Are you self-employed, a freelancer and have difficulty saving automatically with an inconsistent income? Do you rely solely on your business income to live on?
This is a good episode to listen to if this applies to you.
I share with you 6 steps you can take to help you save more AND I also brought in 5 personal finance bloggers who solely rely on this inconsistent income to live on.
6 Steps Towards Saving Money On An Inconsistent Income:
STEP #1: Know the minimum amount you need to live on.
STEP #2: Know the minimum income that you are confident you will get on a monthly basis.
—> Is there a way to live on this income with your minimum necessary expenses?
STEP #3: Gain clarity on goals you want to save for (retirement, different projects, travel, etc)
—> Know how much you want to save, and how to get there on a monthly basis.
—> How does this fit in your that minimum income you are bringing in a monthly basis?
STEP #4: Have a plan for the bigger income months.
—> Save for those months with higher expenses
STEP #5: Put away for emergency fund both for business and for personal
STEP #6: Automate it, and know that you are in charge.
BONUS TIP: Read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, even if you are in the beginning phases and can’t implement all he suggests it is good to know and build up to.
5 Personal Finance Experts Share Their Insights:
Travis Hornsby, STUDENTLOANPLANNER.COM
“Build up at least $10,000 in the bank. Once you’ve got that number, it’s your psychological security blanket. Then you don’t have to worry about huge income swings nearly as much and can devote any excess to investing either back into your business or in the markets.”
Stephanie McCullough, SOFIAFINANCIAL.COM
“Get really clear on your subsistence level of monthly spending – literally just to live. Then in months when you have more, have a very specific plan as to where it goes. It might be “the first $250 goes to the general spending account. After that the split is 10% to tax account, 25% to building up the emergency fund (until you reach goal #), 25% to general spending (for lean months), 20% to retirement account and 20% to fun money.” I made up the split, but it would be custom to the person’s situation and goals. And I’m a big fan of naming accounts for different purposes!”
Donna Freedman, DONNAFREEDMAN.COM
“Do a financial fire drill. Make a list of minimum monthly expenses: food, shelter, basic utilities, obligations that must be met (e.g., student loans or child support). Now that you know how (relatively) little you need to live, it should be easier to take a deep breath.
Next add in things that make life nicer, such as Netflix or lunch/dinner out once a week. Things should still look affordable.
If you pay quarterlies, set aside a percentage of each payday for taxes. Ideally you’d include a certain amount of cash to go into the EF (Emergency Fund).
Fund each of these categories consistently. The low-earning months will, with luck, be balanced out by the higher-earning ones.
Oh, and remember that this too (whatever “this” is) will pass.”
Belinda Rosenblum, CPA OWNYOUROWNMONEY.COM
“Create a consistent baseline income that covers your baseline personal and business expenses. (The 3 tips before me cover the expense number as you need that at a minimum.) Structure payment plans, programs or retainers to provide ongoing income. You have way more control over your income than you realize.”
Jason Vitug, PHROOGAL.COM
“What has worked for me in terms of my finances, I have actually focussed on ensuring that many things are automate, so I want to make sure my investments for my retirement as well as my savings so I allocate a certain percentage of my income so I make sure I am saving for short, mid-term and long term goals as well as my retirement. My advice to anyone out there working for yourself is to utilize automation in your savings for your goals as well as your retirement.”
Thanks for the FinCon Community for sharing their tips and advice!
I want to remind you that you can share what you want me to talk about on this podcast after all this show is for you! If you have a specific question you’d like me to tackle share that with me (or even guests you’d like me to interview). There is a brief survey over at jenhemphill.com/shareyourvoice .
Listener Shout Out!
I want to thank Melissa for her great question in our community that inspired this post.
You can purchase Mike Michalowicz’s book Profit First HERE. **
**Please note the link is an affiliate link so I may receive a small commission if you purchase**
I want to hear from you! What was your favorite takeaway from this episode? Please share in the comments below or come on over to our community and share with us there.
Abrazos + Much Love,
P.S. THANK YOU for listening!
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