SAVVY SAVINGS 15: 3 ways to create a basic budget if you have variable incomes

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Budgeting can be a daunting task especially if your income varies from month to month. Amanda discusses 3 methods that you can use to make it easier for you to create your budget.

  • Create your “bare bones” budget 
    • Income based off of your lowest month last year
    • Expenses – What are your minimum bills each month?
    • In each case, zero-sum
  • Best plan – Put all your pay into a savings account and pay yourself a steady “salary” into your checking account each month.  This way you have a predictable, steady income.  You can also make this whatever payday schedule works best with your personality – I pay bills twice a month, for example.
  • Good plan – live on last month’s income.  Then you’re budgeting off real numbers, not a projection for the month.
  • Good plan – When you get paid, give priority to shelter (including essential utilities), food, clothing, transportation and then spread the rest across your other expenses.  
    • If your check doesn’t cover everything, that’s ok.  Pay what you can (again, make sure your priorities are covered first) and then pick up where you left off on the next check.  
  • If you end up with more money than expenses on any given month, save it for a “dry” month or tackle whichever baby step your on, if applicable.

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