Freelancers buy less, end up with more

Aug 3, 2015

As Freelancers Union Founder and Executive Director, Sara Horowitz is an innovator for tomorrow's workforce. You can catch up with her on Twitter at @Sara\_Horowitz.

As the world of work continues to change, American’s spending habits are changing with it.

In terms of work, there are currently 53 million Americans freelancing, and 40% of the population is expected to be freelance by 2020.

But this change encompasses much more than how we’re working. It signals a significant change in how we’re spending our money, and lays bare the many aspects of our economy that are based on outdated ideas and concepts.

As I mentioned in my most recent piece for Fast Company, the fact is that freelancers are redefining wealth:

“Perhaps because they know they cannot count on a steady paycheck to afford the traditional markers of status, they’re focusing on spending their time in ways that are meaningful and valuable to them. Learning a new skill. Taking care of aging parents. Building a community network. Assuming more childcare responsibilities.”

In other words, the maxim of “spend more!” is outdated -- and just as freelancers are shaping the new world of work, they’re also becoming far more conscious of how they spend their money.

Still, a lot of people feel that we’re not spending enough to boost the economy.

But is a boost what we need - or a change in values?

It’s time to start questioning the rhetoric of the “work more, earn more, spend more” loop and start investing in a more meaningful kind of wealth.

Freelancers, what do you think? Would you trade the freedom of your independent lifestyle for a traditional 9-5 job? What do you find most valuable in your day-to-day life?

Check out the rest of my new piece for Fast Company here.

Sara Horowitz

As the founder of Freelancers Union, Sara has been a voice for freelancers for over two decades.