Freelance budget calculator

Knowing what to charge and when to raise your rates is one of the hardest things you have to figure out as a freelancer. Our budget calculator can help you take the guesswork out of setting your freelance rate, whether it’s by hour or by project. When you get a clearer sense of what your income needs to be, you can feel more confident knowing how much you need to charge.

Unfortunately, this tool is not available in your region

Our Freelance budget calculator is currently available for US residents only

Calculate payroll for your hourly employees with Wave.

How can the freelance budget calculator help me set my rates?

Googling “what should I charge for X?” will get you a wide range of answers from different sources, and asking other freelancers what their rates are doesn’t help too much since they likely don’t have the exact same skill set or experience as you. While it is important to do research on pricing and ask around, you also need to think about other factors, like what your target income should be {based on your expenses) and what your target revenue goal is for the year.

A few things to keep in mind

You may not view yourself as a business owner, but if you have freelancing clients, you do run a business! Here are a few tips that can put you on the path to success:

  • If you’re just starting out, think about how many clients you will have in the beginning vs. how many you will have once you’re established. Remember, it’s often slow going for the first six months to a year. Make sure you have enough savings to cover an initial drought of work.
  • Aside from personal expenses, you will likely also have business expenses—this can include office supplies, rent, your website provider or accountant. Be sure to include these in your calculations.
  • Because your expenses will fluctuate over time, it’s important to revisit your budget on a regular basis. And don’t forget to raise your rates as you gain more experience and clients who can vouch for your excellent work!
  • Maintaining an up-to-date budget throughout the year will help prepare you for tax time. See how Wave’s accounting software can help you create robust and detailed reports—free.
  • Check Check out our other accounting tools that can help you calculate cash flow, sales tax, burn rate, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is your software actually free?

Yes! Our invoicing, accounting, and US-only banking software is 100% free—no trials, subscriptions, or hidden fees.

What’s the catch—how does Wave make money?

Wave makes money through our optional, paid money management products. Depending on your business needs, you can choose to pay for online payment processing, payroll, and 1:1 advisors. This allows our core software—invoicing, accounting, and business banking (currently only available to sole proprietors in the US)—to always be free.

Do I need to enter my credit card details to sign up?

Put your wallet away. You won’t need to enter a credit card unless you want to use our payroll service. Just create your account and get started for free.

Do I need to install any software?

Wave is 100% web-based, so you just need an Internet connection and browser. You can, however, download and install our mobile invoicing app for iOS and Android.

Is my data secure?

Completely. Our servers are protected physically and electronically. Any connection between you and Wave is protected by 256-bit SSL encryption. Wave is a PCI-DSS Level 1 Service Provider.

Do you provide customer support?

We provide different levels of support for customers who use different parts of Wave. Full details on how Wave support works are available here.

Track your freelance income and expenses—for $0.

Our free accounting software will have you ready for tax time in no time.