The best part of freelancing is getting paid for your hard work. But if you’re using a clunky online system or an outdated spreadsheet, this process could be a major headache for you. The good news is that there are a few great invoicing platforms out there that won’t cost you a dime and, maybe even more importantly, won’t try to trick you into signing up for a free trial by putting your credit card on file. Here are my top five favorites.
Wave is probably the most popular invoicing system out there right now, and for good reason. For the most part, its sleek design is easy to use and most of the kinks have been worked out. While there is a paid option available, you can use the free account for as long as you like without ever being prompted for your credit card information.
The only downside to using Wave is that if your clients choose to pay through Wave’s system, you will be charged a fee. An easy way around this is to simply ask that your clients pay using PayPal or another free method instead, but admittedly, this can sometimes be an awkward or confusing conversation.
Unlike Wave, Due does not come equipped with an option to pay through their system, so you don’t have to worry about any fees whatsoever. You can create very basic invoice templates and easily send them to your clients, where they will then have the option to pay using PayPal if they so choose.
I have found, though, that Due can be very glitchy at times, and if you want to send the same invoice to multiple emails at the same time, you’re out of luck.
I found Invoicely during my search for a better invoicing platform that would allow for adding multiple email addresses to a single client (see my problem with Due above). However, it doesn’t seem like Invoicely has an easy way of doing this, either. On the plus side, though, Invoicely does offer a free plan that doesn’t restrict how many clients or invoices you can have.
4. Invoice Ninja
I’m still finding my way around Invoice Ninja myself, but after a quick glance through, it seems to be a cleaner, smoother version of Due or Invoicely. I like that you have the option to either email the invoice directly to your client or download a copy to send as an attachment. This helps to eliminate any mystery about whether or not your clients have actually received your invoices.
If you don’t mind the Invoice Ninja watermark at the bottom your invoice (you’ll need the paid version to remove it), this is can be a solid, simple, and free option to try.
Anchor a operates a little differently than other invoicing systems. To use it, you’ll need to first download the free software, then host it on your own server. Aside from the added step to set up, this one seems to be fairly straightforward to use, has a clean design, and, most importantly, is totally free.
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