You may have at one point or another considered what it would be like to just drift through the world as a freelancer. But most living the dream will tell you that in order to make a real living, hardly any drifting is involved. Instead, it’s hard-work, discipline, money-management skills, and an enterprising nature that will give you the best shot for success.
As you think about whether or not it’s the right path for you, do consider these pros and cons first:
1) You Can Save Time and Money
Have you ever considered the “costs of working” that aren't reimbursed by your employers? These could include petrol and toll, travel time, buying professional attire, lunching out, and perhaps even paying for parking passes. Now note that such costs are significantly reduced and saved when you freelance from home.
Furthermore, parents may find the prospect of flexible freelancing quite attractive for two reasons; saving on babysitter fees (around RM500 to RM1,000 per month) and spending more time with their kids instead of on the commute to work every day.
2) You Have the Potential to Earn More
Your money-making abilities as a freelancer are entirely fluid. You aren’t dependent on other people to ‘give’ you increments, bonuses, or a share in the company’s profits when they feel you deserve it. The risk-reward here is that, while it’s not easy to find and keep clients, every single cent you make will go into your pocket.
1) Dealing With Financial Worries
The biggest obstacle is learning how to responsibly manage your money when there isn’t a steady income. The anxiety of making car loan repayments and rent without guaranteed earnings at the end of the month can be unbearable for some.
2) Difficulty Obtaining Credit
Speaking of loans, it’s not as easy to get one when you freelance, although not impossible either. Banks don’t generally favour applicants who can’t assure a stable income to cover future repayments. So this means you may need to put big purchases like a house or car on hold for a bit, now is this a sacrifice you are willing to make?
Should You Do It?
This depends on if the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa. It’s always exciting to think about making a drastic change, but realistically the challenge could prove too much if you are unprepared.
Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:
1) Consider freelancing full-time, if you have enough saved up to cover financial commitments for at least six months, a steady pool of clients or work lined up, and sufficient support from friends and family.
2) Stick with permanent employment, if you have a hard time coping with the stress of unsteady paycheques, your monthly financial commitments are hefty (e.g. car and home loans), and you truly enjoy having co-workers. Yes, it can get lonely as a freelancer!
Whether or not you decide to take on the challenge of being a self-employed person, consider saving and growing your money in a Fixed Deposit Account. We have singled-out the best ones for you to look at on our FD comparison page.