Financial Management for Freelancers: Tips & Tools for Long-Term Success


Keeping an eye on one’s financial health is crucial for long-term success as a freelancer. In this article, we’ll take a look at efficient tips and tools that can help freelancers optimise their financial management and effectively utilise their resources.

Importance of financial management for freelancers

Before we dive into the right tools for financial success, let’s talk about why financial management is important for freelancers in the first place.

The benefits of a good financial plan include:

  • Smart tax planning
  • Future savings and setting up emergency funds
  • Improved decision making
  • Reduced risks
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved financial outcome over time

Remember, financial management is more than just basic budgeting. Generally, as a freelancer, you’re tasked with being your own accountant.

Planning out your financial management strategy allows you to tackle these challenges head on and take your business to new levels.

Hourly rate calculation: The foundation for economic success

The hourly rate is the amount that a freelancer charges per hour for their services. It forms the cornerstone of every freelancer’s career and is of great importance. But how high should the hourly rate be and what are the factors that influence it?

When determining the hourly rate as a freelancer, the following aspects should be considered:

  • Cost calculation: Considering all expenses, including living expenses, business expenses, and reserves, is essential.
  • Profit margin: The hourly rate should not only cover costs but also allow for a reasonable profit margin.
  • Market standards: Researching typical hourly rates in one’s own industry and region to offer competitive prices.
  • Professional experience and expertise: Setting the hourly rate should appropriately consider one’s own experience and expertise.
  • Supply and demand: The hourly rate should be adjusted to the current demand and market situation.
  • Flexibility: Being willing to adjust the hourly rate depending on the project and client relationship is important.
  • Self-esteem: An appropriate hourly rate should reflect one’s own value as a professional.
  • Economic developments: Economic trends should be monitored, and the hourly rate should be adjusted if necessary.

💡 Not sure what your hourly rate should be?
Read our article on how to set your rate as a freelancer

Online accounting software: Efficient financial management made easy

Accounting may not be a freelancer’s favourite task, but it is essential for financial management. It involves systematically recording, organising, and analysing all financial transactions. 

Effective accounting enables freelancers to keep track of their income and expenses, fulfil tax obligations correctly, and establish a solid foundation for financial decision-making.

Modern online accounting software significantly simplifies this process. It allows for the automatic recording of transactions, the creation of invoices, and the generation of financial reports.

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With a well-organised accounting system, freelancers not only stay on top of their financial situation but can also work more efficiently and focus on their core tasks. This significantly contributes to the sustainable development and success of freelance activities.

An example of a good accounting system and tool is Freshbooks – a cloud-based accounting software that also hosts a myriad of other useful features such as setting up payments, time-tracking, and revenue reporting. It also has an easy to use interface which newbie freelancers will find especially useful. 

Please note that Freshbook is our affiliate partner. If you click through one of the links below we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you!).

Tax software and online tax tools: Simplifying the tax process

The use of tax software and online tax tools is crucial for freelancers to simplify the often perceived as complex tax process. These tools provide a user-friendly platform to track income and expenses, automatically generate relevant tax information, and facilitate the preparation of tax returns.

Overall, digital tools help make the tax process more transparent, accessible, and error-free.

By integrating current tax laws and regulations, tax software and online tools help freelancers minimise potential errors and ensure they fulfil all tax obligations. The time saved and stress reduced through the automation of routine tasks enable freelancers to focus on their core competencies and make their entrepreneurial activities more efficient.

Some of the most well-known tax software and tools include:

#1 Doola

Doola is an easy-to-use tax software that helps freelancers stay on top of their annual state filings and IRS tax filings. It has a straightforward set up and can even get you in touch 1:1 with a certified public accountant. 

#2 H&R Block

H&R block is a tax software for freelancers and contractors that offers flexible payment options depending on the level of support they require. There are also physical office locations present in the US that provides you with access to tax professionals and support.

#3 TurboTax

TurboTax is an intuitive platform that supports capturing photos of 1099 forms for easy uploading. While this software is on the more expensive side, it does offer excellent customer service and great tools like IRS audit risk assessment, a step-by-step navigation guide, and more. 

#4 Cash App Taxes

Cash App Taxes is a 100% free tax filing tool that provides you with all the forms you might need to file your taxes as a freelancer. It also offers a refund guarantee and audit protection and is free for both federal and state tax filing. 

#5 TaxAct

TaxAct is a streamlined software that can help freelancers and self-employed individuals  file federal and state tax returns for their sole proprietorship or LLC. It is a good option for those who are not eligible to file a state tax return seeing as how its prices for federal returns are lower than competitors.

ℹ️ Please note that not all of the tax software mentioned above may be accessible in all countries. Make sure to find out if the software applies to tax laws in your country before signing up for any service!

Factoring for freelancers: Securing financial flexibility

Factoring provides freelancers with financial flexibility by allowing them to quickly convert outstanding invoices into liquid assets. This form of financing improves cash flow, minimises payment risks, and helps freelancers bridge gaps.

TIP: With the rapid availability of funds, freelancers can focus more on their projects instead of waiting for payments to come in.

However, it’s important to note that factoring also comes with risks. The fees associated with selling the receivables can affect profitability. Additionally, collaborating with a factoring company could impact relationships with clients, as they are directly involved in the process. 

Despite the advantages, every freelancer should carefully consider whether factoring is the best financial solution for their individual needs.

Conclusion: Successful financial management ensures long-term success

Effective financial management is the key to long-term success as a freelancer. By calculating your hourly rate, utilising online accounting software, tax software, and factoring, freelancers can handle their financial matters professionally and efficiently. These tools allow them to focus on their actual work while keeping the financial aspect of self-employment under control.

Overall, thoughtful financial management forms the basis for a sustainable and successful journey as a freelancer. By skillfully utilising resources and tools, financial challenges can be overcome, opportunities seized, and a stable foundation for the future can be established.

Stefania Volpe

Stefania joined the international team at freelancermap in 2020. She loves marketing, the digital world, foreign languages and meeting different cultures. She moved from Italy to Germany thanks to an exchange program at the university and worked as marketing manager for several startups. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at

By Stefania Volpe

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