with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
This week is the one in which everyone I know who isn’t a freelancer is lolling around, eating pie with their families. Of course, everyone I know who is a freelancer is also eating pie, but generally while balancing a laptop and trying to tie up all of the year’s loose ends.
Boo hoo, I know. Poor me and my pie-balancing act. Heh.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is traditionally one in which people reflect and make resolutions to be better, stronger, thinner, and smarter in the new year. For me, being in business for myself means that this is when I reflect on all of the things I probably should’ve gotten done earlier in the year. Ahem.
I also think of my accountant, and start rooting around in my purse for receipts. (I am nothing if not supremely organized.)
So, yes, there is also planning for the year ahead, but first I have to finish up this year.
So here’s what I’ll be doing this week:
Invoicing clients. I’m pretty good about invoicing my clients, but in December I make sure I get those invoices out by the end of the month for sure, because I’m also…
… balancing the business account. This means I’m scanning and recording all receipts that have mysteriously made their way to the bottom of my purse. And making any final business purchases I’ve been putting off but need/want to take care of this year. I go over my invoices one more time to make sure that payments due have been received, and send out reminders if they have not. This is also when I move money around, if necessary, because I’ll have a big tax payment due in January and I want to make sure I’m ready to do an instant payment from my business bank account when I go to see my accountant.
Considering business expenses for the new year. It’s not set in stone, of course, but if I’m going to need a new computer or am planning on business travel in the new year, I like to have some idea of these larger expenses before that first accountant visit. It helps us plan where money needs to go when.
Making final charitable donations. This is a good idea for anyone, in just about any job, of course. Get those tax-deductible donations in before the year ends!
Doing a Q1 projection for the next year; adjusting as necessary. I’ll confess that planning ahead isn’t always my strong suit, but when I’m focusing on wrapping up the year I do take the time to see what I have lined up for the next few months. If work is looking thin, I start working on how I’m going to bring in some new contracts; if I’ve got plenty on my plate, I may work on a new or revamped schedule to make sure I can get everything done.
Buying myself something shiny. I started doing this the first year I actually made a living as a freelancer, years ago: I buy myself a present at the end of the year. It’s never anything huge or super-expensive, but I’m frugal by nature and unlikely to buy myself something I don’t need. So when I’m kind of wrapping up the year and going over my income, I find it an exercise in mindfulness (really!) to buy myself a little gift. Just because I can (and because there have been so many years in my past when I couldn’t). I like a little something to remind me that I worked really hard, I did good, and it’s okay to enjoy it.
What will you be doing this week?
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