How to Get Ahead With an Irregular Income
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, salesperson, or work for an hourly rate, you probably know one thing is true; living on an irregular income can be challenging.
How can you make big financial strides when you’re not sure how much money will come in this month? The key is to plan ahead as much as possible. If you’re on an irregular income, implementing the following techniques is a must.
Find Your Worst Month
The thing about irregular incomes is that they go up and down. Some months are really good, while others may not be enough to pay the bills. So what can you do?
Look at your income over the past 6 months. What was your worst month? Create a budget based around this number.
By creating a budget based on your worst month, you’ll ensure that you always have enough money to fund your expenses. It’s much better to have extra money than not enough when it comes to budgeting.
Create Your Budget
Write this number at the top of your budget page and start totaling your expenses. It’s important that your income is greater than your expenses.
As you go through your monthly expenses, start with the essentials. Make sure you allocate money toward your house, utilities, and transportation. Once those items are funded, start budgeting other bills and expenses. It’s important to account for every single dollar you will spend this month.
Once you get to the bottom of the page, total up your expenses. This number should be smaller than the number at the top. Any excess money should be directed toward debt payments.
The Gravy on the Biscuit
So what about those really good months? The ones where you make a whole lot more money than usual?
Consider all of that gravy on the biscuit. Any extra money brought in can be directed toward your financial goals. Are you trying to build up your emergency fund, save for a big vacation, or knock out a student loan? This surplus of money can be laser focused toward that goal.
If you’ve had a really good month, add some extra money into your budget for you to enjoy. Just make sure you have a plan for every extra dollar you brought in so that it doesn’t disappear.
After about 6 months, you may need to adjust your budgeted amount. Look back and see what your worst month had been and adjust accordingly.
If you found that you had a month that was lower than you were budgeting, maybe you need to start using that number as your baseline.
However, odds are you’ll need to bump up your budgeted amount. As time goes on, our business will grow or we’ll get a raise. That means our budget needs to reflect our success.
Budgeting for an irregular income can be tough. However, creating a plan will ensure that money doesn’t sneak out of your bank account.
If you need help focusing your irregular income so that you can make huge leaps in your finances, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free consultation.
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