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5 Ways to Save Money Traveling to Chicago as a Freelance Professional

get a grip on spendingFreelance professionals are growing more common in the business world. The technology surrounding the Internet, costs and other metrics make hiring freelancers more efficient in a variety of fields. As a professional, you may wind up traveling quite a bit depending on the area of your expertise. When you need to travel to Chicago, saving as much money as possible can help you keep your own bills paid and food on the table.

Estimate Your Expenses Beforehand

When traveling to Chicago, research the areas you’ll be visiting. Food, lodging, travel and other expenses should be estimated before you buy your plane ticket. Sticking to a budget while on location for a client can help keep your finances in check. This can also be beneficial when pricing out jobs for future clients as you have an estimate of what personal visits may cost while traveling. You don’t want to bid your work too high, but you need to cover your own expenses.

Separate Business Funds

Although you’re a freelance professional, you should still keep your business funds separate from your personal expenses. Not only does this help you file taxes at the end of the year, but it can isolate personal accounts and reduce the risk of overspending while visiting Chicago. When traveling to a new city in order to perform work for a client, nearly the entire visit can be tax-deductible. Using one account for the trip will let you add up all of the expenses without intermingling receipts.

Realize the Reason Your Visiting

It can be difficult not to explore Chicago when visiting for the first time. However, the trip to visit a client should be treated as a professional experience. Limit your expenses by not indulging on the many facets of the city. Should you decide to budget a vacation to explore Chicago at a later date, then you’ll be financially secure to absorb the expense on a personal level.

20140918 - airplaneSchedule Flights during the Week

It’s common practice to schedule flights during the weekdays as opposed to weekends. In a professional atmosphere, this is more ideal anyway as most businesses may close on Saturday and Sunday. Flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually much cheaper as less people are flying during those days. Avoiding holiday travel can be cheaper as well, but it may not be possible if your client needs you.

Reduce Dining Out

Dining out can be very expensive when compared to what you can find at the grocery store. Prepared salads, microwaveable dishes and more can be far more cost effective as well as healthier than visiting a fast food restaurant. In reality, it could cost roughly five dollars to feed yourself the entire day if you do so from the grocery store. You don’t have to have a stove and oven in your hotel room in order to prepare meals during your stay. Freelance professionals don’t get many of the benefits that come from working for a corporation. Insurance, paid time off, sick leave and other monetary bonuses do not exist for the individual that works for him or herself. Learn more about staying in Chicago and how you can save money when your work takes you to the windy city. Although it all may be tax deductible at the end of the year, you still need the cash available today. This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, the most comprehensive travel search website allowing you to find the best deals on anything from flights and hotels to train rides and Homeaway rentals.

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

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