Managing your money at the best of times is hard work, but as a freelancer or contractor you might as well double the difficulty. Because when it comes to sorting accounts, invoicing and managing taxes, life becomes complicated, exhausting and usually expensive.
And until the obscure red-tape and rules are made friendlier or even just a little easier to follow by Government, tax and accounting for the self-employed will stay exactly that: taxing. You’d have thought that the 890,000 late tax returns in 2015 would be a catalyst for tax simplification, but realistically it’s likely to be some time before any drastic changes are passed.
So, like any half sensible millennial, it’s time the UK’s 4.6million self-employed people found salvation in technology – because these days, there really is an app or tool for everything, including ones that help you organise, manage and save your money.
It’s time to enjoy a better cashflow, save yourself from the wrath of HMRC – not to mention dozens of sleepless nights – and explore our selection of apps and tools to allow you to finally take control of your money. And about time too…
Created by Money Supermarket, Ontrees links all your account information together in one simple place. Download Ontrees on iOS for your phone and Apple watch, and stop using holes in your pockets as an excuse for a dwindling bank balance. Ontrees gives you a detailed breakdown of where your personal money (rather than business account) is being spent. Because money doesn’t, ahem, grow Ontrees…
Verdict: The bee’s knees for sole-traders.
Finding, filing and organising a years’ worth of business expenses and receipts is every freelancer’s nightmare. Shoebox does the hard work or you. All you need to do is email or upload a picture of each receipt and this handy tool will organise and categorise them for you. From creating expense reports to tracking your mileage from your phone’s GPS, Shoebox has bundles of features to keep tax and money-management as simple as possible.
Price: From $9.95 per month.
Verdict: Receipts digitalised, finally.
A niftily designed mobile app from a team behind award-winning Natwest, The BBC and YPlan creations, Albert makes sending beautiful, personalised and professional invoices a complete and utter breeze. Unlike competitors Xero and Invoice2Go, Albert is free, and sends, manages and organises invoices in seconds. Finish a project, invoice a client, get paid faster and with Albert's automatic dropbox storage feature, never waste time managing accounts in the lead up to the tax deadline again.
Verdict: On-the-go invoicing at its finest.
Freelancers need money for that inevitable rainy day. Whether it’s down to illness, a well-deserved holiday or simply a dry-patch workwise, a small pot of savings to see you through is vital. Use Moneybox to round up your card purchases to the nearest pound, and invest it into over 6,000 companies, through ‘cautious’, ‘balanced’ or ‘adventurous’ options. With a lovely look and feel, Moneybox is a great way to invest and save money without ever really noticing.
Price: £1 per month + platform fee of 0.45% per month.
Verdict: Dead-simple savings and investments.
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