11 Essential Financial Tools for Creators & Freelancers

October 21, 2022

Managing money isn't easy. Technology can help, but it's hard to find the right tools for the job.

So I curated a list of all the tools that I use, as well as some quality alternatives:

🧾 Accounting Software

Wave - In my opinion, this is the best free accounting software. I recommend Wave if you're just getting started and you're wanting to keep expenses as low as possible because it doesn't get much better than free, right? It can do just about everything Quickbooks can and most importantly you're able to keep an eye on your income and expenses, see your balance sheet, pull tax documents, and even send invoices.

Quickbooks - The classic accounting software. It can be as cheap as $7.50/month, but it doesn't get much better than Quickbooks. Every accountant and tax preparer should be familiar with the software, making it easier to collaborate and submit documents come tax time and if you need help learning how to use it, there are many step-by-step tutorials on YouTube.

🏦 Banks

Creative Juice - Designed for creators, Creative Juice lets you have one checking account while being able to link different income-producing platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. It's a great bank, but the limited account features don't allow for much scale.

Mercury - Built for startups, their app and interface feels similar to Apple. No fees for basic services.

Recommended: Novo - The best banking option out there in my opinion. The app is user-friendly, you can open multiple accounts, and you can send invoices straight from the app.

💳 Business Cards

American Express - They offer a few cards with $0 annual fees, as well as some of the best high-end card options

Chase - Also provides a mix of free and paid options

Karat - Designed specifically for creators, it can be a great card if you frequently use the stores in their partner network

🧮 Calculators

Financial independence calculator - This lets you enter different investment account values to determine how long you could live off of the returns based on your personal expenses

Life insurance calculator - I wouldn't click on any links on this website, but this calculator is one of the best out there. You can put in some basic information and get an estimate of how much term life insurance you should have.

HSA tax savings calculator - If you don't have an HSA, you'll be surprised and how much you can save in taxes by contributing to one. Here's a post about the pros & cons of having an HSA.

🛠 Helpful Tools

Financial automation: Catch Benefits - this is my favorite business finance app. It lets you automate your tax savings, travel & time off, retirement, and more.

Spending & income tracker: RocketMoney - this is my favorite personal finance app. It lets you monitor your cash flow, net worth, credit score, and provides helpful reports & notifications.

Estate planning: Trust & Will - digital estate planning - wills, trusts, and more

Credit: Credit Karma - to monitor your credit score

⛱ Insurance

Lemonade (renters, term life) - There are a lot of similar insurance companies out there, but I like Lemonade's customer service and they have some of the lowest prices available.

Hiscox (freelance liability) - I haven't used them personally, but I've heard good things and they're partnered with Freelancer's Union, a trusted brand in the space.

Health Savings Account: Lively, Fidelity

🙏🏼 Invoicing

Stripe - My favorite invoicing tool, it's super flexible and scalable, you can create payment links, invoices, subscriptions, and connect it to multiple store platforms.

Bonsai - A good option for freelancers, doesn't allow for much scale

📈 Investing

Vanguard - (IRAs, Solo 401(k), standard options) - One of the most trusted companies in finance, Vanguard offers low-cost investments and multiple different account options. I highly recommend using them for most account choices.

Nabers Group - Solo 401(k) - This Solo 401(k) has a few more investment options than Vanguard, and it allows you to take loans against your portfolio's value

Guideline - 401(k) w/ employees - If you have employees and want to set up a retirement account plan, Guideline has relatively low fees and a modern, user-friendly platform

Public (non-retirement) - For those who want to have a taxable account on the side, Public has minimal fees and a great app

Fidelity - An alternative to Vanguard, Fidelity offers several different account options and Health Savings Accounts

💰 Taxes

Catch (automated tax withholdings & IRS payments) - While the app lets you do several things with your money, my favorite part is being able to automate your tax savings, travel & time off, retirement, and more

Estimated quarterly tax calculator - Helpful for running projections and planning your tax payments

Self-employment tax calculator - If you want to calculate your self-employment tax specifically, this is the easiest tool to use

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