If you work as a freelancer, via an agency, as a temp worker, or are self-employed there will probably be times when the work isn’t coming in and you have periods with no income. These times can be worrying, especially if relatively new to this style of working or if finances are tight.
It’s essential to have a safety-net of cash that is easy access but not so easy as to be spent at a whim. Ideally, an amount of money equal to 3-6 months of usual out-goings should be enough to cover most situations, should they arise. Keep monthly outgoings to a minimum, to keep payments manageable during periods of no work. When you have worked and saved enough to provide a safety net, with extra savings you know you can safely spend purchase those extras you want with one off payments. This may feel difficult at first, to wait till you’ve saved before purchasing, but in time this pattern will be second nature, and has the added bonus of avoiding interest costs that are often added to monthly payments.
If you’ve been doing this type of work for at least several years you will already be aware of the rise and falls of work flow in your job. Yes, you have to keep half an eye on things to make sure you do not fall into financial difficulties, but that doesn’t mean worrying every time you have a quiet spell. The nature and structure of your work is different from the certainty of the usual 9-5, Monday to Friday but that does give you more flexibility that can be enjoyed, and is one of the perks that for many is their reason for adopting this type of work.
It can be easy to worry when you have had an extended period without work, especially when you don’t know exactly when the next work will be coming in. It can also be difficult to spend the time not working when everyone else is in more conventional working patterns. Taking up interests and hobbies that can be picked up and dropped off to fit in with irregular working patterns can help keep you occupied during quiet spells between work. The quiet times can also help with saving money, for example learning how to do house repairs and sorting out all those jobs that normally would have to be done by a tradesmen due to the time constraints of usual working patterns.
Take Holidays Off-Peak
Another way to make the most of the periods between work is to take your holidays during off-peak times. This had the advantage of saving on the cost, avoiding the inflated costs at peak times, and meaning less crowds at your destination.
Take Extra Work
It may be worth considering extra paid temp work to add some more to your savings or to pay for something extra that you would like. This could be work that you couldn’t afford to do all the time but get pleasure from doing. Or maybe help out a friend with their business or doing something for the community, which may not have a monetary reward but will be rewarding in other ways.
Bio: Jen Smith is a Life Coach & Writer. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.