Freelancer Expenses Can Get Complicated. This Service Will Keep Track For You (and Save You Big on Taxes)

A man looks over his desk at the mountain of paperwork.
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Believe us, we know all about the challenges of freelancer life. It’s not always easy to make a living as an independent contractor, a side hustler, a gig worker, or whatever you want to call it.

For one thing, you have to do all this extra financial stuff, and it’s tricky. When you work for yourself, it’s on you to set aside money for taxes. And ideally, you’re supposed to keep track of your work-related expenses so you can pay less in taxes. But c’mon, how many of us are really all that great about doing that consistently?

Good news: We’ve found a cool online checking account that helps you do all that stuff. Lili is a mobile banking service that’s built exclusively for freelancers like you. You can access it through their website or app. The app, available for iOS or Android, is laser-focused on your specific needs.

Lili is totally free, and its digital tools help you save for taxes, take payments from clients, and keep track of your expenses — all in the same account*.

Swipe Left or Right to Sort Your Expenses

The account comes with its own Visa debit card*. Whenever you spend any money out of the account, you’ll get a push notification asking you to swipe left or right to instantly categorize the expense as either “personal” or “business.”

This will allow you to maximize your expenses and reduce your taxable income, lowering your tax bill at tax time.

Seriously, it’s so much easier this way!

Speaking of taxes, Lili will help you tally up your earnings and gauge what income taxes you’ll have to pay. And every time you get paid, you can have Lili automatically set aside a certain percentage for taxes.

Basically, Lili makes it easy to automate everything so you never have to worry about it again.

More Tools in Lili’s Toolbox

We freelancers need all the help we can get, you know? Luckily, Lili has more tools in its toolbox for us.

ATMs: You can get cash with your debit card at nearly 40,000 MoneyPass ATMs across the country. You have fee-free access to those. For out-of-network ATMs, there’s a $2.50 fee in the U.S. or $5 if you’re out of the country.

No overdraft fees: Unlike virtually all brick-and-mortar banks, Lili doesn’t charge overdraft fees.

Get paid fast: When clients and customers pay you via direct deposit, you get access to those funds within two business days — which is faster than most banks.

Mobile check deposit: It’s easy to deposit a check via the app. Just sign the check, write “for Lili mobile deposit only” on the back, snap a photo of the front and back, and enter the amount into the app. Done.

Cash deposit: If you need to make a cash deposit, you can do it at any of 90,000 Green Dot locations like Walmart, Walgreens or 7-Eleven.

Expense reports: Lili automatically generates these every quarter to help you pay your taxes and add up your deductibles.

Insights: Lili provides insights in a visual format to help you keep track of your personal and business finances.

Emergency fund: This past year has taught us the hard way that everyone should have one of these. You never know when you might lose a good freelance gig or suffer some other catastrophe. With Lili, you can automatically set aside a little each month to build your emergency fund.

Three final thoughts:

  • Money in your Lili account is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.
  • There’s no minimum account balance, so don’t worry about that.
  • It only takes a few minutes to sign up via iOS or Android and make your freelance life so much easier — and save big on taxes.

**Lili is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC. Additionally, The Lili Visa® Debit Card is issued by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s also a freelance writer on the side, and he knows what a pain freelance taxes are.