Freelancers and side hustlers: how much money do you want to make this year?
Do you have a big dream goal number? Maybe an “I can’t earn less than this or I won’t make rent” number? Are you just trying to grab whatever extra cash comes your way?
Carol Tice, of Make a Living Writing, wants freelancers to think a little more critically about their earnings. The first step? Figuring out how much money you’re likely to make this year.
Tice’s annual earnings calculation formula is relatively simple: add up all the money you’ve earned in the first quarter of the year and multiply it by four.
“If you booked $15,000 of income in that first quarter, you are likely to make $55,000 this year from writing,” Tice explains. “If you billed $2000 in the first three months, you’re probably not going to crack ten grand for the year. That only projects to $8000).”
Using Carol Tice’s formula, I can anticipate earning $90,000 gross this year — that’s before taxes and business expenses. This is a little higher than what I’ve earned over the past two years, which is a good sign.
Of course, there’s still eight months of the year to go, and plenty of time to work towards increasing your freelance or side hustle earnings. Carol Tice has some advice on that as well, so listen to her seven-minute podcast episode on predicting annual earnings to hear her suggestions.
If you’ve been freelancing for a while, you might want to tweak this formula to anticipate lower-earning months or quarters. December, for example, is often a very slow month for freelance writers, so you could multiply your first-quarter earnings by 3.75 instead of 4 to accommodate that. If you’re the kind of freelancer who likes to take a month or two off to travel, you’ll want to factor your non-work time into your calculations as well.
So, freelancers and side hustlers: how much does this formula predict you’ll earn this year? Are you happy with that number? Do you think it’s accurate? Or does it make you want to hustle a little harder for the rest of 2019?