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It hurts not having extra cash in your pocket but pulling yourself out of the financial mud can’t be done in a single day. Instead, it’s a slow process where consistency is the key and “baby steps” are the walk.
We bring you 5 basic tips to slowly start saving money when living on an irregular income.
1. Start With a Minimum Income
You need to create a monthly budget with the money you have, not the money you expect to have. The Minimum Income is your lowest income per month and the starting point for other 4 tips. Go through the last 12 months, check what was your lowest income and use that one.
It’s always better to start from the lowest number possible as you can always move forward, but not backward.
2. Keep Necessary Expenses Low
F.A.C.T. are expenses you likely can’t bring to $0: Food, Accommodation, Clothing, Transport. Estimate and categorize the minimum expense for each one and stick to it. This way, when an irregular expense hits, it will hurt less or not at all.
You should always categorize to have a super clear overview. With tools like Mint you can categorize expense quite easy.
3. Get Precise Expense Numbers
Pulling daily expenses from our head is a bad habit we have. The numbers aren’t precise and rarely useful. Instead, take two weeks and track expenses every time you spend on food, clothes or transport for example.
By using a 2-Week Plan you have super accurate numbers that aren’t subjective and unstable, but objectively useful.
4. Use Percentages To Track Budget
It’s unwise to set a $500 food budget for example when your monthly income can be anything from $0 to $5000. Instead, use percentages. This way, you can be flexible with how much you can spend on necessary expenses and ensure you’re never short on money.
If math isn’t your strong point, apps like Wallet come with a budget calculator and budget planner for a quick number crunching.
5. Have Two Bank Accounts
Finally, use two bank accounts: Business and Private. The Business Account is where you receive monthly income and your secret piggy bank. Every month, transfer the Minimum Income to the Private Account you’ll use through the month.
This way, you behave as if having a stable, regular income. Apps like Spendee let you sync bank accounts with the budget worksheet for easier tracking.
By sticking to the 5 steps, you’ll soon witness the business bank account filling up with savings. The important thing is to be consistent and by using The Best 10 Apps for Budgeting you can start focusing on the income instead of expenses.
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