ASK DN: How much do you charge for....?

over 8 years ago from , Designer @ Security Innovation

Month-to-month blocks, six-month blocks and yearly blocks.

I'm in a new situation of having to bill my time in quantity. I will be working about 4-5 days a week, with normal 7 hour days for this company. I was hoping to see what other designers charge or rather, how you work out what to charge?

I know my market value and was going to split it by 12 - but being booked by the month I feel like there should be a little more on top given that I am not given the reliability of a full-time job.

Would really appreciate your help, thank you.


  • Henry Doe, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )
    1. Work out how much you would like to make a year. Don't worry about any else at this point, just how much money you need to cover everything in your life (rent, bills, holidays).

    2. Then you are going to need to add in all work related subscriptions/ expenses (i.e. Creative Cloud, servers, etc), all things you were probably getting free at an agency/ start-up.

    3. Then add all taxes (VAT if applicable), this figure will vary depending on No.1. and also will vary country to country and you'll need to either read up about it or talk to an accountant.

    Seeing as it appears you are doing large chunks at a time it looks like you won't need to worry so much about missing a days freelance work here and there.

    Then add all of these figures together (add 10-15% if you like, as a contingency) and divide by 12.

    Hope that covers everything, please comment if I'v missed anything. Or if I am wrong. Just how I would work it out.

    Oh and best of luck.

    14 points
    • Radu CeucaRadu Ceuca, over 8 years ago

      just how much money you need to cover everything in your life (rent, bills, holidays, woman etc).

      Really? You ruined a decent piece of advice with that little joke.

      12 points
    • Mike MangigianMike Mangigian, over 8 years ago

      Very solid advice. Good on you, this is also how I go about it (more or less)

      0 points
    • Dustin CartwrightDustin Cartwright, over 8 years ago

      just how much money you need to cover everything in your life (rent, bills, holidays, woman etc).

      It's interesting to see so many people get all held up over such a comment. Playing the devil's advocate here, but did anyone think he simply meant women in terms of "Money you'll spend dating men/women you find likable"? It's certainly a possibility.

      0 points
  • Peter DeltondoPeter Deltondo, over 8 years ago

    I generally treat any block time or long term retainer work as slightly discounted. Offering between 10-20% off for the security of a longterm payout. It's a small reward and incentive for clients to keep me on retainer rather than just do a job one at a time with gaps in between. If you normally charge $100/hour, knock it down to say $85/hour if they are locking you into 20 hours a month for the next 6 months. The discount is worth the security and the time you'll save in having to find other paid work.

    Your hourly should obviously be higher than a fulltime job as a freelancer/contractor but six month or year blocks should probably be discounted off that standard rate.

    1 point