Today we have a guest post from Jen over at The Blog Lancer who is one of the most money savvy gals I’ve seen on Twitter however as she found, making that leap to being Self Employed came with quite a few challenges.
Although it’s often dubbed the dream lifestyle, going self-employed is not without its drawbacks. My experience before I went self-employed could be pretty much summed up in me reading lots of books which told me I was going to be an amazing, inspirational, boss lady but gave me little insight into exactly how I was going to make that happen. Earlier this year, I finally took the plunge to registering as self-employed and began working for myself. Here’s ten things I wish somebody (or even those books I spent a fortune on!) had told me…
1.Registering isn’t as scary as it sounds. Setting myself up on the HMRC portal seemed very daunting- in fact I checked my papers 3 times just in case the minute I pressed submit, they’d be knocking at my door or scrolling through my social media.The actual process took seconds and was very easy to do. Reassuringly, I was then given the information on when I had to pay tax which leads nicely on to point number 2…
2.You don’t need to pay tax straightaway. Once I’d received my papers, I was relieved to see my tax due date wasn’t until almost 9 months away. Although it’s recommended, you don’t have to register the second you start earning too. You have up until the October in your second year of trading if needed.
3.Keep every receipt. Yes, I don’t care if it’s for a latte or a train ticket- receipts are king. I decided to create a separate email folder for electronic receipts but you can claim tax against pretty much every business expense.
4. Track as you go along. At first, I had no idea how much I was earning or spending, but I then set up with Quickbooks- which lets you send invoices, log income and outgoings by connecting to your bank and paypal. It’s about £6 a month but it’s my most valuable investment since going self-employed.
5.You’ll work not less. Think overtime is finally over?Think again! The saying that most us self-employed lot work 80 hours to avoid the 40 hour work-week rings true! Everything seems to merge into one- checking email, sending invoices, updating social media- making it tricky to set boundaries. And yet…
6. You will go mad unless you set boundaries! Although lie ins seem amazing, working until midnight is not. And it quickly becomes a vicious cycle. I can’t claim I am an expert at this but it is definitely something I’m working towards.
7.Your pets will drive you mad. I have two toy poodles and one of the things I was most excited about when working from home, is that I wouldn’t have to leave them home all day. However, although I love them dearly, I’ve come to blows with them on more than one occasion- as they interrupt phone calls due to a spontaneous barking match with the dog next door or jump on my laptop right when I’m hitting publish! Patience will be your best friend here.
8.Nobody cares about paying bills on time. I pride myself being a financially responsible human being but let me tell you something now: nobody else does. When working out budgets, I’ll often factor in payments only for them to be delayed for an array of reasons. Having a buffer of at least one month work of bills is absolutely crucial!
I hope you enjoyed my experiences of self-employed life. You can follow me over on www.thebloglancer.co.uk- a guide to blogging, money making and self-employed life or on twitter: @jennafarmeruk