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Freelance money tools: 8 online tools to manage your finances as a freelance designer

Category: Money Tools Published: Sunday, 03 April 2016 Written by Chance Allen

Freelancing can give you an extraordinary amount of freedom to reach career extremes - from financial lows to more welcome creative highs. Heres our guide to helpful online freelance money tools to prevent the bad times, so you can strengthen the good.

When it comes to a freelancing, there are a daunting number of things to juggle - and finance has to be up there as one of the most important. Online tools make these often overwhelming tasks easier to handle, so you can become not only a good designer, but a good freelancer.

Never underestimate the importance of invoicing regularly (late payment is a serious problem), scheduling payments at the right points in the design process, profit and loss reports, drawing up tax plans, working out your likely billable dayshellip;

I could go on. But I wont, because using this list of online tools will keep you up-to-scratch with all you need to know, and leave you more time for what you really care about - your work. Just because youre a freelancer doesnt mean you have to always do it totally alone.

Freelance money tools:FreeAgent

FreeAgent is both specific to the UK and - as you may have guessed from its name - freelancers. Like FreshBooks, it can send recurring invoices to make sure late-paying clients dont get a break until they actually pay you; offers expense tracking, which can be particularly helpful when it comes to the daunting matter of paying tax; it then can help you with that tax return; set up automatic bank feeds; and has comprehensive bookkeeping software.

With subscriptions starting at around pound;19/$USD27 per month, it is slightly on the pricey side. But you can see why, as is accounts support unlimited users, clients, projects and invoices (in other words, unlimited everything). Unfortunately FreeAgent doesnt offer a mobile app - though of course you can still access it through your browser.

Freelance money tools:FreshBooks

If youve delved into the world of online invoicing tools for small business, youve probably heard of FreshBooks. Have a go at creating professional looking invoices with its free trial, rather than creating them from scratch. Subscriptions start at around pound;9/$USD12.95 per month.

The invoice system acts professional as well as looks it - as you can accept credit cards, check when someones viewed your invoice, generate reports and create estimates and quotes. And you do all this from an app. It is all very intuitive to use - but doesnt have quite as many tools as competitors such as FreeAgent.

FreshBooks claims it saves customers an average of two days a month from everyday accounting tasks. Two days spent creating and making more money, rather than counting it up, sound pretty good to us.

Freelance money tools:QuickBooks Self-Employed

QuickBooks is a great way to stay on top of tax in particular, as it tracks income and expenses through its link to your bank accounts, and also quarterly estimates taxes - and can do so from a phone app. It can also separate business and personal expenses easily, but cant create invoices, data records or reports.

Given QuickBooks is one of the better-known online accounting solutions and very popular, it is no surprise that it also offers accounting for small business and enterprises. The self-employed version is free for a month, and then costs pound;7/$USD9.99 per month. Simple-to-use, but limited, QuickBooks is great if you dont need the full range of features and want to concentrate on distressing the process of paying tax.

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