Let us talk about something that can make a real difference in your freelance game: managing and improving your cash flow as a gig worker. If you are in Nigeria’s freelancing scene, you have probably noticed the surge in opportunities lately. 

But with that flexibility comes the challenge of maintaining a steady income. Late payments, irregular gigs, and unexpected expenses can make things a bit bumpy.

First off, why is handling cash flow so important for freelancers like you? 

Well, think about this: you’re the boss. You get to choose your projects, clients, and work hours.

That’s cool, right? But it also means you are in charge of when and how much you get paid. And honestly, it’s not always smooth sailing. So, you should learn how to improve your cash flow.

In fact, the World Bank reports that Nigeria, together with Kenya and South Africa, has about 17.5 million online freelancers while also accounting for 80.6% of Internet traffic flow to online gig platforms among Sub-Saharan African countries. 

Freelancing work is also incredibly diverse, ranging from tech and creative work to sales, marketing, and business.

But fret not! There are smart strategies you can adopt to level up your cash flow game.

Why cash flow management is important among freelancers

As previously mentioned, freelance work typically comes with the independence to choose your projects, clients, and schedule. 

However, this also means you are responsible for when and how much you get paid. Thus, research shows that more than half (57%) of freelancers face cash flow problems, mainly due to late payments and insufficient reserves that threaten their overall survival.

Beyond the nature of freelancing itself, managing your cash flow is especially crucial considering current economic conditions. 

For instance, the latest Nigeria Development Report reveals rising inflation, with the highest level of inflation in 18 years increasing the poverty rate from 40% in 2018 to 46% in 2023. Such inflationary pressures have also increased the cost of living and diminished consumers’ purchasing power.

While the government is making an effort to bring inflation to manageable levels, freelancers like you can take the initiative and adopt the following tips to stay afloat and improve your cash flow. 

These strategies range from essential business processes like budgeting and invoicing to alternative financial sources like investments and loans.

Also Read: How to manage Cash Flow for SME’s and Startups – Tips & Solutions.

Tips & strategies on how to improve your cash flow as a freelancer

1. Get serious about budgeting

Budgeting may get a bad rap as a time-consuming process, but it’s something you can’t overlook if you want to cover expenses while also saving for the future. 

A good starting point for freelancers’ monthly budgets is the 50/30/20 formula, which recommends setting aside 50% of your income for basic living expenses like rent, groceries, and bills; 30% for wants like entertainment and luxury goods; and 20% for an emergency fund or debt payments.

Another way to get serious about budgeting is to keep an accurate record of income and expenses. In this light, you can use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to regularly monitor your cash flow and spot any discrepancies in how you earn and spend money.

2. Apply for a business line of credit

There may be times when cash flow remains tight, no matter how meticulously you budget. In this case, consider applying for a business line of credit to act as your safety net.

Compared to traditional bank loans with strict requirements and payment terms, a business line of credit is more accessible since you can find financial institutions where you can apply online and receive funds instantly. 

A business line of credit is also freelancer-friendly, as you can use the funds only when you need to and for whatever purpose, be it paying bills, buying new equipment, and so on.

3. Look into online trading as a passive income

Aside from opening a line of credit, you can also improve your cash flow through alternative income streams, which can be especially helpful when gig opportunities are few and far between. 

Whether you’re a beginner or have experience trading financial instruments, online trading has become widely accessible for passive income in Nigeria due to the rise of platforms with profitable, user-friendly features.

Whether you plan to buy and sell stocks, indices, or foreign currencies, ensure your chosen online trading platform has access to the world’s largest financial markets. 

And also, offers tiered accounts that suit your trading strategy, and provides better-than-market conditions like low startup costs and stable spreads.

4. Optimize your payment channels

A common reason most freelancers struggle to keep their cash flow in check is clients not paying on time. 

While you can be smart about the payment terms in your contract, you can also optimize your payment channels to make it easier for your clients to pay anytime and anywhere.

Nigerian freelancers interviewed by Techpoint Africa share that popular payment platforms that ensure instant payment and processing include Payoneer, which enables transfer to local accounts, and Geegpay, which provides freelancers with foreign virtual bank accounts and competitive rates to help them work better with international clients. 

You can also receive payments through crypto to further maximize your available payment methods.

5. Use online invoicing software

Lastly, you can avoid missed or delayed payments by delivering your invoices efficiently. 

Instead of sticking to manual processes that take time, consider using Invoice NG, an online invoicing software that sends out invoices and payment reminders to your clients so you receive your funds before the due date elapses.

The paperwork involved in accounting, bookkeeping, and invoicing can also be costly, but you get to avoid paying for papers, envelopes, and postage fees when you conduct these business processes online. 

Having dedicated software for sending and tracking invoices also contributes to overall financial organization, accessibility, and accuracy, as calculations and file storage are handled by the program instead of doing it all on your own.

Cash flow management is not as easy when you work as a freelancer who juggles multiple projects and clients at a time. 

However, by devoting your time and effort to financial processes like invoicing, you can address cash flow woes and take a step closer to achieving financial freedom and stability. For more information about Invoicing NG’s features and offerings, explore the rest of the website.

Also Read: Small Business Owners & Freelancers! How Are You Managing Your Finances?


Taking control of your cash flow is pivotal for a thriving freelance career. By implementing these strategies and adopting all the 5 essential strategies mentioned above, you are one step closer to financial peace of mind in your freelancing journey.