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A Quick Guide to Budgeting an Irregular Income

2 Minute Read

We hear it all the time: “How am I supposed to budget if I have an inconsistent income?” It’s a problem a lot of people who work on a commission or are self-employed deal with.  

But no matter how you get paid, you still need a budget to stay on top of your money situation. So how do you make it work?

Start with our Monthly Cash Flow Plan budget form. This form helps you figure out exactly how much money you need each month in order to cover your four walls (food, clothing, shelter/utilities and transportation). Once you’ve got that down, you can move on to the Irregular Income Planning form.

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To fill out the Irregular Income Planning budget form, start by looking at your first budget. Prioritize each item on your list. Put the most important at the top of the Irregular Income Planning form. After you’ve paid that one, continue on to the second item and so on.

Remember, the cost of the item goes into the "amount" column, while the running total goes into the "cumulative amount" column.

For example, let's say you list food first with a total of $250 per month. That number would go in both the "amount" and "cumulative amount" columns. If you list gas second, then that cost ($150) would be listed in the "amount" column. The total of those two items ($400) would be listed in the "cumulative amount" column.

Continue creating your Irregular Income Planning form like this until every spending category is listed. Then, when you receive a paycheck, take the amount and spread it out to your budget items, starting at the top and working down.

If your check doesn’t cover everything listed, that’s okay. Use it to pay as much as you can. When your next check comes in, pick up where the last check left off.

It might take you a few months to get the hang of it, and that’s normal. The key here is putting a plan in place to control your spending, live intentionally, and build wealth for the future.

Don’t let the fear of budgeting an irregular income scare you off. Regardless of how you’re paid, budgeting is one of the most important things you can do with your money.

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