Maybe you are someone that works on commission, or maybe your work is seasonal. Whatever the case may be, you’re income is irregular. When I say irregular, I mean that monthly, the amount varies as opposed to a salaried employee where income is generally divided evenly over the course of a year. Irregular income can make budgeting tricky. Budgeting is still of vital importance, because if you do not have a plan for the money you bring in, it is more likely to be spent in other ways. One of the biggest temptations for people on variable budgets is to overspend in prosperous months. A little bit of planning can help you prepare for the times of plenty and the lean times.
The first step to creating a budget on an irregular income is to list all of the expenses required for you to live each month (i.e. mortgage, food, clothing, utilities, gas, insurance, etc.).
Next, go through each category you listed and rank them in order of importance. Typically, the four most important expenses are food, housing, clothing and transportation. After everything is ranked, you have a working budget.
When you receive a paycheck, simply pay from the top down of your budget. If not everything is covered in one check, just pick up where you left off with the next paycheck. It can be tricky, and take some time to keep track of, but managing your money, no matter how irregular, is a sure way to build financial health.
Here are some other helpful articles for budgeting on an irregular income: