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Freelancer Financials

I was finally able to settle my books for 2017 and found that I had doubled my income from the previous year. All from acting. THAT FEELS INCREDIBLE. It’s nice to make money doing what you love - when everyone and everything in the world makes you feel like it’s not possible. But then moreover, I like the idea that there are people who come alongside me in that. It means my reps are making money, acting coaches are getting paid to help me work more, money is being fueled into my business. I was able to fund and make a couple short film projects of my own because I was making money.

I set financial goals all the time. And when there was a year or two that I didn’t meet them, it threw me off and discouraged me. I didn’t really feel like making financial goals anymore because then it feels like too much pressure. I just needed to change my perspective on the goals. I set the goals because it’s something to keep myself focused and to keep me hungry, moving forward. And no, I might not increase my revenue every year by the amount that I want - but then I can help myself do a diagnostic on what needed to happen and what didn’t happen.

I also got back into coaching auditions and made a nice side income from that - all from recommendations, not from me advertising it at all.

So looking forward, here are my 2018 financial goals:

  • I would like to increase my income by 30%.

  • I would like to put 20% of my income towards passion projects I create

  • I’d like to increase my giving by 10%

  • I’d like to learn how to live on 20% less

Hopefully somewhere in there, that will all balance out.

Focusing just on the last goal - I have endless suggestions about how anyone can start doing this.


  1. Make coffee or tea at home.

  2. Eating mostly vegetarian home cooked meals - beans, lentils, salads, my husband and I have been doing this for the last couple months and LOVE IT. Good for the environment & your wallet.

  3. Packing your lunch for work. No brainer. UNLESS you work at one of those awesome places that has free lunch or a company cafeteria. Then enjoy the perk and how you save time on packing a lunch.

  4. Using Ebates - great app that helps you save money when you buy things online

  5. Taking vitamins, exercising 30 min/day, eating Coconut oil, garlic, vegetables and fruits - things to keep you healthy so you don’t need to take a sick day or lose out from being sick.

  6. Groupon - yeah this is an obvious one, but sometimes they surprise you with what retailers are selling on Groupon/Living Social. They frequently have my favorite health food store on here, so anytime the deal is on, I stock up. It’s 50% off my groceries!

  7. Replacing carbonated drinks with good old fashioned water.

  8. Taking a 30 day “dry” season - no alcohol means less money spent at restaurants and buying wine.

  9. Using Freecycle to get new appliances, furniture, etc instead of buying it new. You can always use thrift stores or Craigs List for this as well.

  10. COSTCO - I don’t really need to explain this one, do I?? We save so much money here it’s ridiculous. And the return policy is amazing. Just a couple highlights - protein bars, bulk organic spinach, almond milk, coconut oil, nuts.

  11. COSTCO TRAVEL - wait what? There’s a travel element to Costco?? Is what every person has said to us whenever we tell them to use Costco Travel. YES THERE IS. I don’t know why this isn’t advertised better. It’s AMAZING. My husband and I will book our rental car through Costco travel and will pay a fraction of what it costs to book without the Costco discount. Still booking at places like Avis, Enterprise, etc but through Costco is much cheaper.

  12. Sell your things on the LETGO app. This awesome app has helped me get rid of some great things that I no longer used - like IKEA wicker bins, a couple jackets, a purse - and I’ve been able to get some pretty decent prices. It’s not a lot, but it puts extra cash in my pocket. And let’s be honest- a lot of those things were either going to go to Goodwill or the trash.

  13. Thrift shop and resell. To be honest, I’ve never done this one but I have a friend who has been really successful with finding great deals at Thrift stores and then selling them online using Ebay or LETGO or any number of the places that people buy things 2nd hand online.

  14. THE PUBLIC LIBRARY. I love the New York Public Library. Any time I need to get a book, I check here first. I can usually get the books I need here, instead of spending money on Kindle, Amazon or at a bookstore. (Though I do like supporting local bookstores for the principal of it)

  15. Replacing ‘Going for lunch/coffee/drinks’ with friends to taking a walk/exercising outside together/sitting in the park

  16. MOVIEPASS - instead of paying $17 per movie (NYC), buy Moviepass - (you can also get it at Costco =p ) and spend between $7-$10/month (depending on what deal is being advertised when you look) for unlimited movies.

  17. Do a review of your monthly expenses. Did you join a gym and just never go? Did you buy a subscription to Hulu that you never use? Reassess your monthly expenditures and trim the things you’re not actively using.

  18. PLANET FITNESS. You want to workout, but you hate paying $100/month for a gym? Planet Fitness is a great solution. $10/month or $20/month for any gym location anywhere. You know how smart this idea is? At our local Planet Fitness, several stars of tv shows you know work out at my gym. These people are making 7 figures and they’re working out at Planet Fitness. I love that. It’s just a smart decision.

  19. Stock up on snacks and keep them in your bag for when you’re hungry. This is so you don’t have to buy something last minute. Trader Joe’s or Costco are always great for this. I try to keep raw nuts, an apple, a granola or protein bar and a fruit leather on the go.

  20. Spend cash. You want a quick way to curtail spending? Fill your wallet with what you think you’ll need for cash and don’t allow yourself to use your card. It’s a quick way to see how much you actually spend when you have to watch the cash leave your hand into someone else’s. It makes you more mindful than when you swipe a credit card. (Though don’t get me wrong, I love my credit cards because I love earning perks)

What are the financial goals that you are setting for yourself this year? And which one of these tips might you try this week?

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Veronica Reyes-How

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