In 2016, when the global economy was soaring, I was investing in cryptocurrency. It seemed like a sensible decision to me at the time — with so many people around the world gaining interest and making huge profits in Bitcoin. Now, with our sluggish economy and rising unemployment rates, things are different.
I’m not as enthusiastic about investing my money in an unstable crypto marketing currency that has seen better days. And I know others feel the same way — with so much uncertainty in our daily lives surrounding finances and job stability, it’s hard to invest time and energy into another unknown (albeit without risk).
1. I used to be able to save more money.
Before I started trading cryptocurrency, I was able to save a decent amount of my paycheck. But now, with less cash on hand and more expenses to pay off (thanks, rising rent prices!) my savings are dwindling fast. That $500 emergency fund I always had is half the size it used to be — and sometimes it’s even nonexistent. And with economic uncertainty in the air, it’s hard for me to see a bright future ahead because I have no idea which way the winds are going to blow (or which way my bank account is going to go).
2. My cash flow has declined.
Whether you’re a freelancer or an employee, having cash flow issues is never easy. I used to be able to pay my bills and my debts on time — but now I’m always one emergency away from being late on a payment. The thought of not being able to pay for my car insurance or rent on time terrifies me.
3. My spending habits are different.
When I had money in my bank account, it was easier for me to save it. But now that I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck, it’s much harder for me to save up a little extra change and stash it into savings every month — even if it’s just $25 a week. It’s not that I don’t want to do it — it’s just really hard when I’m struggling to pay for what I need now. Click here for more.
4. I’m less confident in my ability to make money.
The rise of self-employment, the sharing economy and gig work is something we’ve talked a lot about in the past few years — but now that I’m part of this shifting landscape, it’s hard for me not to feel anxious about my future. Being a self-employed freelancer is an amazingly liberating experience, but at the same time, it’s an overwhelming feeling to know that you’re responsible for your own income and paying your own bills.
5. My priorities have changed.
Before I started my own freelance business, I never imagined that one day I would be so concerned with taxes and payroll. I thought being a freelancer would be all about me — but it’s not. It’s about the business, too — and that has made me see things in a different light.
6. I’m more cautious about spending money.
Being self-employed means being responsible for everything you need to get your work done, from the tools you need to use your craft (like the best computer for writers or the best laptop for designers) to your own education and professional development of blogger outreach (like investing in a writing or design course).
7. It’s harder for me to make friends.
Before I started freelancing, the idea of meeting new people in my industry was exciting — but now that I’m focusing all my time on my business (a career transition that took a few extra years), I still have plenty of friends from high school and college, but it’s harder for me to build new friendships. So while it’s nice to keep in touch with these people all the time and hang out with them when we get together, it also makes me feel sad that there aren’t as many new faces in our community.
8. My social life has suffered.
This one is hard to admit, but it’s true — and I’ve heard many other freelancers say the same thing. The fact of the matter is, with the rise of freelance work, we no longer have an employer telling us when to work. That means more time and energy is devoted to our businesses — which means we have less time for friends, family and other responsibilities.
9. I feel isolated from my community.
Speaking of freelancers feeling isolated… With so much focus on business right now, I find my social circle shrinking a bit as well (and yes, that’s partly because of social media). Friending people on Facebook to keep up with their lives is becoming more difficult (which also makes it harder to meet new people), so our online communities of token marketing are getting smaller.
10. I don’t know if I’m making the right decisions for my future.
I remember when I used to think about earning money, job status and retirement all at once — but now that my freelance career is shifting into another gear, I’m really focusing on the things that make me happy and the decisions that will put me in the right place for my future.