25 Best Business and Finance Tips From Three Years of Careful Cents

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I’m excited to announce that Careful Cents turns three years old this month! And to celebrate, you may have noticed a fresh new website and branding look.

It was during this week, three years ago, that I was sitting on my bed with a notebook brainstorming names for my business. I knew I wanted it to reflect my personality, but also be about money (which is something I’ve been geeking out about all my life).

And that’s how Careful Cents was born!

Since then, a lot has transpired and the business has undergone tons of changes. Here’s a brief history (in pictures) of how Careful Cents looked on the day of her debut, up until now.

Original Careful Cents Design as of June 2011

Original Careful Cents design, circa June 2011.


Previous Careful Cents Design as of October 2012

Original Careful Cents design, circa October 2012.


Previous Careful Cents Design as of March 2013

Original Careful Cents design, circa March 2013.


New Careful Cents Design as of June 2014

new CC design homepage

I have to say I am very partial to the current colors, style and design of the site. And honestly, it’s something I should have started with in the beginning. But there are so many things I learned about myself over these past three years as a business owner, and part of that was defining my likes and dislikes as an entrepreneur.

It takes time to create a brand that truly reflects your personality and your passions. It also helps to have a web designer who’s in sync with you and can bring your (fragmented) vision to life.

I didn’t set out to redesign the entire look and feel of my brand, but when I started putting together the design board of what I was drawn to, the new direction formed out that.

If you want to see exactly how the new colors and branding of Careful Cents came to be, check out the Pinterest board we used for inspiration. You can see how it evolved and became much more ME!

25 Best Tips from Careful Cents

Taking the Leap

1.  Ask yourself these 6 vital questions to help assess if you’re ready to take the plunge into self-employment.

2. Once you feel that self-employment is right for you, check out these 5 signs to make sure you’re ready to make the switch.

3. Now that you’ve decided it’s time to make your move, this ultimate list of tools and resources will become your go-to place to get more organized, socially savvy, and financially conscious.

Freelancing and Side Hustles

4. Know when a client isn’t worth it. Look for these warning signs and save yourself! There are plenty of clients who will pay what you’re worth.

5. Breathe life into your freelance career and celebrate your accomplishments.

6. Learn how to price your services with this unique strategy. Setting rates as a freelancer can be difficult, so learn how to get what you want and not sell yourself short.

7. Land long-term clients with this complete guide. Long-term clients keep your business healthy, and lets you focus more on work, rather than finding work.


8. Never enough hours in the day? These 10 simple hacks will help you better organize your time and workflow, so you can work less and earn more.

9. Start automating your financial tasks and set up systems to help manage your hectic business schedule.

Self-Employed Finances

10. Start organizing your business finances to get clear on your goals and priorities. Clarity of your resources, and how they’re being used, is paramount to making your own success.

11. Plan for the unexpected. Some things can’t be planned for, and the freelance life comes with its fair share of curveballs. Be prepared when the next one hits by creating an emergency fund and emergency plan.

Digital Tools

12. Make sure you’re using the most proven and effective software for your freelance business. These 10 must-have online tools and apps are a great place to find resources that will help run your business more efficiently.

13. Instantly give yourself a raise by using this tool, and stop letting the bulk of your income go to invoicing fees.

14. Use Twitter effectively to land a new gig, and master the hashtag to build your online network!

15. Simplify your life and limit energy spent on unnecessary decisions, and free up more time to spend where it’s actually needed. Use mobile apps, automate payments, and more with these helpful tips.

16. Stop worrying about your finances and manage your money while on the go with these free and fun financial apps.

Best Business Practices

17. Open a separate business account. Check out the best checking accounts for solopreneurs and freelancers to get an idea of what’s out there before you make a decision.

18. Learn how to run a lean, but not cheap business. Cutting expenses can be good, but if clients start to believe that your product or service is suffering because of it, you’ve overdone it!

19. Protect your business from failure and avoid common pitfalls with these tips.


20. Taxes are very few people’s idea of a good time, especially for freelancers. But it can be made less painful with answers to common tax questions.

21. As a self-employed freelancer, you want to make sure you keep every dollar you’ve earned. Use these helpful tips to avoid a huge tax bill.

22. You might even get to the point that you look forward to tax time…I know, it sounds crazy, but these tips will get you on your way to a beautiful relationship with the IRS.


23. Increase income and pay off debt with these 10 strategies to speed up your debt repayment.

24. Got debt burnout? Turn up the motivation and inspiration, and remember what motivates you to be debt free.

25. Getting out of debt takes more than just time and number crunching. Learn to see through the complexities of debt with these 7 steps for going from being in debt to financially free.

Thank you SO much for being part of Careful Cents over the past three years! The community that you’ve helped me create has been one of my most valuable (and fun) accomplishment.

Cheers to another fabulous year, and many more!

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