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01/10/17 Work # ,

How to Set Rates as a Freelancer

How to Set Rates as a Freelancer

 

One of the more difficult things I did when starting to work as a freelancer was setting the rates I charged clients.

I didn’t want to be too high that they thought I wasn’t worth it, or too low that my time was undervalued. I also had to figure out if an hourly or project rate worked best for my time as a freelancer.

Like many freelance writers starting out, I charged a low rate just to get my foot in the door. After a few months of that, I asked for raises and got it at a few websites that I wrote for, but mostly found that websites were willing to drop you as a writer because they could find other writers elsewhere who would write for low pay.

freelancerYou get what you pay for, and I suspect that many of those people who wrote for low pay either didn’t have the writing and reporting skills that I have or they were so desperate for a paycheck that they’d accept $25 per post.

Before I get too deep into how to set your rates as a freelancer, I want to mention that much of this information is covered in a podcast I did in early January with Liz Theresa on her “Liz on Biz” podcast. Listen to episode 17 for the fun of hearing me in stereo. Continue reading

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01/06/17 Minimalism , Saving # ,

Dollar Shave Club Changed How I Look at Shaving

Dollar Shave Club Changed How I Look at Shaving

 

It has taken me about two years to go through a 24-pack of Gillette razors I bought at Costco for some unbelievably low price. That freedom from having unused razors clutter up my bathroom has finally given me the chance to try a new razor at Dollar Shave Club.

After only two months of use, I’m resold on where I buy my razors and how I shave.

First, I should say that I’m not being paid by Dollar Shave Club to review it, and that my only goal here is to share my shaving joy with the company, DSC for short.

Two years in the making

What got me started on this path was a story I wrote in November 2014 for AOL about razors being sold everywhere online and if they were a better deal than buying them at a store. DSC was the best deal in my price comparison, and it still offers the same prices it did then: four cartridges for $6 or $9, depending on if you wanted four or six blades.

Like many online businesses, DSC and others jumped on the fact that razors were unnecessarily expensive in stores. Monopolies by Gillette and Schick, along with huge advertising budgets, created high prices. Continue reading

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11/29/16 Children , Debt # ,

How I’m Trying to Rein Christmas Spending

How I’m Trying to Rein Christmas Spending

Every year around Thanksgiving, I vow to buy fewer Christmas gifts and rein in my Christmas spending. I’m rarely successful.

I try to spend only cash, but that usually doesn’t work and I end up facing a big credit card bill in January. It’s not something I want to do again and again.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, especially with a child (our daughter is now 12) and seeing her light up on Christmas morning as she opens her gifts. But seeing many of her gifts unused a month later always gets me to thinking about how we’ve got to buy her fewer gifts next year. Continue reading

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11/07/16 Personal Finance , Saving # ,

My Stupid Impulse Purchase of the Week

My Stupid Impulse Purchase of the Week

No one plans on making impulse purchases. That’s what they are — an impulse. But it seems like every week or so I make a stupid impulse purchase that makes me wonder if I have any control over how I spend money.

My latest impulse purchase: Coffee.

It was $5 for a small bag of raspberry chocolate I saw by the checkout counter at Marshalls. Here are the reasons that ran through my head of why I should buy this wonderful sounding coffee:

  • I like coffee.
  • I like trying new things, including different types of coffee.
  • I like raspberries.
  • I love chocolate.
  • Raspberries and chocolate together sound awesome.
  • It’s only $5.

What makes it a stupid impulse purchase is that it was lousy coffee. And that I wasted $5. Continue reading

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11/04/16 Travel , Work # ,

How I Side Hustled Across the Country on Fulfilled by Amazon

Amazon

This guest post about making money on Amazon is by Tyler Philbrook, a personal finance blogger at I Am the Future Me who I met at FinCon16 in San Diego in late September. I also wrote a post on his site, so after you read his story here about how he made money to attend FinCon, go over to his site to read my post about what got me to get going on starting an emergency fund.

A little over a year ago I got the opportunity I had been waiting for. I was GIVEN a ticket to FinCon16, a financial blogger conference that I wouldn’t be able to go to.

When given the ticket I became sick to my stomach. I should have been excited, but I knew I was going to have to turn it down.

I have a lot of credit card debt, and didn’t want to go further into debt to travel across the country.

Instead, I committed myself to getting there no matter the cost, no matter the sacrifices I would have to make I would come up with the money.

One of the MANY side hustles I did was sell on Amazon with FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). Continue reading

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Hi, I'm Aaron Crowe. Welcome to CashSmarter. I'm a personal finance freelance writer who enjoys spending my money wisely and using minimalism to make my money last longer while increasing income.