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ASK US WEDNESDAY: “How do I calculate my freelance hourly rate?”

by Rachel Smith
11 April 2018

I’m considering going freelance and am hoping my company will still swing some work my way. However, I have no idea what I should be charging. And should I have a buffer? How do I figure all this out? Emma

Financial experts suggest having at least a three-month buffer saved up before you go freelance can help when you’re getting established. That said, not everything goes to plan and you might be starting with zero buffer (I did, after the whole content department I worked in was made redundant, forcing me into the freelance market).

If you can negotiate any kind of regular freelance work from your employer, I would start thinking about doing that before you jump ship. You might also want to read this post and this one about what you need to consider before going freelance – and this one, about whether you’re cut out to freelance at all! (Some people just aren’t.)

In terms of working out your hourly rate, this calculator from makes it relatively easy to work out, depending on your business and personal expenses, billable hours and other things to account for.

Hourly rate calculator produced by

Did you start freelancing with a savings buffer? And how do you work out your hourly rate?

Rachel Smith
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Rachel Smith

As a kid, Rachel used to carry around a little suitcase of pens and paper so she could stop and write stories whenever inspiration struck. These days, she writes for a living, in between running the show at Rachel's List. Some of you may actually believe she looks like a megaphone in real life, but it's not the case. Honest.
Rachel Smith
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