The Bank Account for Freelancers

The rewards of freelancing are highly appealing. Flexible hours, plenty of travel, more time with the kids and doing something you actually like to do every day. It all sounds pretty great! If only we didn’t have to pay the bills. The pressure to make enough money is a constant companion for a freelancer and an area many prefer to simply ignore.

The subject of money tends to increase anxiety levels more than any other amongst freelancers. Whether you are not landing enough paid work, having to hound clients for overdue invoices or getting an annual shock when tax season comes around, the stress of money looms large over the freelance community.

Looking after finances and taking care of taxes is not exactly why we chose to become freelancers in the first place. We tend to learn how to manage our money from our mistakes. An unpaid invoice that we forget to chase up, spending too much on kit or under-charging a client, over time, and a large dent in our bank balance, we generally figure it out until the day we can afford an accountant and a bookkeeper.

You would presume that your bank would be there to help out. Afterall, a fledgling startup can walk into a bank, secure a loan, a business bank account and receive expert financial advice so why is it that a sole trading freelancer receives a current account and a paper cup filled with warm water. It’s as if banks don’t consider us to be serious businesses. Hobbyists perhaps!

There are around 2 million of us for goodness sake. HELP US OUT!

Image: GetCoconut.com

Like most things in today’s economic maelstrom, the solution lies with the disrupters. We met Sam and Adam, founders of Coconut (then known as Monizo), at a networking event in London back in 2016. They told us of their future plans and we started to get excited- very excited. Designed especially for freelancers and self-employed people, Coconut is providing freelancers with an actual business bank account! But wait, you’ve got a bank account so why do you need another? Well, this bank account does the things your current bank should but doesn’t.

We couldn’t figure out why saving for tax and making sure you keep all your receipts in order is so complicated. We just wanted it done, without much thinking. — Sam O’Connor, Founder

Every Coconut account comes with a Debit Card that enables you to track all business expenses and shows how much tax you’re going to owe at the end of the tax year. The accompanying App also gives you a clear picture of your income and expenses so that you can see where your money is being spent and where it’s coming from. Just being able to see how much you’ve made and how much you’ve spent without the clutter of personal experiences or the need for a 4-page bank statement is a real treat.

I was scared to check my bank balance during the first year of freelancing. I know that sounds insane but I just didn’t think about money in that way. I look at freelancing like a business now and anything that simplifies that side of it for me is a welcome addition. -Katie, Freelance Makeup Artist

We’ve had a sneak peak at the BETA version and Coconut has made it so easy to sort receipts and expenses that it actually got us enthused — about finances!!!

Coconut is made by freelancers for freelancers and, with that in mind, they’ve put their money where their mouth is (sorry!). Currently running a pilot version, Coconut is involving members of their Facebook Group in design and UX decisions that will help shape the final launch version of their App. If you would like to join the pilot and help shape the future of banking for freelancers, they are accepting members to access to their Coconut Bite Facebook group. To get involved, click below.