One of the most stressful things about being self employed is money. Some months are amazing, and I bring in enough money to do lots of work on the house and pay all of the bills. Other months, I can barely cover the bills. So with that in mind, today I am sharing some tips on making ends meet when self employed. I am by no means an expert on money or finances. Although I do have years of experience in juggling finances when self employed.

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Making Ends Meet When Self Employed

The first thing you need to do is work out the absolute minimum you need to earn to pay all of your bills at home each month. Make sure you remember to include things like food, petrol and prescription costs – not just the direct debits!

Secondly, you should set a realistic “pin money” budget. This is essentially a little money you are allowed to spend on treats and such like. Strict budgets are impossible to stick to without an occasional treat, in my opinion.

Next, work out how much of that is covered by other sources of income. This could include your partner’s salary, tax credits or rent paid by housemates, for example.

desk layout for making ends meet when self employed

Reducing Outgoings

Once you can see how much you need to earn each month, you will know if you need to reduce your monthly outgoings. If you’re paying off overdrafts and credit cards, the interest rates may well be costing you a fortune each year. So it’s worth looking into self employed loans.

Additionally, there may be some expenses which can be stopped altogether. For example – Do you actually use that gym membership you’re paying £40 per month for? Additionally, make sure you’re not paying over the odds for your gas and electricity. It’s always worth shopping around for the best deal on your mobile phone too, of course.

Setting A Target

Once you have reduced your personal outgoings as much as possible, you’ll need to do the same for your business. Remember to plan ahead for your tax bill and national insurance contributions too. When you’ve done this, you’ll know how much you need to earn to make ends meet. This will be your monthly target. Now you have this figure, you’ll be able to realistically set your business goals.

Budgeting

Depending on how you “pay” yourself, it may be wise to set a buffer for quieter months. When I first became self employed, I would spend everything I “earned” the month it came in. I quickly learnt that this was not a good idea though. Once I had a quiet month, it was almost impossible to make ends meet.

The best thing to do is to only withdraw your “target” amount, and let the balance in your business account grow. This means that should you have a quieter month, you won’t need to panic as much. Additionally, should you have an unexpected business expense crop up, this buffer will be most welcome.

Finally, why not check out this post on business marketing hacks for inspiration to help your business grow.