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Tax Time!

taxes_thumb.jpgTax time is approaching. We offer ten tips to help freelancers prepare their own returns.

  • Tax Time Tips for Freelancers
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    Freelancing 101

    Freelancing 101Starting December 1, learn how to manage a top-notch freelancing career! In this online boot camp, you'll hear from freelancing experts on the best practices for a solid freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. Register now!

    Student Loan Consolidation Deadline

    0628e.jpgJune 30 is the last day to file copyrights before the fee goes up. It’s also the deadline for student loan consolidation. If you still owe your alma mater, check out Bankrate.com’s college loan special section for advice on how to take care of your loans. Too bad it’s too late to get distribution credit for the course.

    How to Bid Smart in a Cutthroat World

    0628a.jpgYou’ve all seen the listings: multi-billion dollar companies trolling Craigslist for volunteer writers, Guru.com ads for splog articles at $5.00 apiece, eLance offers for copywriters looking to make $10 per hour. I don’t know about your bank’s policies, but I can’t pay my mortgage with eyeballs and prestige. And for $10 an hour, I could work at Starbucks AND get health insurance, something a bit more valuable than exposure on sites whose sole goal is to show up high on Google searches.
    But if you are sitting at your desk twiddling your thumbs, you might be tempted. Don’t do it, says Dina Giolitto at Absolute Write. “Freelance websites who pit writer against writer for the lowest rate have one-up on the writers. Not just you personally, but ALL the writers,” she says. “If you play the game, you end up working your tail off for virtually no profit, and guess who comes out the big winner? The buyer, and the bidding website. But not you, dear writer! Not you.”
    Read her article, and get inspired to stand your ground when negotiating your best rate.
    By the way, if you hate getting those splog sites as much as I do, scroll down to the bottom of the Google results page to the “Dissatisfied? Help us improve” link, and report those suckers.

    Harlan Coben doesn’t write for Johnson & Johnson

    Coben_PM_book.jpgHow does a best-selling author like Harlan Coben manage his money? Well, you can read this Bankrate.com article and find out. His secret? Thrift. “My wife and I both were raised to be extraordinarly cheap. I still am to this day. It’s not like I spend a lot of the money that I’m lucky enough to be making,” he tells writer Jay MacDonald
    Now, when the royalties from your Magnum Opus start rolling in, you’ll know what to do with the money, at least before you give it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    The Secrets of Six-Figure Freelancers

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    I kicked off the day with a bang – The Secrets of Six-Figure Freelancing panel. Writers Jennifer Pirtle, Kelly James-Enger, pictured above, and Brian O’Connell talked about what they have learned about making money as freelancers.
    First note – they all hate the term “freelancer”. Why? Because it has the word “free” in it! Don’t call them ink-stained wretches, either – think of them (and yourselves) as independent writers and small-business owners.
    Read their best tips after the jump.

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    The Christmas Wallet Hangover

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    I do my Christmas shopping early not because I like to make everybody feel bad (I do that with my winning personality), but because January is crappy enough that I don’t need a huge credit card bill to get me down. I’d rather handle it piecemeal and head into the new year without a big bill.
    This piece is a bit belated, but Angie Davis, vice president and private banking team leader at BankUnited has some tips on keeping holiday spending and debt at bay to secure financial stability in the new year, via Worldwit. Plenty of the advice is sound post-Christmas and still good pre-Hanukkah.
    The one that seems the most tedious and basic is to check your receipts. However, nearly every time I remember to do this, it’s paid off–either the clothing store didn’t apply the 20% off coupon that I brought in or Whole Foods charged me for one extra Luna bar. Don’t be afraid of looking stingy: it takes a second to do and can save you cash.