How to Manage Your Finances Without a Guaranteed Pay Check

Laura Ginn

A freelance writer’s career can vary from moment to moment. One day you may be writing articles for a top news magazine and the next on deep sea turtles. In much the same way that the content can vary daily, so, too, can the funds you receive for your work. The result can be financial instability with one month being great and the next being down on work. For that reason, it becomes important to understand what steps you can take to help ensure that your money lasts when your pay checks vary. The following outlines some of the tips that you can use to stay on top of your financial fluctuations.


One of the best things that a freelance writer can undertake when deciding the best way to manage monies is to begin with a self-assessment. Any freelancer, just as a regular employee at a business that has a pay check coming in on a consistent basis, needs to set a monthly budget. Knowing what you spend and why is important. This provides you with a clear list of the expenses that you have and allows you to prioritize.

Cut The Excess

When making your budget, it is important to look at it in two different ways. First, see what you are spending and list it accordingly. After you have this list, through your self-assessment noted above, make sure that you understand where you can cut. This is important because some months, as is the nature of a freelance career, you may have less work than others. If you know where you can cut before you have a less than lucrative financial month, you will be better prepared. This is important not only to keep your finances intact but also your stress level down.


It becomes vital that if you are going to live on a freelance career that you save as much as possible. Not only will you want to cut excess where you can in tough months, but at any time during your career. Especially early on, if you cut expenses where they are not needed, you will be able to save. Saving is important in any career. It becomes crucial in a career, though, that offers you no guaranteed payment. Get in the habit of saving early on and you will be more likely to have a fall back plan for finances when or if a financial problem arises.

Limit Debt

There are times when deficiencies in finance will arise and the need to borrow or use credit will seem very appealing. Borrowing is not, in and of itself, bad in these times. It can help to show your credit strength over time. However, be warned that it could add an additional monthly expense that you are not prepared for. For this reason, always limit debt and it is best to avoid it all together if possible.


The best way to keep your finances on track is to really organise and stay vigilant. No, this does not mean obsession but a good knowledge and plan. By staying organised and on top of your finances, this provides you with a better ability to navigate the world of finances that is a freelance writer’s career. Prepare for the worst and you will be in a better position if it ever arises. If it doesn’t, than you may find yourself with more money in your pocket for the big expenses of life.