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Tracking your Freelance Writing Income

How do you track your freelance writing income? Hopefully, you have an answer to this question. If you simply collect your payments and go about your business, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. The fact of the matter is that you need to have a good system in place that allows you to track, manage, and organize all of the income that you earn from your freelance writing career.

You do not need to do anything special when it comes to tracking your freelance writing income. Although my system is far from advanced, it works just fine month in and month out.

1. I have a separate folder in my email account where I store emails from PayPal that state when and how much I was paid. It is important to store these emails in a separate folder so that you can find them quickly if need be. Of course, you could simply rely on your actual PayPal account for these records, but I prefer to have something for myself as well.

2. Once I receive a PayPal payment, I head to my account and print out the invoice. This says how much money I received, when the funds entered my account, and who the money came from. From here, I keep the paid invoices in a folder labeled “Received Payments.” I do the same thing with payments that are made by check, wire transfer, etc.

3. I keep two Excel spreadsheets: one that shows money that is owed and the other for money that I have received. At the end of each month I simply add up the money that I have received, and mark down the total; this is my freelance writing income for that particular month. At the end of the year I add the totals for all 12 months, and that is my income for the year.

Are there better ways to track income? I am sure there are. In fact, I know that there are many software programs that are much more advanced than my method. But with that being said, I have had good luck with this way of doing things for many years; changing now does not make that much sense to me.

When it comes down to it, you need to track every freelance writing dollar that you make. This will not only allow you to keep close tabs on how much you are earning, but it will also help big time when tax season rolls around. Remember, there is no end of the year pay stub that will show how much money you earned. 

It does not matter how you track and organize your freelance writing income as long as you are accurately doing so.

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2 Comments »Freelance WritingDecember 10th, 2007

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