The Freelance Life

The best place to be a freelancer? It's Austin, of course.

The best place to be a freelancer? It's Austin, of course.

Woman working and drawing at desk with computer
The freelance life is a good life in Austin. Vessel Coworking/Facebook

Austin is brimming with freelance talent — and for good reason. Not only is there freedom in working for yourself, a new study says Austin is the best city to do it.

NerdWallet looked at stats like affordability, percentage of self-employed workers, and cellphone coverage in the 50 most populous U.S. cities to determine the rankings. Austin ranks No. 1.

Almost 7 percent of Austinites are self-employed, and they're making a good wage. NerdWallet reports that self-employed locals make about $2,179 per month after taxes, which is the second highest figure in the top 10. San Franciscans bring home $2,658, but their expenses are higher.

That's not to say living here is cheap. The median monthly rent in Austin in 2014 was $1,084, the third-highest among cities analyzed. Still, self-employed Austinites retain a nice chunk of change after paying their bills.

"Freelancers living [in Austin] had the second-highest percentage (38 percent) of income left over after paying for housing, health insurance, and cellphone services," says the financial website.

The average health insurance premium here is $183, and the monthly cellphone cost is $84. Additionally, our cell coverage is 58 percent better than the national average.

It seems freelancers across the Lone Star State have it made. Dallas is the third best spot for freelancers, followed by Fort Worth (No. 8), Houston (No. 15), and San Antonio (No. 19).