Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Freelancers and Finance: Keeping Your Sanity At Tax Time

Since freelancers have a unique situation come tax time, Catherine Price at Salon has assembled a slightly tongue-in-cheek (what freelancers aren't?) guide to planning out taxes for freelancers and keeping one's sanity in the meantime. Some of The Ed's favorites:

1. Get a tax advisor. "Not only can they save you more money in taxes than they charge in fees, but hiring one means you will never, ever have to figure out the part of the 4562 Depreciation and Amortization form."

2. Set up a different bank account for your business earnings. And use a separate credit card -- which you pay for with your business account -- for business and healthcare expenses. "This makes it much easier to keep track of your cash flow."

3. Pay your taxes quarterly. "The bastards charge interest."

6. Build in rewards. "To quote a friend: 'Do not get into the habit of drinking beer with lunch.' "

7. Exercise. "Friday morning cardio hip-hop has changed my life."

9. Get health insurance. "I am a Type 1 diabetic, and trying to find health insurance reduced me to tears."

11. Do not own a coffeemaker. "Compared to a $100 therapy session in which you talk about how lonely and depressed you are, [occasional coffee at Starbucks] is a bargain."

Sage advice, indeed. Tell me, freelance readers: what are some of your methods to stay sane?

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