Friday, May 02, 2008

Advice for freelancers on Salon.com

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a Salon.com article by Catherine Price, chock full of tax advice and other suggestions for freelance writers.

Price has some pretty good advice for freelancers, such as maintaining a separate account for your business income and expenses, paying your quarterly estimated taxes on time, setting aside a percentage of your income for taxes (and then not touching it), and contributing to an IRA.

(For the record, I only do one of these, and that's to make my quarterly tax payments on time. I haven't self-destructed yet, so you might be okay with the bare minimum, too.)

Anyway, a few of Price's suggestions made me think, "Hey, that's me!" Here they are:

"Do not wear your pajamas after noon."

Yeah, I am sometimes (okay, often) guilty of violating that commandment. But I'm getting better! A few years ago (before I had my horse responsibilities to force me out of the house at least every other day), I would sometimes go a couple of days without changing out of my pajamas. But I'm getting better, I promise! Now I change into sweats first thing when I get up in the morning.

"Take a shower. At least every other day."

I can't tell you how relieved I am to know that I am not the only freelancer who struggles with this. Although visiting the barn frequently has created some incentive to bathe regularly, there doesn't seem to be much point when all I do is hang out at home. And of course, there are also times when I am so busy that I feel like I don't have time to shower.

"Get health insurance."

When I read this paragraph, my jaw dropped. There is another freelance writer out there who is also type 1 diabetic! Someone else who knows what a nightmare health insurance can be for a freelancer! I just about jumped for joy. I don't even know Catherine Price, but I do know the heartache she went through dealing with our country's crappy health system... because I've gone through it too.

Anyway, I highly recommend Catherine Price's article for freelancers. My guess is there are a lot of things on this list that other freelancers can identify with.

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