Budgeting 101: part 4
By Keith Bunn Jr.
September 30, 2013
A lot of people who have irregular incomes, think that there is absolutely no way they can do a budget. I mean, how can you make a budget, when you have no idea how much you're going to make that month, right? Wrong!
If you have an irregular income, you need to live on a budget more than everyone else.
Allocated Spending Plan
What you do if you don't have any other income coming in, except for the irregular income, is you sit down and make a list of everything you need to spend money on for the month you're working on the budget for. Once your list is complete, start placing numbers beside the items listed. Number 1 for the most important item and so on, until you reach the bottom of your list. Now I can help you with the first 5 items on your list... Food, Utilities Shelter, Transportation, and Clothes. Your Four Walls and a Roof. Most people make enough money to at least pay for those 5 items. When you have gotten as far as your money will take you, you stop. Any items left over either don't get paid right now or you pick up a second job, sell something or take on some overtime to pay extra on those items.
Irregular Income plus Extra
Now, if you have an irregular income plus an extra income coming in, either from a working spouse or extra job, you start your budgets with the portion of your household income that is constant. You write out your budget as I explained in this blog series, once you've gone as far as you can with that income, then you start up your Allocated Spending Plan. This time, your list shouldn't be as long and it shouldn't start with the Four Walls and a Roof. Instead, what you should ask yourself is, "If I had one more dollar, what would I spend it on?" Then you put a one (1) next to that item. Then you ask yourself that question again, "If I had one more dollar, what would I spend it on?" And place a two (2) next to that item. Keep asking yourself that question, until again, you have gotten as far as your money will take you, and stop.
Budgeting isn't the easiest to do at first, if you've never done it. In fact, you're going to make a lot of mistakes in the beginning. That's OK! Keep working on it! It normally takes an average of 90 days before a budget starts to work. There will be items in your budget that you think you don't spend so much on when you really are, and vice versa. That's OK! Adjust those dollar amounts where they have to be.You can do this!!! So keep plugging away and make every dollar count! You'll be glad you did!!
The reason I do this is to give people hope and to try to inspire others. To make them think about their finances, whether they are young or old, so they can win financially.
If you have any questions for me about my posts or if you need help learning how to live on less than you make and creating a budget, you can call me at (616) 454-2046 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to do what I can to help!
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