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    15 Things I've Learned About Managing Money After Being Self-Employed For 3 Years

    It's like next-level adulting.

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    Hey everyone! My name is Evie and, like a true Capricorn, I actually enjoy working — but I also like to travel and NOT work.

    Me laughing on bridge

    The standard corporate 8-to-5 work day and 10 days of PTO always felt limiting to the life I wanted to live. That’s why I decided to start working for myself as a freelance writer and editor.

    Calendar of holidays

    And while I love the freedom of being self-employed, when it comes to managing time, money, and clients, it can be more than a little tricky. Here’s what I’ve learned over the past few years:

    1. Taxes are totally different. For starters, you have to pay self-employment tax.

    2. And if you don't set aside money for taxes throughout the year, you'll get hit with a giant tax bill — and you may or may not have the profits to pay it.

    Screenshot of TaxAct page showing self-employment tax calculation

    3. You also have to pay your taxes quarterly.

    History of quarterly tax payments

    4. To make figuring out your taxes easy (well, easier), you should have a separate bank account and credit card for work.

    A photo of a wallet

    5. You also have to keep track of the items you buy in order to do your job. It can end up becoming a tax benefit in disguise!

    6. You can even write off your home office or workspace as a deduction.

    Cat on the lap by a desk

    7. You might also consider asking a professional tax preparer about any additional business deductions you might qualify for.

    8. Since tax law is always changing, it might be worth paying someone to do your taxes. This way, you won't miss a new deduction or make a newbie mistake.

    A paid invoice for filing a personal tax return

    9. Creating an invoice is a need-to-know skill; it's how you'll request payments from your clients.

    An automatic invoice template

    10. But if your clients forget to pay you, it's your responsibility to follow up and make sure you get what you're owed.

    Sample email for an unpaid invoice

    11. When you're self-employed, you have to take a more hands-on approach to paying for your health insurance.

    Screenshot of health insurance enrollment page

    12. And, it's extra important for you to be proactive about saving for retirement.

    13. Keep in mind that your monthly income will fluctuate — and that's okay. You'll just need to be prepared for these instances.

    14. And, understand that you might lose a client from time to time — and that's okay.

    15. Lastly, the more efficiently you work, the more money you can make.

    Notepad of to-dos

    What's one thing you wish you knew before becoming self-employed? Let us know in the comments! You could be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post.

    If this sounds like music to your ears (and bank account), check out more of our personal finance posts.