Having freedom over your schedule may have been a key motivator in why you started freelancing in the first place. Working for yourself allows you to take control over your day and have the freedom and flexibility to call your own shots. What about things like time off when you’re self-employed, though?
Remember the days when your employer gave you an allotted number of days per year for vacation and sick leave? Planning your vacations was probably a little more straightforward. Take your days off and you still get paid — easy. When you felt unwell, you could let your employer know, and (literally) rest assured you would still get paid for the day.
Time off when you’re self-employed is a different ball game. It can take a little more planning and preparation to juggle your vacations and sick days around your work. Especially If your craft requires you to physically present. So, how should you manage self-employed benefits like sick leave or time off?
It’s definitely part of the conversation around freelancing that should be discussed more. Let’s dive in!
Let’s talk about work-balance
As a freelancer, it’s natural to want to take on as many clients as possible or work long hours. The fear of missing out on potential clients, and therefore income, is real. Balancing the drive to be successful doesn’t have to take away the freedom and flexibility nor a work-life balance. Taking a break for a little R&R is important — for mental health, creativity, and your personal life.
By setting up personal payroll, you can keep on top of your finances and forecast what’s coming down the line. While nothing is guaranteed, if you’re consistently saving for a rainy (or sunny day), it will help put your mind at east when you want to mentally clock out of work.
Let’s talk about sick leave
Being sick is bad enough in itself, but pushing back responsibilities and deadlines at work can make it feel even worse, especially if it may result in you losing out on income. These situations happen and can add to the stress of freelancing. It doesn’t have to. Not feeling one hundred percent all the time is a part of life. Sometimes you’ll need to give your body time to rest. Setting aside self-employed sick leave makes it easier to save up to properly turn off and rest, knowing that you’re not going to be behind the ball.
Let’s talk about vacation
Now for the fun stuff! You work hard and you deserve to recharge your batteries. After all, what’s the point of having flexibility in your schedule if you can’t take time off to enjoy it?
Self-employed benefits include planning for, and taking, time off. When you’re running your own small business, you may need extra time to plan ahead to get your ducks in a row before you take time for yourself to unwind.
Don’t stress about putting your work on hold while you’re away. Automate saving a portion of your incoming payments to a savings goal for time off, so that when it's time to take that much earned vacation you will be ready — wallet, mind, and body.
Hot tip: Choose how much you want to have saved and work back from there. Say it’s a week’s worth of income – figure out what percentage you need to save from each incoming payment you’ve received. Average out the last three months of your personal payroll so you can forecast the next few weeks.
Setting up self-employed benefits can be simple. Promise. Manage your personal payroll with the Catch app and set money aside for necessary (and well deserved) time off. Let us manage the financial details of your freelance business, so you can recharge those batteries.