3 Common Money Struggles for Freelancers

The gig economy inevitably comes with more financial obstacles. As a freelancer, you’ll have to wrangle with problems like emergency expenses, late payments, and low rates. Find out how you can deal with these problems.

1. Emergencies

There are plenty of emergencies that can put your freelance work on hold and, in turn, put your income in jeopardy. What can you do to protect yourself?

Emergency Fund:

The first thing that you should do is put together an emergency for small emergencies that will get in the way of your work, like computer repairs or car repairs. That way, you can make a withdrawal from this reserve of savings to cover the emergency and move forward right away.

Emergency Alternatives:

It’s always wise to have backups for emergency situations, just in case you can’t rely on your emergency fund. A credit card is a good alternative for this situation. You can charge the emergency expense to your card and then pay down the balance later. 

Another option that you can consider for emergencies is applying for a personal loan online. If you’re approved, you could use the borrowed funds to cover the urgent expense and focus on repayments afterward.

Not all online loans will be available in your home state. So, be sure to specify your location in your search. For instance, if you live in Phoenix, you should look for loans in Arizona to help you with your emergency. Otherwise, you could waste your time filling out an application for a loan that isn’t even available in Arizona.


When you work in the gig economy, you won’t have any of the benefits and protections that other workers have—this includes healthcare coverage. So, you should sign up for one of the best health insurance plans for freelancers to make sure that you have a financial safety net during a health-related emergency. 

2. Late Payments

As a freelancer, you’ll find that you work hard to meet your deadlines, but some of your clients won’t do the same. Some of your clients will send your payments later than expected. Some will take weeks to give you what you’re owed, and only after you’ve sent them multiple requests and reminders. 

Are there steps that you can take to circumvent late payments? Yes. These are some strategies that you can try:

  • Add late fees to your freelance contract to incentivize your client to pay on time.
  • Instead of being paid in a lump sum, you can arrange it through installments — this is ideal for large projects that will take you a lot of time to complete. Establish that you will only continue your work after an installment is paid.
  • End business relationships with clients that have continuously made late payments.

3. Low Rates

Too many freelancers set themselves up for failure because they undercharge their clients. Why do they do this? They might assume that lower rates look more attractive to potential clients, or they suffer from imposter syndrome and don’t think they deserve to charge more for their efforts. 

How can you avoid this? Do your research to see what the standard freelancing rates are in your area. If you’re going below those, raise your rates. If you have lots of experience working in the field and have received plenty of positive feedback, raise them higher. Don’t undersell yourself. 

Don’t wait for these financial struggles to disrupt your workflow. Deal with them now.

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