A few simple, practical and effective money saving tips for contractors to help you make the most of your finances.
It may sound simple, but making sure that you keep all receipts, invoices and emails for your outgoings can be invaluable to helping you manage your spending. Keep a box or a file of all this information so that you can review them each month. You will also need these if you want to claim expenses.
Save on Taxes
Taxes can feel like a burden on freelancers and contractors. We recommend hiring a professional accountant as often, the savings that are made eventually greatly outweigh the hiring costs. Hiring an accountant to manage your finances can also save the stress of doing tax returns yourself! Talk to your agency or other freelancers for recommendations.
Save on Phone Bills
The cost of calling clients can add up, especially if you’re using a mobile phone. Using Skype or Google Hangouts for video or voice chats when possible can help reduce this. Both services are free for online voice chats, but for as little as £2.99 a month on Skype you can ring international numbers.
Save on Software
There are some fantastic, and free, alternatives to the ‘paid for’ software that you may need for daily tasks. There may well be open source software available for your specific needs, however the issue with this is that many of the free versions have less tools than paid for version. These can still be of use though, especially if you want to use a free trial to make sure you’re buying the software that you’ll get the most use out of. Free software packages are particularly useful if you only need the basic version. Here are some examples:
Free Desk Space
Whether you’re renovating your office, in between jobs or just want to get out of your office at home for a while, free desk opportunities are there to help support freelancers and also encourage networking. Take a look at the Free Desk Here campaign for vacancies in your area, but remember that these are usually temporary positions.
Find Free Office Equipment
Looking to expand your office or get some new equipment? Before you fork out hundreds of pounds on new kit, have a look on sites such as Freecycle.org or Gumtree to see if anybody in your area is selling the items you need, or even giving them away for free. You can kill two birds with one stone here, save money and be good to the environment by recycling!
Cut costs and your environmental footprint by going paperless; just remember to back up data as much as possible! Using note software such as Evernote will help you save on printing costs and unnecessary stationary.
Marketing yourself through social networking sites such as LinkedIn, and attending offline-networking events can prove to be an invaluable source of new leads both locally and nationally. It might mean investing a little time outside of working hours, but they will save you money in the long term, as the cost of traditional marketing methods such as printing flyers and ads in local press can add up. They could also earn you money by winning you new business.
Let’s face it, not everything is free, but a little time and research can go a long way to helping you save money in the long term. Before you purchase anything new, research and compare so that you can make sure you’re finding the best deal for your needs. At Kingsbridge, we offer a Price Promise, which ensures that we can provide a competitive price for insurance policies, so look out for similar deals with your product suppliers or accountants, for example.