Money Monday: Why Writers and Freelancers, Now More than Ever, Need Personal Finance Advice That’s Actually Personal
Whenever I read personal finance blogs, I feel like they’re a little off.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve received fantastic advice from such blogs over the years, but in order to appeal to a large readership, it is in a personal finance blog's best interests to appeal to statistical norms—meaning those readers with middle management jobs, 9-to-5 salaries plus benefits, and the lifestyle that comes with them.
In other words, their advice is a little off… for me. As the owner of my own business, I have to tilt my head and squint in order for it to fit my life.
Many of my writer friends feel the same way, and some are reluctant to read personal finance blogs for fear of what they might learn they’ve been doing wrong.
Even if the statistical norm is true for you—meaning you write “after hours” or in a part-time capacity—if you’re paid for your work, you’re likely to have different tax questions than the average American.
These considerations aren’t esoteric in 2017.
They are especially important now, with the NEA, NEH, and IMLS on the chopping block of Trump’s proposed 2018 budget (source).
Unlike their European counterparts, American artists and writers have relied on private patronage instead of government contributions from our country’s earliest days (source). If the phrase “private patronage” sounds old-fashioned and stuffy, don’t think about cold-calling an iron-haired dowager at her summer residence on the Cape, but rather about having a rich uncle who can finance an MFA, an “in” with a generous nonprofit, or your own deep pockets.
There are many ongoing conversations in the book world today, about diversifying the voices we publish (here's one, here's another, here's a third, and there are many more if you Google “how to diversify publishing voices”). If the government subsidies provided by these outlets vanish, then many promising talents won’t have access to the tools they need to work towards publication. Meanwhile, the same exclusive group of writers (usually affluent, white, living on one of the Coasts) will continue to churn out books.
While they can’t singlehandedly solve these problems, I still feel that financial education and financial literacy, areas of knowledge that are often lacking for creative professionals, are key.
I’m no expert. You should know that up front. I’m not a licensed financial counselor or advisor. But when I was building up my emergency savings fund to take Hatch Editorial Services full-time, LearnVest and Fast Company got wind of it, and I wrote a personal essay/how-to guide for them.
With that in mind, I want to provide my firsthand experiences with and in-depth research into personal and business finance for you, the readers of this blog. Each Monday, I’ll discuss a subject related to personal and/or business finance, especially as it applies to writers and freelancers. You’ll learn about:
- Creating and following through on savings goals
- Preparing for taxes
- Prioritizing debt and savings
The best part? This station takes requests! If there’s a question you want addressed on this blog, send it to me via the form below! I’m happy to pull a post from the mailbag.
I hope you're as excited as I am. See you next Monday!
Jessica Hatch is not a Registered Investment Advisor, Broker/Dealer, Financial Analyst, Financial Bank, Securities Broker or Financial Planner. The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, is general in nature and not specific to you. Ms. Hatch is not responsible for any investment decisions made by you. You are responsible for your own investment research and investment decisions.