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Three steps for budgeting on an irregular income

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22 2013 10:49 a.m. MST

Robin Goldbeck, a self-employed Fresno architect, works on her laptop computer in her home, March 3, 2011. Those who are self-employed and others with irregular incomes can create a budget to better manage their income.

CRAIG KOHLRUSS, MCT

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Even those with irregular incomes can benefit from making and following a budget, according to an article in The Christian Science Monitor.

The biggest obstical when trying to budget an irregular income is the degree of variance. A fluctuation of 10 to 20 percent is generally managable, but larger variations can make it tricky. Here are three suggestions to help create your budget.

Create a spending plan

The first is to estimate your expenses. Then, track your actual spending. The more automatic you make budgeting, the easier and more likely you are to stick to it.

Estimate income

Make an honest effort to estimate your income. Once you have determined the anticipated income, divide it by 12 to establish a monthly guideline. Even a poor estimate is better than none. Make adjustments as you go. It may take time to correctly estimate your salary.

Make the variable income fixed

Create a regular "salary" for yourself. Open two bank accounts: a checking account and a savings account. When you receive money, deposit it into the savings account. Every two weeks transfer the "salary" amount into the checking account and use it to pay your living expenses.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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