Balancing the Bank: 6 Budgeting Tips for SAP Freelancers
Rate is often one of the most important considerations when it comes to accepting a new SAP project and negotiations can sometimes seem never-ending. Once the contract is signed, sealed and delivered some SAP freelancers struggle to make the most of the money they have negotiated for the work they complete. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your finances and set yourself up for a stress-free payday by following these 6 tips…
Set a personal financial goal
As a SAP Freelancer, you are selling a product: your skills. Like any product, you should have a set price. Find out what the average market rates are for your skillset and level of expertise. These rates will be country-specific. Depending on where the project is based, your rate should be adjusted (travel expenses should be considered separately).
Of course, selling your services is not exactly like selling any other product and will have some degree of flexibility. Flexibility points vary across individual SAP freelancers. Some are willing to accept a lower rate if a project is close to their family home; others will suggest a rate increase when a project is in a remote or hard-to-reach location.
When dealing with flexibility and negotiation, always make sure you come with your own number in mind. This rate will be your north star and help make sure you’re not disappointed when you receive your first payment.
Be clear about payment terms
Once you are offered a position, it can be easy to have only a quick skim over your contract. Definitely go over your contract with a keen eye for detail and pay special attention to the payment terms.
Payment terms are particularly important when you’re working as a SAP freelancer, as these will dictate how often and how long it will take for your money to reach your account. Payment terms will vary from contract to contract, so make sure that you are clear on these to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Not all clients use payrollers, though many do for compliance purposes. Make sure you know from the beginning what kind of service they use and what the related costs may be. When working through a payroll service as a SAP freelancer, it’s important to keep in mind:
- Payrollers will charge a small fee per payout or per hour worked.
- Often your first payment will be made 28 days after issue— this means the first two months will be paid at the end of the second month worked.
- More frequent or earlier payments will require higher fees via a payroller.
Understand how to get paid
When you work as a SAP freelancer, you’re not paid in the same way as a permanent employee. Get informed on what kind of system you will be using to track your hours worked, how to register over-time hours (if relevant), and submit expenses. Additionally, find out who needs to sign off on your time sheets and what kind of approval you need for overtime or expenses.
Failure to get approval or track hours may lead in serious delays in payment.
Prepare for tax season year-round
SAP freelancers are responsible for paying their taxes just like any other individual. However, if you run a limited company (depending on country) you may be eligible for tax breaks on equipment, business materials, work-related travel, and other expenses. Find out where you may be able to reclaim taxes and ensure you save the appropriate documentation for the final tax filing. Additionally, save any payslips from each contract to secure a solid record of your financial history as a SAP freelancer throughout the year.
Budget for rainy days
Every SAP freelancer knows that moving from one project to the next is not always as seamless as one would like. From time to time, there may be periods where you may be off project. For some SAP freelancers this is voluntary; others may struggle to find the right project for their current career or personal needs.
During these periods, you should have enough money saved to support you financially from three to six months. Without this small safety net, finding your next SAP freelance assignment can become stressful.
Create your own retirement fund
Unlike permanent employees, SAP freelancers do not have pension contributions automatically deducted from their salaries. It’s important to check what kind of public pension schemes may be made available for you. As a SAP freelancer, you should be mindful of this and arrange to contribute to a private fund or run one through your own company. While project cycles may seem like they last forever, make sure you’re planning ahead for a happy and comfortable retirement!
Retirement is likely a ways away yet, but keeping on top of your finances will help you make better decisions for your career as a SAP freelancer. If you’re looking for your next project to build your bank, you can review any of our current SAP vacancies by clicking the button below.