Beginner Question : how to charge for freelance

I’ve been approached recently by multiple indie devs to make VFXs for their games.
However I’m lost on how to charge them ?
I saw that people on this site were recommending charging hourly.
As a student and overall beginner, I don’t know how much I could expect to ask for per hour?
If anyone had guidances or feedbacks on good practices not to be exploited as my time is precious to learn more stuff, it would be super nice!

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Here’s how I set my rates when I was freelancing.

(Time it will take you to finish) x (Your hourly rate) = Price

Your hourly rate is easiest found this way:
(Money you need to cover living expenses per month) + (Money needed to build backup funds for sickdays,legal ,bookkeeping, vacation, retirment, buffer and so on) = X
(Money to cover your costs for licenses, stock footage, hardware and so on) + (Money for fun stuff) = Y (X+Y)*(Taxes in your country) = Z
Z/(Number of hours you expect to work per month) = Your hourly rate!

So Y is the only place where you have some wiggleroom, but make sure you charge your worth. Undercharging hurts both you and the industry.

Now to give some more concrete examples, I had 10+ years vfx experience and much of that in AAA. I’m based in Sweden. My baserate was $90/hour.
I would charge this for small gigs like a couple of days worth of work. For longer, sustained gigs I could charge less. I went as low as $65 for a three month fulltime project but that was the lowest by a good margin.


Woooh @Partikel that’s so interesting! Thanks for sharing! :sparkles:

Adding up to what has already been said, check this video out:

It’s just another approach to pricing, might work for you @sleepyGrin.

Have a nice day!

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Thank you so much @Lush and @Partikel!
I used to work for 15/hour, so I was clearly undercharging.
I think if I use your method to set my rate, taking into account that I’m not as experienced and efficient as you are, I might get my pricing right!
Thank you so much.

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That video by Chris Do is wonderful. Regardless, you will end up with clients that simply cannot be moved on their budget and/or have competing quotes that underbid you. Then it will become an exercise for what is the value to you of this client. If you need help calculating a more accurate number, and don’t want to pay big bucks for accounting software, consider checking out my freelance contractors workbook on google sheets. I covered a lot of money related issues there. Others have simpler methods of calculation that work for their situations, but personally I prefer to be more accurate. Anyway, here that is: