[UPHPU] Freelance going rates

Robert Merrill robertmerrill at gmail.com
Thu May 12 07:45:35 MDT 2011

On May 11, 2011 11:55 PM, "Velda Christensen" <velda at novapages.com> wrote:
> Alright, you can take this with a grain of salt since it comes from a
> designer's perspective, but here you go:
> Doing 1099 work at near-W2 rates just creates headaches - you've got
> extra taxes and other expenses to cover, not to mention the cost of
> holidays and buying your own insurance, unpaid time you spend keeping
> books, etc.  And while it's easy enough to charge a lot less when
> you're only moonlighting, you never know when 1099 work might become
> your full time gig.
> So my recommendation (based on the recommendations of several good
> friends) is to use a calculator like http://freelanceswitch.com/rates/
>  to figure out how much you'd need to charge per hour if you were
> freelancing full time.  And then just charge that rate.

I strongly recommend this advice. I recommend charging at least double if
not triple your current w-2 salary, converted to an hourly rate. (There's
2080 hours/yr if you're salaried (40 hrs/wk)).

Or, bill out on retainer, charging something like half up front and the
remainder on completion.

> helpful hint from my friends is to keep timestamps as you work, with
> separate logs for paid and unpaid work so you can get a feel for your
> ratio of paid to unpaid time.

I'm just starting to use Freshbooks, personally, but I understand they have
a time tracker you can use to document your work.

I just use a tool like this one to
> process my logs... http://monsterguitars.com/hours/ .
> One of my friends wrote this article on the topic (again, for
> designers, but the same ideas should apply...)
> http://creativelatitude.com/neils_newbies/neils_newbies_0206.html
> Hope that helps.

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