Those who live on a regular paycheck can easily create a spending plan because they know exactly how much money they will receive and when.
However, those who earn money on a sporadic basis may feel that creating a spending plan is daunting. Such people include freelance writers, therapists, contract programmers, coaches, entrepreneurs, or anyone who is paid by the project or hour. Such people often say there is no way they know what they will make month by month.
But this does not have to be an insurmountable obstacle. Here are two tips to make tracking sporadic income easier:
- Find the average of your last 12 months income. To do this, add up your income for the last 12 months and divide by 12. Use that number as your baseline monthly income number to fund your categories. Some months you will have more money to fund the categories, which will make up for any shortfall in the months you have less.
- Read the post living in the next month. This concept basically means that the money you earn in the current month is always spent in the next month, so you always know at the beginning of each month how much you have to fund your categories. Working toward living in the next month will go a long way toward giving you peace of mind.
If you are in Debtors Anonymous (DA), schedule a PRG (Pressure Relief Group) to help you figure out your spending plan. Make outreach calls to other recovering members who live on sporadic income to get support and gain confidence that you can do this as well. In DA, we learn that we are no longer alone and that help is available to us.
When you begin to be willing to dive into solving the problem instead of using it as an excuse to stay stuck, you will find that the solution will come easier than you imagined. At least that has been my experience and that of others I know in this program.