One of the great things about freelancing online is that once you start making money, you can easily withdraw it from your PayPal account to your Safaricom M-PESA or bank account. And once it lands there you an go out shopping. You can withdraw the cash from and agent, head to town and buy whatever you want. If shopping in a supermarket you can just use your debit card.
And then there are others you can just buy online without withdrawing money from your PayPal account. Like domain names.
In this post I am going to share a list of some of the common things freelancers spend their money on, so you can:
Note that Niabusiness has linked to some of the resources on this page using affiliate links. When you click on something and purchase it, Niabusiness will receive a commission from every successful sale / referral, at no extra cost to you.
- Decide if you want to buy similar things (and decide when to buy them once you have a good enough reason for purchasing whatever item you have in mind)
- Decide what you want to get and start researching more about it while you save money that will go towards purchasing that item
Top things online freelancers like to buy
Domain names and web hosting. For example getting a domain name for your freelancer website (a site you use to showcase your portfolio) from places such as Namesilo and Namecheap. And a web hosting plan (and domains too) from web hosting companies like Kenya Web Experts, HostGator and Bluehost. See a full list in the Niabusiness Tools & Resources page.
Why they buy them: To start your own freelancer site or a blog or a niche site. That is the main reason to get domains and hosting as a freelancer – to have a well designed site that you can use to showcase your services, samples and testimonials or to have a blog / niche site where you can publish your own blog posts to attract visitors and make extra money to subsidize your freelance income using display ads and affiliate marketing.
Laptops and desktop computers. For example getting a computer you have been eyeing for awhile.
Why they buy them: Usually freelancers will spend money on a computer if they don’t have one already (so, if they have been using cyber cafe computers or borrowing a laptop). They can also purchase a computer if the one they have currently has a bad battery, is sluggish, or has a broken screen or stolen.
Smartphones and tablets. For example getting a device with the latest Google Android / Apple iOS operating system.
Why they buy them: To get a device with more storage, higher specs, better camera and if you like typing, something that is easy to carry with a battery that lasts long on a full charge / device that can be charged quickly.
Internet bundles / airtime. For example purchasing airtime from M-PESA or daily, weekly and monthly data bundles from mobile phone service providers such as Airtel Kenya, Safaricom, Faiba and Telkom Kenya.
Why they buy them: To get access to the internet with your prepaid line in a modem, MiFi router or Mobile Hotspot / WiFi. One can also buy data bundles such as these whenever a need arises. For example when a freelancer wants to download / upload a big file from / to Google Drive / Dropbox / YouTube, they can purchase a 2GB daily bundle once or multiple times in a day.
Furniture. For example a good desk and a good chair.
Why they buy them: To have a place where one can sit comfortably when doing their work. To have chairs that supports the back well when sitting for long hours and to just attain the right posture when working so you don’t strain / tire easily.
eBooks and online courses. For example ebooks and courses that can help one become even more skilled at their particular field or master more strategies they can use to market their services.
Why they buy them: Education is really important in the lives of people who rely on freelancing to make a living. Things a change a lot in different niches / industries and just buying courses and ebooks can be a good way for one to stay one step ahead of the competition, to be able to adapt to new changes and to increase their understanding of different things that can help propel their career / business to newer heights.
WordPress themes and plugins. For example getting a WordPress theme frameworks like Genesis and a child theme. Or buying a page builder like Elementor or Thrive Architect. Or buying other popular lead generation and contact form plugins like OptinMonster and WPForms (see more in the Tools & Resources page).
Why they buy them: To enhance one’s blog. To make one’s site look more professional. And to add premium features that aren’t available in free plugins / themes. Or to just avoid the hassle of adding extra extensions to free plugins just so one can add a new functionality on their site.
Stationery. For example small note books (A6) and big exercise books (A4 size). And pens.
Why they buy them: To have a place one can quickly jot down notes when they are on the move. Or to have a place where they can flesh out ideas in more detail. Or just journal / create plans / to-do lists for the next day, week, month or year.
Tools such as keyword research tools or grammar and spelling checkers.
Why they buy them: To finish certain tasks quickly. For example using Grammarly can help one quickly enhance a blog posts in every way imaginable and then the keyword tools can help one optimize a piece of content for search. The content can be for their own blog or for a client.
A few things you need to know before you spend the income you make from doing freelance jobs online
Before you buy something, let the money in your account sit for a few days / weeks. Wanting to have something when you don’t have money is one thing but wanting to buy something once you have money is a different thing altogether. Your mind will operate differently when you don’t have the money versus when you do.
So, letting the money sit for awhile can help you gauge if you really need the thing you want to purchase or if just the idea of having it in your possession is what is driving you.
Take an inventory of how much time it will take to get all the benefits you can out of a thing you want to buy. If you are purchasing domains for example, take a look at how long it will take you to write articles for a new site until it reaches a level where it can just bringing in profits for you.
Once you figure this out, don’t go buying more things than you can handle especially if you are also going to keep working for clients.
Save as much as you can while you learn about prudent investment strategies.
And keep learning and implementing things that will help you get in front of more potential clients. Use the Place Ad option on Niabusiness for example to create a free ad listing with details about the service you offer.