We know the business pretty well, and we also happen to know the people (that would be the designers like you and me) to boot. With that in mind, we feel as if one of the areas in which most of us fail is personal budgeting, as well as business budgeting, too. On the whole, we’re far too concerned with the artistic element of things to ever worry about the costs and expenditures. However, this is far from the optimal way to run a freelance business, and we’d simply like to lay out a few thoughts on the matter to fully illustrate the complexities of the issue.

Pomposity aside, skip beyond the break and get to reading, Pilgrim!

It’s Important: Firstly, we’d like to just clarify that tracking your expenditures and creating budgets is vital for your success as a freelance creator of graphical media. This is because you’re not salaried, and work comes infrequently. You could have the most successful career of any agent in the field, but that still doesn’t guarantee you a project next week. With that in mind, it’s essential that we, as freelancers, create budgets to properly manage our goals, expenses, and desires. Now, certainly that’s easier said then done, so what can a bloke do to get his things in order?

  1. Chunkify It: The first thing we suggest you do when creating a budget for your freelance enterprise is to break all of your expenditures down into manageable chunks. Create slots for things you can track and keep handy, such as the rent, bills and utilities, skills and overhead costs, space rentals, tools, etc. The more concise and descriptive your categories can be the better, as this will aide your efforts in the next step.
  2. Reduce: Once you’ve gotten into the habit of categorizing all of your outgoing money, try to work on creating an accurate feel for how you can improve your profits. Study your spending habits over a week or a month, and then ask the following: In what areas am I spending the most, and are there any opportunities there to increase my net gain? If the answer is yes, it should be fairly apparent, thanks to our micro approach to budgeting. At the end of the day, simply remember that organization and a watchful eye are the only key ingredients to boosting profits and creating budgets as a freelance graphic designer.