Write a contract and keep records. Get a receipt book and give them receipts, with the hours and the rate listed. Start giving them bills a day or two before the day they usually pay you, with a list of the hours you worked and your rate, and the total at the bottom (or your weekly rate or whatever - just include the dates it covers). Stand firm on your rates - don't make it an emotional discussion or even a debate - just say "I charge X, that's my rate." Leave it implicit that if they don't or can't pay that, they need to find someone else. If they say "But I'm not making as much at work now" or "I just can't afford that," don't even answer those concerns - just repeat "My rate is X." Leave the ball in their court.
at 1:23 PM on Oct. 27, 2010