The Secret to My Side Hustle: Making Freelance Work

How I Got Started

I wish I could say I started freelancing because I always wanted to be my own boss, or that I just wanted to work on my computer while traveling the world. But, that’s not the case. After losing my first job (which you can read about here) I was waitressing long hours, pulling double shifts, and I decided to start freelancing social media and blog work for a family friend’s business. This allowed me to not only cut long waitressing hours but helped me continue to practice the skills I learned at my first job. From there, I worked with a few more clients and ended up getting my now full-time job after interviewing for a short-term freelance position! Funny how things work out sometimes…

Freelancing with a Full-Time Job

I have been freelancing for three years this coming summer, and I have been at my full-time job for two of those years. Considering I first interviewed with the company for a freelance position, they have been gracious enough to allow me to continue my freelance work, as long as I don’t freelance during work hours and am not working for a competing company. Many full-time bloggers, social media, and marketing managers are not allowed to freelance, but working for a small, tightly-knit team like mine is a benefit in this instance (and many others).

Freelance Schedule and Finding a Balance

Finding a balance between freelance work, full-time work, and a social life is something I struggle with, even three years later. While I was waitressing, I had time during weekday mornings or afternoons to get freelance work done, leaving nights and weekends open.

Now, with full-time work and three freelance clients to juggle, I spend most of my time doing work on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. This is not ideal for everyone, but it works for me. If I know I have a particularly eventful weekend ahead, I work after dinner on weeknights so I can enjoy my two full days of freedom. I do my best to make working weekends enjoyable. I make a big breakfast, have a large cup of tea or coffee, and listen to music while I work. In a way, it can be relaxing, even more so because I’m basically being paid to sit in my pajamas and write.

Managing Freelance Money

When I mention to people that I freelance and also work full-time, they think it’s appropriate to ask my rate and how much money I make per month total. First of all, rude. Second of all, a magician never reveals her secrets or her finances. But if you are a freelancer, or are considering freelancing in any capacity, knowing how to manage and organize your income is important. The vast majority of the money I make goes into my savings or rainy day fund, while a small portion goes toward my day-to-day spending money. It is important to me to put away the majority of the money I earn to help me afford the life I live and want to live in the future.

A Little More Work Equals a Lot More Play

You may look at my life and think, “All work, no play.” That is sincerely not the case. I view it as, “A little more work equals a lot more play!”

I love my freelance work and the opportunity to grow my portfolio, expand my skills, and continue to challenge myself. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the added financial stability. The majority of the income I make freelancing helps me take care of boring, everyday adult responsibilities like building savings, starting a ROTH IRA, keeping my credit card spending at bay, etc. But it has also allowed me to save up for amazing trips, concerts, and events, all while keeping the financial peace of mind.

I will have taken trips to Austria, Colorado, and Scotland this year alone, not because I am bad at managing money, but quite the opposite. I could say I am lucky to afford the life I live, the trips I take, and the adventures I embark on, but, in all honesty, I’m not. It’s not luck that has given me the life I have, but hard work. Luck may have started me on this journey, but hard work has kept me on the path.

If you have any questions about getting started with freelancing, networking, picking up new clients, etc. leave a comment below!

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