When you have a side gig, one of the most challenging aspects of the business is managing your finances. Creating invoices, following up with clients, and marking bills paid can be time-consuming.
Though you can create your own invoices from basic templates, managing invoices manually creates a lot of room for error and can let costly mistakes fall through the cracks.
You may have put off getting invoicing software because you were afraid of the expense; some systems can cost hundreds of dollars. But there are a number of low-cost or free invoice software programs available that can streamline how you manage your business.
Below are five cheap and easy programs that can help your side hustle.
Best affordable invoicing software
BillBooks offers robust features and a mobile app so you can create and send professional-looking invoices from anywhere. Not only does BillBooks have several invoice templates to choose from, but you can also set up automatic reminders to send out to your clients, accept payments online, and run end-of-year profit and loss reports.
BillBooks offers a “pay as you go” payment model. Your first three invoices are free, then you’ll need to purchase invoice credits. For $10, you get 20 invoices; put down $60 to get 200 invoices.
Whether you are a freelance writer or a professional dog-walker, PocketSuite has the features you need to run your business. You can manage your side hustle and collect payments completely from the dynamic PocketSuite app.
Best of all, PocketSuite offers its pro membership for free. Under this tier, you can create and send professional invoices, collect credit card payments, send messages to clients, schedule appointments, and even add sales tax, for no charge.
If you want to add other features like online contract signing, recurring payments, or financial reporting, you can upgrade to one of PocketSuite’s paid membership tiers, which start at $10 a month.
SimplyBill is a web-based invoicing software system that is perfect for people who only need help managing invoices and payments, not scheduling appointments. It’s a great solution for graphic designers, writers, and social media managers, rather than people who do a lot of client interaction.
With SimplyBill, you can create estimates and invoices in minutes and send them to clients through the site. Clients can pay directly through the email they receive. You can track whether or not customers open the email, and send them reminders if they do not pay right away.
The basic version costs $5 and allows you to send 25 invoices a month, which is robust enough for most side gigs. If your business expands, the enhanced tier allows you to send out 100 invoices for $15 a month. If you would like to try it out, SimplyBill offers a free two-week trial.
ZipBooks is unique in that it’s completely free; there are no tiers or additional paid features. Instead of charging customers, the company makes money by charging a fee from its partners when you accept payment from a client.
ZipBooks is a full-service accounting software, offering everything from invoice creation to credit card processing, recurring billing, team management, and expense tracking. It even connects to your business bank accounts to make handling your taxes more manageable.
5. Zoho Invoice
With Zoho Invoice, you can create invoices, send out reminders, get paid online, and even track your time and expenses. It’s a feature-heavy dashboard that makes managing your business simpler.
You can create branded invoices, convert them to different currencies, and send them via snail-mail to customers who require a hard copy.
Zoho Invoice is free to use with all of its features, as long as you don’t invoice more than 25 customers a month. The next tier allows you to invoice 50 customers a month and costs just $7.
Managing your side hustle
When you are bringing in income from your side hustle, it’s important to treat it like a real business — not a hobby. Managing your invoices, following up with clients, and tracking your expenses can be time-consuming, but it’s pivotal at tax time.
While you could do it on your own with Word or Excel, Microsoft Suite-produced invoices can look amateurish to clients, and tracking and following up on invoices manually means you may make mistakes. Mistakes in a side gig lead to lost money, and all the time you waste managing invoices is time you could spend earning more money on the side.
Using one of these low-cost or free invoicing software programs can help make your life (and the life of your accountant) much simpler.
To find out more about how to manage your side hustle efficiently, check out this article on eight key things to do before launching your side gig.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.49% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.48% effective April 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.49% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.41%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.11%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|