If you’re self-employed or work commission-based jobs, you most likely don’t get regular paychecks. Instead, you get them at random intervals.
Some months you make twice as much as the previous month; other times, not so much. But that shouldn’t stop you from budgeting; irregular income or not.
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With that said, here are some budget management tips you can apply if your monthly income tends to fluctuate.
Ways To Budget When You Don’t Have A Steady Income
- Make A List Of Your Necessary Expenses
The first step in creating a budget with a fluctuating income is determining what you need to survive. These expenses are the absolute core of your budget which include:
- Loan payments
These items are essential as they can help provide a good starting point for understanding how much money you have to earn every month
- Identify Non-Essential Expenses
The second step in budgeting is determining how much money you have available for discretionary expenditure each month. These luxuries in life are not essential, though you may think they are necessary. These expenses include the following:
- Dining out
- Discretionary purchases
- Gym memberships
While you should not eliminate all discretionary spending, you may want to limit the leftover money for luxuries during the tighter months.
- Calculate Your Average Income
Being a freelancer or a commission-based worker means that you cannot expect to make the same money from month to month. Once you’ve determined your basic spending amount, the next step is determining if your monthly average income is sufficient to cover those expenses.
Add up all of your freelance work earnings of the past 12 months (or whatever months you have done freelance work). Then divide it by 12 (yearly basis) to get your average monthly income.
If this amount is not enough to meet all of your expenses, you must consider supplementing and increasing your income regularly or decreasing your costs to make your budget balance.
- Build A Cash Reserve
Having a substantial cash reserve is necessary whether or not you have an irregular income.
You never know when a bad month is heading your way. The best way to overcome any financial difficulty is to try and maintain a balance of several thousand dollars in your account. Or maybe stick to financial planning and budgeting for the coming months. In that way, you’ll have some leeway to cope with should an emergency arise.
You will experience rough patches in your life that may significantly impact your finances. But the main point is when they do, your savings will be there to fill in the gaps and keep you on track.
Budgeting on a fluctuating income isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible. You just need to understand how much you make and how much you spend.
Once you’ve sorted all your data, you can concentrate on tweaking them so that none of your expenses get out of hand.
Want to make budgeting easier while living on a fluctuating income? Consider getting yourself software like Personal Budget Software from companies like My EasyFi!