Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

  • Many freelancers have taken a financial hit since the start of the pandemic, and most government relief has run out.
  • If you need to increase your cash flow to save or pay bills, financial planner Ben Henry-Moreland recommends looking first at your spending to see where you can cut back.
  • Then, look into any government programs that are still available, such as the EIDL, and consider reducing your health insurance costs if you’re able.
  • You can also reach out to your network to get more work, and reduce your quarterly tax payments to the IRS if your income has gone down.
  • Get Personal Finance Insider’s free guide to financial planners »

If you’re a freelancer like I am, you know just how hard it can be to manage your money. For one thing, budgeting on an inconsistent income is like taming a beast in the wild. And  trying to save? That can feel like a lofty aspiration to spot Big Foot. Take into account the financial curveball that the pandemic has thrown at us, and it makes saving that much more challenging.

Now that some of the government-funded programs made available to self-employed folks because of COVID-19, namely the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded unemployment benefits, have lapsed, freelancers might feel even more squeezed financially. So how can you save — or even just meet your basic financial needs — despite all these hurdles?

Ben Henry-Moreland, a financial planner and founder of Freelance Financial Planning, has some advice.

Focus on your spending 

The only way to manage inconsistent income is

SmileDirectClub (SDC) has been a company taking their industry by storm with strong revenue growth, solid gross margins, high customer satisfaction scores, and a price point on their products that makes aligners attainable to the general public. SDC was finishing up their vertical integration of manufacturing the aligners and working out the kinks to drive further gross margin improvement and driving sales into existing markets and expanding internationally before COVID-19 hit. The pandemic hit SDC hard as revenue and margins compressed significantly. During this period, SDC changed lenders from JPM to HPS Investment Partners, a private investment firm. This article will explore why SDC changed lenders for the second time in three years, what it’s cash flow looks like and how to value the company.


2020 was expected to be a strong year for SDC. Revenue was expected to increase to $1Bn, with 70% gross margin profit and positive adjusted EBITDA by the fourth quarter. Many of these items were reasonably achievable given their growth track record, expanding in to Europe, partnering with insurance companies and Walmart, and working out the kinks in their manufacturing facilities.

When the pandemic hit, their customers hoarded cash or purchased teeth alignment correction products and services through their dentist. Products sold and average selling price dipped. The dip in average selling price is partially due to entering new markets and lowering the price to entice new customers.

There has been improvement between May and June in regards to units shipped and they expect to ship between 83M and 87M aligners in the third quarter compared to 57M shipped in April.

Kyle Wailes, CFO stated:

Turning to our results for the quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $107 million, which represents a decrease of 45% over the second quarter of 2019. This decrease was