Budgeting when you have an unpredictable income can be challenging to say the least. But there are some smart ways of learning to control your money rather than the money controlling you!
Many women find themselves in this situation. You may have gone to one income after having a child, you may rely on seasonal work or you could be self-employed. The best way to live on a fluctuating income is to be in control of your finances and really know where your money is going.
Here are our top 5 tips on budgeting on an unpredictable income:
1. Understand Your Expenses
Create a list of as many expenses you incur daily as possible. From a takeaway coffee to your groceries to a new pair of shoes. Be honest with yourself and don’t underestimate your spending, particularly with the non-essentials.
2. Prioritise your expenses and know your baseline
Split up your expenses into the “must have” – the absolute essential things you cannot live without, for example, food, water, housing, utilities and transport. This also becomes your baseline. The “would like to have”, for example, new clothes or a night out at the movies or restaurant and the “luxuries”, for example, holidays, will constitute your savings.
As a rule of thumb, allocate 50% of your monthly income to essential expenses, 30% to your wants and 20% to savings.
3. Use a Calendar
What better way to keep track of everything you do, MOST especially when it comes to budgeting is to use the calendar. Be proactive to set schedules on your bill payments and expense tracking. You can opt to use a digital calendar and set reminders so that wherever you go, you will be receiving notifications via your smartphone.
4. Pay out all credit cards and cut them up
If you are budgeting, the best way to spend is with cash or a debit card. If you do have a credit card debt, stop spending on that card immediately and start to repay the debts. It’s best to pay over the minimum amount so that you are reducing the interest you are paying. Also, pay off other loans and debts as quickly as possible.
5. Be consistent and keep going
A budget will only work as long as you follow it consistently each month. Give it at least four to six months for it to work. It will also give you a great snapshot of what has been successful and easy to implement, areas that you could pay more attention to, and expenses that you had not considered.
Shopping on a budget?
The good news is that now while you shop you can also top up your super. So, not only are you taking care of the present but also the future.
When working, you are also contributing to your super. But if like most mums, you’re working part-time or casually (68.5% of part-time employees are women), then that means you’re not contributing as much to your super as if you were working full-time. And because of the way the super system was constructed, women need to contribute as many additional monies to their super as possible.
So how to try and make up this lost ground on the super front? You can now grow your super with Super Rewards. It lets you earn cash rewards, paid into your superannuation by the retailer; at no extra cost or effort from you.
Cash rewards from Super Rewards retailing partners – groceries, shoes, pet food and more– are contributed to your super every time you shop. Seamlessly. Effortlessly. Beautifully.
So sign up now to be notified when Super Rewards is live. Get one step closer to reaching your retirement goals and don’t forget to share this fantastic tool with your friends!
What tips will you be taking on board to stay on budget?