Yes, freelancers can throw themselves a summer party. Here’s how.

This article is written by Vanessa Chiasson, a freelance writer based in Ottawa who specializes in travel and human interest stories.

Freelancers sitting around a table having a summer party. There are guests of all ages.

The first time I threw myself a business party, I didn’t go all out. In fact, my entire expenditure was about seven dollars, the cost of a latte and a Christmas sugar cookie. It was a humble celebration but also a proud moment. I was my own boss and didn’t need anyone to foot the bill for my soiree.

Since then, my budget has increased, but the quiet pride I felt during my first “party” has never changed. I loved it so much that I’ve added a second yearly event—a summer party! And I think all freelancers should do the same.

Summer parties have long been a corporate tradition. Annual company picnics, Canada Day barbeques, and softball tournaments are time-honoured practices in the business world. Why should it be any different for freelancers? Why shouldn’t we celebrate our accomplishments, quarterly reports, and new contracts?

Structuring a summer party can be challenging when your office consists of just one person and your budget is limited. Not many of us can manage to throw a beach-side bash with fireworks! But that doesn’t mean a more modest celebration isn’t as meaningful. Here are some ideas to consider.

Take A Day For Simple Pleasures

Designate a day as your official summer party and block off your calendar. Devote your day to enjoying simple pleasures, like a picnic in the park, an afternoon at the movies, or (taking a page from my playbook) a fancy coffee, cookie, and quality time in a bookstore. Your summer party doesn’t have to be big or loud to be fantastic. Snap frequent photos to capture your day in all its idle glory.

Celebrate With Colleagues

As Rebecca Seal, author of Solo, says: “Repeatedly telling ourselves that because we work by ourselves, we are alone, does no good.” There may be more freelancers than you realize in your community. Put the call out that you’re looking to turn your solo party into a group event, and suddenly you have a full-blown “company barbeque” at the local smokehouse.

You may just find yourself hosting an annual event.

Throw A Block Party. Really!

Why shouldn’t freelancers throw a neighbourhood-wide bash? You don’t have to be much of a baker to turn cake mix, frosting, and sprinkles into amazing Canada Day cupcakes—and memories. Sharing your success with your community is a rewarding thing. According to Jane Porter, founder and facilitator of Bridge Building Group

Connections matter. It’s lonely enough sometimes as a solo-entrepreneur to do the work on one’s own – but at the end of the day, celebrating wins with others is shared joy and a great way to connect meaningfully with others.

Save Your Receipts

Yes, your summer party is tax deductible. While 50% is the standard tax deduction for food, beverages, and entertainment, the Canada Revenue Agency states that these limits do not apply when:

You incur meal and entertainment expenses for an office party or similar event, and you invite all your employees from a particular location. The limit is six such events per year.

That’s right. The government not only expects you to have an office party. They expect you to have a lot! As such, save receipts, document the experience, and make your country proud.

Posted on June 13, 2023 at 8:00 am by editor ·

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