Budget can be challenging when you do not have a fixed amount you take home at the end of every month. Budgeting can also become much more important when you are faced with this kind of situation. When you are not sure of the exact amount you make in a month, it becomes difficult to plan certain spending and necessities or financial goals would be difficult to reach. You can work around this scenario by simply using certain tricks and tips. Some of these tips and tricks for surviving unstable income are listed below.
Calculate Your Monthly Expenses
Knowing what your necessities monthly is the first thing to do. This can be carefully calculated as sending on your rent/mortgage, credit cards and loans, transportation, utility bills, childcare and groceries. You will get the exact amount you need every month by summing this up. Estimate bill that fluctuate based on the past three month’s average.
Calculate Your Discretionary Living Expenses
Discretionary spending includes things your phone and cable bills, entertainment spending, clothing, and hobbies. These are things that you can live without, but that you regularly spend on each month. It’s an important idea to gather these numbers because you’re spending money on them, as well, and they are a part of your budget.
Just as if you’re running a business, put yourself on a set salary each month. This can help you adjust to living within a certain amount each month. If you make more than your salary, great! You can add that additional income into savings. If you make less, you’ll either need to readjust your spending or pull cash out of the additional money you set aside.
Make Decisions Based on the Last Month
You are not supposed to make decisions based on what you expect for the following month, what you should do is live off the previous month’s income history. You will be able to set yourself on to a more realistic budget this way instead of what you are hoping your next month’s budget will be.
Save for Emergencies
When your income is irregular, this is the best time to make emergency fund your best friend. It is recommended by financial experts that you save to accommodate 3 months’ worth of living expenses. This is much more important when your income fluctuates every time. Prioritize these savings category over all others until you have it built up enough to accommodate you for at least 3 months if you don’t have an emergency fund yet.
It is important to take caution when you are spending with any type of income whatsoever. When your income is unstable, this more important. You will be able to stay on track when you learn to live on less. However, this does not mean you should not splurge every now and then, just make sure you are spending on necessary things majorly.
Consider what you can reduce in your monthly bills, also. Is there an opportunity to lower your phone bill? What about reducing your utility spending? Meal planning can lower your grocery bill tremendously. Every little bit counts and offers an opportunity to either save extra cash towards your important financial goals or set aside extra money for the months in between when you don’t quite hit your numbers.
Always keep a watchful eye on everything and try to make changes when needed with this kind of income and budget. There is a possibility of experiencing changes in your bills, a reduction or increase in your take-home pay or an unexpected expense. It is essential that you remain flexible and go with the flow.