7 Financial Tasks Freelancers Should Complete Early in the Year

I hate Spring Cleaning. With a passion. A fiery passion.


Don’t get me wrong. It needs to be done, yet there’s something distasteful to me about pulling everything I own out of its place, dusting, vacuuming and putting it all back. Even worse is when I must go through my belongings to determine what stays and what goes. If you’re like me, you know what I’m trying to say without many details.

So why am I talking about this while the stores are still intent on selling us candy canes and chocolate Santa goodies? Why am I mentioning a time of year full of new life when many of us are still buried under snow? Has she looked at the calendar lately, you may wonder.

Your finances need a good annual once through as much as you need to tackle the dust bunnies on the forgotten bookshelves. Unless you’re working your freelance business on a fiscal year that begins each spring, waiting for the snow to clear is too late for a fresh financial start. Now is the time.

In fact, there are seven things every freelancer must do right now to prepare for a prosperous 2010.

7. Wash away your retirement excuses 
Whether you’re 20 years old or pushing 50, now is the time to set up your freelance retirement fund.

6. Organize your files 
Archive your computer folders and make room in the filing cabinet for your 2010 invoices.

5. Clean up your bookkeeping act 
If you can’t find out your year-to-date and month-to-date earnings for your business at a glance, it’s time to change accounting systems.

4. Freshen up your tax time habits 
Some may believe it’s too soon to think about April 15th, but if you need an accountant’s assistance for any aspect of your business, contact him or her now before the rush.

3. Dust off the budget 
If you don’t have a budget for your business yet, now’s the time to create one.

2. Toss out your old financial thoughts 
Rather than focusing on how much you need to make to keep the coffee brewing, set a goal of how much you want to make in 2010.

1. Break up daunting financial tasks into pieces 
As a freelancer, you must send estimated tax payments to the IRS on a quarterly basis. Visit the IRS website now to get the necessary forms and mark the payment dates on your 2010 calendar.

The best time to focus on these seven tasks is in December and January, but if you begin your freelance career in the middle of the year, you don’t have to wait six months to tackle each mini project in turn.

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