I am yet to meet a self employed person who finds the the self assessment process or contacting the HMRC an easy process. Both myself and my husband have had some pretty serious issues over the years and it can be both stressful and annoying!
Here are some things to consider that might help make self employment less stressful –
Make sure you’re registered with HMRC properly
Whilst you might think this is a silly suggestion, I would thoroughly recommend making sure you have registered with HMRC correctly. Contact the self employed helpline who will be able to check you’ve given them the correct information, it will reduce the likelihood of fines and ‘tellings off’ at a later date. Hubby and I have both had issues with the HMRC and their ‘forgetfulness’.
It’s really important to stay organised if you’re self employed It’s so easy to drown in paperwork but using files and separate drawers for any paperwork relating to your job will help you stay organised and on track. I use large box files for my paper work and keep everything I think I may need, written down in a big notebook.
Keep a concise record throughout the year
One of the worst things you can do when self employed is leave everything to the last minute. You should keep a record of everything business related for the full year, particularly your in goings and outgoings.
An excel spreadsheet is the ideal way to keep track of all money connected to your business. I also like to keep a paper copy so I can refer to it anywhere. I try to keep things up to date and review everything on a monthly basis so I don’t panic at the end of the financial year.
Keep a copy of all invoices, receipts and expenses until your tax return is complete and agreed by the HMRC.
Claim the right expenses
Obviously this will depend on your field of work but lets keep it to blogging for this post. Whether it’s agreeing deadlines or chasing yet another late payment, learn to be firm and stand up for yourself. It will reduce problems in the long run and help keep your stress levels to a minimum.
You don’t have to work ALL the time
It’s easy to think that because you’re self employed, you need to work all the time. You should still take regular breaks, days off and don’t feel guilty moving away from that laptop!
Do you have any tips to cope with being self employed?