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The bad freelancer's guide to invoicing

Invoicing! Without it, you’d be a volunteer. Preparing and completing invoices can sometimes be onerous, stressful, and frustrating, but a few simple tips will smooth the way. Just follow this easy guide to make your invoice process 100% easier… because you’ll be unemployed.

Be Vague

Uh, you owe me for 20 hours of work doing… something. Somewhere. Soon you’ll see what I’ve been whipping up, and let me tell you, your mind is going to be BLOWN. I’ve reinvented the art form! Just send me a check covering my “strategizing sessions”, as detailed in the invoice, and you’ll see. No paysies, no projectsies.

Be Defensive

You have a question about Invoice 3? Cool. I have a question about your mom.


Be Curt

No pleases, no thank yous. Just a cold hard demand for your check, as if sliding across a ransom note full of cut-out magazine letters to your client’s accounting department.

Be Dishonest

Um. I thought about your project for about ten minutes yesterday, so that counts towards my consulting fee. And then I’d also like to charge you for some incidentals – I really could not concentrate on work until I finished Season 2 of the British mystery Broadchurch, so I’ve expensed you for that here.

And I rounded up.

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Be Chronically Late

That work I did back in 2013? Sorry, I’ve had a bit of a backlog, but here’s a completed invoice. I would like to be paid for that ASAP.

Prepare for another batch soon, covering all of 2012!

Be Wrong

Whoops! Yes, that invoice is mis-numbered. And yes, it may reflect a different number of hours than I actually, ah, worked. And oh, the dates are wrong. And actually, that invoice is for another client altogether, so…. where am I? What is happening, who is this?

…whatever, could you send me a check?

Kate Hamill lives and works in New York City, where she consumes an inordinate amount of Sriracha daily. You can catch up with her on Twitter at @katerone.

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