As a vigorously active proponent of the gig life, I think one of the hardest things for us to do that the “normals” don’t struggle with so much, is saving some money. Maybe it is just me and my often-wayward ways, but I tend to believe it has more to do with the gig economy and how it moves with me inside it.
To be clear, I am not trying to project that all gig economy folks are as prone to struggle to save as I am. A lot of it, has to do with available cash flow. A lot of it has to do with age, and the goals you are looking to meet. There’s also going to be personal discipline in the mix.
No matter what brings you the challenges of saving, when you are into the gig economy, it does help to focus on it specifically, and consider how you are putting a little away for that inevitable rainy day.
Set It Up
The first step in saving, is to set up some saving accounts or savings vehicles. It might be as simple as opening a savings account with a high interest rate or get more complicated by talking to a financial adviser, and getting into a ROTH IRA, or another type of 401K plan.
There are benefits to both directions, and it is important to remember that one savings plan does not in any way negate another. If you can manage to save in more ways than one, most experts are going to suggest that you do so. As in so many things, diversity is key here, to a well–balanced effort.
Weigh the benefits of each option so you can accurately compare and contrast the offers and get the best fit. You want to of course maximize your efforts and look at long– and short–term hurdles to face, like potential fees, penalties or limitations.
Talk to professionals when you are unsure of your best step forward. Depending on your business structure, you might be able to take advantage of a number of savings opportunities.
The tax implications for a business are different than that of an individual, so with the help of some trusted and qualified advisers, you can set up a sound 401K or IRA program. By putting money directly in these accounts from the business, you can defer some tax liabilities, which is really a smart way to save.
If you had a 401K from a previous job, you can usually simply roll it over, and continue to add to it as a freelancing gig economy employee. If there never was such a thing in your past, you should look into the benefits of setting up some retirement vehicles and contributing to them regularly.
You can use a high-yield savings account in much the same manner: just have a lump sum to invest regularly and stick to your plan. It’s often hard to stick to it, but over time it will be well worth the struggle.
If the thought of all of that investing stuff makes you curl up in a ball and chew off your fingernails, there is still an easy way for you to save.
Round It Up
Thankfully, the digital age recognizes that some of us need help in saving money. Badly! Luckily there’s an app for that…and more of them emerging all of the time.
The concept is simple: round up the change on your daily credit card transactions and put that loose change to better purpose. Some might be to save it, while some apps might be geared to invest it. Either way, it happens automatically for you.
A popular investing app that is gaining traction this way, is Acorns (https://www.acorns.com/). But also check out, Digit, Long Game, Tip Yourself, Qoins, Chime and Qapital for other apps that could help you find more discipline. Your bank can also help you too, most often.
Ultimately, saving money should not be a chore. In the gig economy, you will have to take strides to put it in place, but it will be well worth it to you over time. Just a little bit at a time, all the time might truly be your best plan of attack for saving money!