Money is a difficult subject to talk about. But with the right financial tools, anyone can learn to manage their expenses and stay away from financial troubles later on.

Those who know me would know that I like automation. And, I also like looking for financial tools that can make my life easier and my business run smoothly.

Today, I’d like to share three financial tools that can help freelancers manage their finances better. I’ve personally used these, and I can attest that they definitely work.

Financial Tool #1 – Wally for Expense Tracking

I’ve been a fan of Wally for almost two years now and I’ve been using it to tracking and managing finances.

What I love about it is that it lets me compare my income versus expenses. It also gives me insights on my spending habits.

One of my guilty pleasures is online shopping. I just can’t help it! I get curious about a lot of stuff, especially when it comes to beauty products and Zeeka’s things. I’m also into checking out local brands. Just check out my Instagram and you’d know what I mean.

And sometimes, I can’t help but be a bit impulsive.

But with Wally, I get to see the expenses I’ve made and categorize them according to their purpose. It lets you create your own budget, add tags and categories, and even the location of your purchase.

It also lets you add reminders for recurring payments, attach images and pictures of receipts, and even keep track of all financial accounts in one place. You also even set goals for savings and investments.

Wally also has a feature where you can track the loans you’ve made and strategize on payments to avoid incurring penalties.

The most awesome thing about the app? It’s absolutely FREE!

You can get yours today by visiting the App Store or Google Play.

Financial Tool #2 – Paypal

I have used PayPal ever since I started writing for a living. And being a recognisable brand all over the world, Paypal made it easier for local and international clients to trust me with their business.

What I love about Paypal is its flexibility. I can send and receive funds from my clients without the fuss. I can also integrate other apps and automate processes like recurring payments with ease.

I have always prioritized automation in running my projects and businesses. As an entrepreneur, it’s important for me to free my time so I could focus on the tasks I need to do. And Paypal has given me the option to do just that.

Paypal has come in handy for online payment options, especially for Manila Workshops and Taxumo.

Those who avail of our workshops find it easier to make seat reservations through our website. It also gives them easier access to ongoing promotions and deals with just a click of a button. Taxumo users also get to enjoy seamless payments when they use their Paypal to pay for our services.

This service from Paypal is an awesome tool you can use for your freelance business. You can use it to get direct payments from anywhere in the world transferred to your local bank account.

You can also add it to your website and other profiles for clients to make payments any time.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how you can also add a Paypal button to your website:

Financial Tool #3 – GCash

I’m such a fan of GCash because it’s so convenient. Ever since I started using it, I didn’t have to carry as much cash anymore.

GCash is perfect for freelancers, especially those who don’t have time for long queues just to pay their bills. With just a tap of a button, you can get your phone bills, credit card bills, and other utilities paid at your convenience.

Here’s a cool feature from GCash. Did you know that you can just scan your electricity bill to pay it on your GCash app?

Yep, I used to type in the reference numbers when I started paying our electricity bill through the app. This process is a bit tedious and is prone to errors, but it definitely beats standing in line at the payment centers or banks.

Thankfully, GCash now added a feature where you can scan the code at the bottom of the bill and saves you from all the effort.

GCash also has other features that freelancers can take advantage of. There’s GCredit, where you can use it as a credit card for online payments. And there’s also GInvest, where you can start investing your hard earned cash and get access to various investment funds.

You can check out my post for more information about GCredit here.

If you’re interested in investing, you can learn more about GInvest here.

Freelancing can be difficult, especially if you’re starting out or if you don’t have a steady stream of clients. That’s why it’s important for every freelancer to learn how to manage their finances well.

Good thing that there are financial tools available today that can help you stay out of debt and financial troubles.

What tools do you use to manage your finances? Share your finance-related tips with us below.

I have much to say about the Freelancing community in the Philippines, and most of these things come from actual experiences and close contact with people in this community.

Not a Raket Anymore

There have been a lot of misconceptions about being a freelancer, one of which is that freelancing is merely a side business that you do, and since it’s something that you do in your FREE time, freelancers don’t take their work seriously. Another misconception is that Freelancers should be cheaper or FREE. And a common one is that Freelancers have so much FREE time, since they don’t really do anything.
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Now being with freelancers for the past 7 years of my life, I’d like to share my experiences of dealing and being a freelancer. For the first point, most freelancers really take their work seriously, and most of them get into freelancing doing the “thing” that they love doing. For what I have seen, even when these freelancers still have day jobs, they enjoy the time that they spend doing these extra jobs, because it is where they find fulfilment.

Next, freelancers may be cheaper than other alternatives, since they don’t have much overhead expenses to pay for, but they definitely are not free. Yes, they may give exceptions especially when they are building a portfolio, but let’s not abuse them. And if companies and brands want to stay competitive, it may even be advisable to hire freelancers to bring down your overhead expenses as well. Monitoring work and payments from them is not an issue, too, because these freelancers use tools that monitor the delivery of project, hours of work spent on a project and even send online invoices via PayPal to charge for the work rendered.

Lastly, when you become a freelancer, you will notice that you actually spend more time now working. What used to be 8-10 hours of working in a corporate environment, now extends to 18 hours of work. What freelancers love though about being a freelancer is the flexibility of time spent working. Freelancers can choose to wake up later than everyone else, but they work to deliver results. Results is top of mind and not time spent working on a project. They make sure they deliver!

Part of a Strong Community with a Deep Faith in Humanity

*Picture taken by George Buid

Last week, I visited one of the schools that I have been eyeing for my daughter. My daughter is 4 years old, and she’ll need to go to “big school” next year. The administration officer left my husband and I inside the classroom of 4-6 year olds to observe. It was a school that allowed each child to explore — to see what they found interesting in the room, to tinker with it, to feel things, to hear things, to really “get into it”. Some were intensely building a tower using bricks. Some were counting beads on a chain. Some were pretending to have a tea party with another friend. Another child was mopping the floor out of whim. Some of them were writing words on a piece of paper, and one was just staring at a fish in the aquarium. And in this kind of environment, the children were happily wandering and wondering. It was, at least for me, the perfect environment for growth and learning.

While thinking of what to share with you, this was the kind of environment that crossed my mind. This is the kind of environment and community that we, at Manila Workshops, envisioned to help build for our country’s freelancers. We want to help build an environment where freelancers and solopreneurs will discover more about themselves, discover passions and discover talents that they never knew existed. It will be an environment that they can always run to, their safe haven where they feel safe & secure as they grow as individuals.

*Picture taken by George Buid

For the past years, we have seen this ecosystem grow stronger, bigger and better. And personally, I believe that the reasons may lie in our deep faith in humanity. Now this may sound so “super-heroish” or like a line from a sci-fi movie, but this is what I think. Let’s go back to what humanity or being humane means (according to Merriam Webster online!). Humanity is the quality or state of being human joined by their common attributes and qualities. Being humane is being compassionate, sympathetic, exhibiting generous behavior and disposition.

If you take a closer look at what is happening in the freelancing community, you’ll see that freelancers naturally flock together. They look for people with common interests, and most especially, the same way of thinking. This is what drew me personally into being part of this community. The generosity, kindness, support and patience knows no bounds. You feel that you can quickly leap from being a novice freelancer to a successful one in no time at all just by the cheers and the rah-rah-rahs of your fellow freelancers.

Professionalizing Freelancing

Because of these things and the relentless support which is so evident in this community, people now are seeing freelancing as something that one should consider looking into, as a source of livelihood. They also see freelancing as a way to efficiently operate a business or even as a source of inspiration for our country, where talented and highly skilled people live.

*Picture taken by George Buid

And as freelancers continue to build and cultivate relationships, they become stronger and more confident. In these relationships lie the strength that freelancers need to continue to grow and persevere. Let’s help everyone be better versions of themselves.

If the remarkable turnout in every event, the constant increase in members of different freelancing groups and increased engagement in different communities and the increase in revenue from foreign clients coursed through PayPal are indications, my fearless forecast is that a LOT more FIlipinos will turn to freelancing inspired by you – pioneers of this continuously growing field of expertise. Its proponents unencumbered by the conventions of a bygone era of strict work hours and boss-driven development. Soon we will truly be witness to the RISE OF THE FREE.

*Note: This is the longer version of my speech during The Freelancer Fair