A quick post today, about expenses. Yup, the bane of every freelancer’s life. I don’t want to particularly dwell on this because it’s utterly boring, but it’s also essential.

If you’re new to freelancing, you might be getting your head around the idea of expenses. I’m not going to go into what counts as expenses in this post (that’s a whole other post, and one that I may get an expert in for). There’s a great guide over on the HMRC site though.

So, here are a few tips for storing and tracking your expenses.

  • Get snappy. I use tools like the Freshbooks app to take a snap of any quick expenses, like train tickets or shop receipts. This is then added to my online accounts, and I pop the expense in my purse to transfer to a box I keep at home, at the end of each week.
  • Create a folder in your email, and transfer any emails with business expenses to that folder. Print them out each month.
  • Don’t go paper-free. Yes, I’m fully aware of the environmental impact. But the reality is, I’m going to be printing a huge number of accounts/phone bills etc at the end of each month, so I may as well get them sent to me for free by the banks.
  • Create a folder with sections for each month. Grab some of those clear pockets, then pop a piece of paper in each one. Once a month or so, I then staple each of the expense docs (tickets, receipts etc) with a quick description of what it was for. Pop the email in there too if relevant, giving each part a number to match them up.
  • Set time each month to deal with them. An hour should do, unless you do a lot of spending.

What are your top tips for dealing with expenses?

p.s Still confused? Give Rosie from OneManBandAccounting a shout. She has plenty of packages for advising and helping you with your expenses and accounting.

p.p.s There’s a serious lack of attractive accounting software. Get on that, stationery-making types. Not everyone wants to use a dull office binder.