We’re freelance writers. All we need to get the job done is a laptop, limber fingers, and a heaping dose of writing skill. To the outsider, it doesn’t seem like we could possibly overspend within our freelance writing businesses. Oh but we do. These are just some of the expenses that trip freelance writers up:
Office Supplies – You buy color coordinated post-it notes even though you spend your whole day at a computer with Evernote right at your fingertips. Or, if you’re like me, you tidy your office supplies away in the name of “organization” and then forget you bought them and replace them the next time the printer starts squawking or two pieces of paper just beg to be held together with a metal spike.
The Swankiest New Technology – Freelance writers sometimes think that owning the latest fancy technology makes them more productive or perhaps, more professional. While that can sometimes be the case, we freelance writers are in the unique position of being able to do most of our work from a plain old word processing program. Is that fancy new MacBook Air really necessary for work, or did you buy it just to impress that cute hipster at the next table? And come on, how are you really going to justify that iPad to the IRS as a “business” machine?
Unnecessary Domain Names – Web-based freelancers have a bad habit. We come up with a great idea for a website, buy the domain name before anybody else can snap it up, and then forget about it. Or, more likely, realize we don’t have the time to build and run a whole new site. Then, because many domain names auto-renew, we end up renewing a domain that’s going nowhere year after year. Most domain renewals are cheap, but do you really want to hang on to the ill-conceived StrawberryChocolateCoveredFreelancer.com year after year?
The Coffee Shop – I know I’ll dodge tomatoes for this one, but let’s face it, barista-brewed coffee isn’t cheap. And then, after a couple of hours of intense research, those blueberry scones start to look exceedingly yummy and totally worth the $4 price tag. Soon enough a day working at the coffee shop has cost you closing in on $20. If you head to your “corner office” every day, that’s a $100 a week, $400 a month… You get the picture.
Next week? How to catch and curb all this wild spending. Until then, have you looked at your Profit & Loss sheet lately? Did you catch any rampant overspending?