to-5 workers around you, but expenses for gas, daily commutes, new clothing, and take-out meals can really pile up. To freelancers, the credo of “work from anywhere” is usually a call to be productive somewhere comfortable and accessible to them, without shelling out as much for these expenses. Give freelancing a try, and be surprised about how much loose cash you will be able to save.
Many people are out there looking to engage
your skillsets. You may be good at speaking, writing, crunching numbers,
designing original graphics, or navigating new information technologies—so why
not monetize those skills, one at a time or all at once, by freelancing?
There’s a big market out there for virtual assistance work, content writing,
web development, tutoring, and translation, to name just a few. Choose a field,
aim to excel, and reap the rewards!
high earning potential. Let’s do away with the old belief that freelancers
earn crumbs compared to their rank-and-file counterparts, as evidence now
suggests otherwise. Digital payments company Payoneer cited in its 2018
Freelancer Income Survey that the global hourly rate for freelancers is a neat
$19. Moreover, in a country like the Philippines, freelancers can make between
PHP25,000 (almost $500) to PHP39,000 ($750) per month, depending on their
chosen industry, client rates, and frequency of engagement. Though it may take
a little time before you can increase your freelance rates, the monetary
compensation may be well worth it.
and managing money is now a breeze thanks to freelance-adjunct financial
technology. The burgeoning field of fintech has benefited freelancers in
particular. There are many free or reasonably priced apps that a freelancer can
download to handle payments and currency management. Some banking apps also
enable auto-deposits to your account, thus apportioning cash to your savings
without you needing to line up to do so. Such technology saves you time, the
grief of queuing for long hours, and additional costs that would otherwise be
lost to inefficiency.
- There’s greater room for career mobility and advancement. As a bona fide freelancer, you can present yourself as your own boss to both local and foreign clients. In such a position of authority, you can negotiate your own contracts, do networking, or complete other tasks that wouldn’t be possible with the rank-based constraints of a traditional bureaucracy. If you have a lot of ambition to move forward—and you don’t want to wait 3-5 years for your next work-related incentive—then you can motivate yourself up your own career ladder with freelancing.
If you play your cards right, freelancing can turn out to be lucrative, sustainable, and fulfilling all at the same time. It is just a matter of pursuing the jobs you are ready for, determining your financial goals, and ultimately, equipping yourself with the knowledge and tools to attain them.
Best of luck in your future endeavors, and may they bring you closer to your financial freedom!