The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed, by J. D’Agnese & D. Kiernan

My Copy: 9780307453662

Finally! A book useful for those (poor schmucks?) among us who don’t have that same, steady paycheck every week or two (or month). My prayers were answered when I found this, jaw dropping to the floor.

I read about half a dozen books regarding budgeting, personal finances, goal setting, etc., but there was always one crucial piece missing. Let’s face it, we need to budget and set aside for emergencies, and try to stay out of debt. However, that’s tricky to do if your paychecks are ever varying. How is one to set aside a set amount if they don’t know if they’re even going to be paid?

Well, The Money book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed answers many of those questions that traditional personal financing books don’t. Other books operate under the assumption that you will always get paid the same times and roughly the same amount each time–it’s just a need to re-prioritize or shift things around to get out of debt and stay that way. Well, no–in this world where so many people have multiple shifts and multiple jobs, and self-employment’s increasing in different sectors, such as (ahem) writing–yeah, this book is definitely needed.

I’m so glad I found this book, it’s already helping me get my head on straight and I haven’t even done any of the steps it lays out yet (but I’m evaluating my finances and will start soon). It’s taken the pressure off of me regarding the future, about never being able to plan for it because “easy come, easy go” comes into play when the bills are knocking on my mailbox.

There are three main parts to this book, and even if you think you have a handle on one, they’re all worth a read. Part 1 is all about “Being straight with yourself” and all you can and are doing for your financial (and mental) health, where the money’s going and understanding debt. Part 2 is about “The basics of the system,” in which they have a spending, debt, and saving system they’re outlining (with several possible alternatives) that could work for you. Part 3 is about “Growing the plan and living the dream,” where even if things backslide, you’re not in the corner weeping, wailing, and gnashing your teeth because you’ve got some wiggle room to deal with.

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Why does this photo make me want to put garlic around my neck and sleep with a cross?

As tempting as it would be to give up and go back to full-time jobs we hate just for the sake of financial security, The Money Book for Freelancers… is a good read with useful knowledge, personal stories about triumphs and blunders by the authors, and a sense of humor.

If you’re considering how on Earth you could attempt a living as a freelancer or self-employed person, this is for you to give you a heads up on how to prepare. If you’re up to your ears in part time/sporadic/freelance work (or aren’t, and isn’t that the trouble?) then this book is VITAL to your sanity and overall health.

Boy I wish I’d found this book years ago! I’d probably be in much better shape by now…but at least I’ve got the tools to get me going on the straight path to “not-so-broke-and-much-more-responsible-now.”

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