Updated: May 1
OK, this is my big tip for freelance writers, or anyone else with a fluctuating income. It's super simple.
Pay yourself a set salary each week.
Over the years, I've grown used to my fluctuating income. One month checks arrive. Another month - nothing. The trouble is, I used to spend that way, too. When I was paid for several projects, I'd use it all up right away. Sure, much of it went to groceries and bills, but still. That approach left me cash poor during the times when I wasn't receiving actual money. And yes, I wound up using credit cards to fill in those gaps.
It took me way longer than I'd like to admit to fix this! Now, I pay myself a set amount each week as if I had a normal job. If I have "extra" money, I save it for the next week. Stretch it out. Make sure I don't wind up cash poor.
If you're saying - wait, doesn't this require some money in the bank first? How am I supposed to get that part figured out? - I get it. That piece is a challenge.
All I can say is try, try, try to set yourself up with enough real money in the bank to sustain yourself while you wait for freelance pay to roll in. It's at least worth considering!