4 Budgeting Steps for Irregular Income – Step 2

Are you currently living with irregular or seasonal income? Interested in learning how to prosper while earning irregular income? It is my goal in this series to help you stop living the feast/famine lifestyle that is so often associated with irregular income. As we focus on today’s step, lets review the previous step.

STEP ONE  Recognize it!
To avoid living the feast/famine lifestyle, you need to recognize that you are earning irregular income.

STEP TWO  Determine monthly expenses
One of the key steps to budgeting is knowing how much income is necessary each month to keep your household running smoothly. That is why it is so important to determine your monthly expenses.

To determine your monthly expenses, you should pull up a monthly budgeting form and enter the following:

  1. Fixed Expenses – Enter all of your fixed expenses – house payment, utilities, car payments, credit card payments, cell phone, childcare, etc.  This also includes SAVINGS!
  2. Variable Expenses – Enter the average of all of your variable expenses – gasoline, groceries, clothing, spending money, entertainment, dining out, etc.
  3. Known, Upcoming Non-monthly Expenses- This is a KEY STEP!!!  If you do not add in all of those known, upcoming non-monthly expenses, you will continue to live the feast/famine lifestyle (more likely the famine lifestyle!!).  These type of expenses are BUDGET-BUSTERS.  Here is what I do.  I list all of the known, upcoming non-monthly expenses and place their annual cost next to them.  Then I divide that number by twelve to determine how much I need to save per month. Lastly and most importantly, I set up that amount to be auto-drafted into my Online Savings Account, Capital One 360. (If you’re looking for an Online Savings Account, just click HERE).

==Known, Upcoming, Non-Monthly Expenses Example==

KUE Example

So in this example, I would include a line item of $483 in my monthly budget for Known, Upcoming Non-monthly Expenses.  This would allow me to bring a stop to the feast, famine lifestyle!! You now have a monthly budget that will change very little throughout the year and Step Two is complete!

Stay tune for Step Three where we’ll tackle the toughest part of irregular income – having enough cash on hand when you need it.

4 Budgeting Steps for Irregular Income – Step 1

Irregular Income Image 1

I know that there’s a large group of people whose family economy is powered by irregular, seasonal or cyclical income. As I’ve continued to travel and meet people this recurring question comes up – “How do I budget when my income is irregular, unpredictable or seasonal?” In this blog post I want to address this exact question.

Real estate agents, hair stylists, commissioned salesmen, and business owners all experience cyclical income.

Several times, I’ve heard from people it is impossible to budget when you have this type of income. They say budgeting is impossible because they have no idea how much they will make each month. I say it is not only possible, but people with irregular income need a budget more than anyone!!!

For this very reason, I’ve broken budgeting with irregular income down into 4 steps. And here’s a hint – It’s EZ!!!

STEP ONE  Recognize it!
You must recognize that you have irregular income!  If you have ever starved to death during the “off” season, you KNOW what I am talking about!  In order to stop having your life severely impacted by “off” seasons, you must prepare!

If your family economy is powered by irregular income, what do you currently do to prepare for the “off” seasons?

In Step Two, we’ll go over actually PREPARING a budget with cyclical income!

 

5 Easy Steps to Budgeting – Step 5

In this series of post, I’ve been sharing the process that Jenn and I followed to develop a budget that actually worked! We have developed a monthly spending plan or budget every single month since that first one way back in July of 2003!

Here are the steps that we’ve already discussed.

STEP ONE  Decide to decide 
Until you decide that budgeting is crucial to taking your finances to the next level, you’ll be stuck! Decide to live differently and decide to start winning with your money NOW. 

STEP TWO  Determine the income (take-home pay) you will receive during the NEXT month
Planning ahead allows you to determine if there are any gaps. By being ahead of the game, it provides you an opportunity to avoid “budget-busting” events.

STEP THREE  Enter all of your expenses for NEXT month 
Tell your money where to go!

STEP FOUR  INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO 
Whether you make $1,500 per month or $50,000 per month, it is limited. If you spend more than you make, you will erode savings or turn to debt!

STEP FIVE  Follow the budget!
Now you know all the steps. You have a spending plan for next month. Now is the time to live it. YOU told your money where to go now YOU make sure it goes there!

I’ve been able to see people completely break free of debt. I have seen people pay off their mortgages! I have seen marriages restored! I have seen the hopeless become hopeful!

Following a budget is about more than money. It’s about becoming FREE! Not being held by the chains of debt and despair. You will become financially free if you stick to a budget. This is a decision you will not regret.

Maybe you have read this series in a guarded, protected way while wondering, “Will this work for me? I don’t want to get my hopes up. I’ve tried this before.” I say that YOU CAN DO THIS!!! I believe in you! Why? Because I was there! I had an average bank balance of $4.13 and the STRESS was awful! The shame was real. I did not know how to break free.

Planning my spending one month in advance was what broke Jenn and me free! It will work for you too!

Why not pull up a free budgeting tool and get started winning with your money today?

If you get paid monthly or have at least one month of expenses in the bank, use our Monthly Budget Form. If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, use the Weekly Budget Form.

If you would like to learn more about how to budget, check out my newly revised book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Click HERE to order!   

5 Easy Steps to Budgeting – Step 4

In this series of post, I am sharing the process that Jenn and I followed to develop a budget that actually worked!

Here are the steps that have already been shared.

STEP ONE  Decide to decide
You can not start winning with your money until you decide that budgeting is crucial to taking your finances to the next level.

STEP TWO  Determine the income (take-home pay) you will receive during the NEXT month
The key word in Step Two is NEXT. A budget must be completed BEFORE the month begins and BEFORE the money ever arrives.

STEP THREE  Enter all of your expenses for the NEXT month
This is where you get to actually spend your money on paper before the month arrives!

STEP FOUR  INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO
YOUR INCOME IS LIMITED! If you bring home $3,000 during the next month and spend $3,208, your spending plan will not work! Where will the extra $208 come from? It will have to come from savings OR from debt – usually in the form of a credit card. If you spend more than you make, no matter how much you make, you WILL have to make that up somehow!

In Steps Two and Three, we entered all of the income and expenses into the budget and, no surprise, the OUTGO exceeded the INCOME. You can see the entire budget HERE.

budget image

So OUTGO exceeds INCOME…now what? We have two options.

  1. Increase the INCOME – you could get a 2nd job, work overtime, turn a hobby into a business
  2. Decrease the OUTGO – get rid of some expenses

NOTE: This is not a “perhaps, perhaps, perhaps” type of budget! This is how the family will ACTUALLY spend their money next month! Remember – if your budget is not 100% relevant for you and your family, you will ignore the budget and use it to start a fire in your fireplace!

What expenses can be eliminated from the example budget? Again, you can pull a copy of the budget HERE.

After working together on their budget, the family decides on the following changes.

5 Easy Steps Image - Changes

SUCCESS!! INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO!

If you want to see the entire EXACTLY ZERO budget, you can view it HERE. You might be saying, “These people are CRAZY! They cut out 1/2 of their dining out, entertainment, blow money, and all of their babysitting money!” I would say – “NOPE! They have had enough. They are so sick of living paycheck-to-paycheck that they are willing to live differently and change their lives forever. All because of a little sacrifice now!”

We only have ONE step left!!

Monday Money Tip: I – O = EZ

I’m FIRED UP because it’s Monday and that means another Monday Money Tip! These tips were created as a weekly service to provide people, just like you, with a practical and simple money tip – right at the start of the week so that you can take action with it!

Register HERE (it’s free) to receive this weekly tip in your email bright and early on Monday mornings!

5 Easy Steps to Budgeting – Step 3

First, let’s review Steps One and Two.

STEP ONE  Decide to decide
You have to decide that you’ve had enough! The very day that Jenn and I started budgeting was the very day that we started winning with money!

STEP TWO Determine the income (take-home pay) you will receive during the NEXT month
This income is what you will be spending on paper BEFORE the month, the money, and the bills ever arrive!

STEP THREE  Enter all of your expenses for the NEXT month
This is where we get to actually spend our money on paper! So we have already determined our income for next month, now it is time to actually spend the money BEFORE the month arrives! The absolute best way I have found to input my expenses is to use real, actual expenses that will happen. NOT averages for the year. If you don’t know the actual cost, enter an educated guess based on recent spending.

If the expenses are not relevant to the next month, it is highly possible that you will consider the budget irrelevant for the next month!!

Enter all of the expenses into your budget. You can obtain a FREE COPY of our budgets by clicking HERE. To find out which budget is right for you, check out Step Two of this series.

Each budget form has some excellent features built into it:

  • If OUTGO exceeds INCOME, the TOTAL will turn RED and tell you how much you have overspent! Do not stop if the total goes red! Can you live with a total in the RED? Absolutely, with the help of credit cards! Living in the red is how people get into debt and stay in debt.
  • If INCOME exceeds OUTGO, the TOTAL will turn YELLOW and tell you how much more money needs to be named!
  • When INCOME = OUTGO, the TOTAL will turn GREENThis is the ultimate goal!
  • There is an ACTUAL column that can be used throughout the month to track your progress.

Our goal for this step is to get all the expenses into the budget. We’ll work on getting it green next.

How are you doing so far entering all your income and expenses into the budget?

 

 

5 Easy Steps to Budgeting – Step 2

I’m answering one of the most common questions that people ask me – “how do I budget?” In Step One, I wrote about the negative feelings that people have when they hear the word “budget”. 

Just remember that a budget is nothing more than telling your money where to go

So let’s review before we move on to Step Two!

STEP ONE  Decide to decide
This is where it begins! You must decide to live differently and not paycheck-to-paycheck. 

STEP TWO Determine the income (take-home pay) you will receive during the NEXT month
The key work in Step Two is “NEXT”. Preparing a budget for money you’ve already spent is not very fruitful. A budget must be completed BEFORE the month begins and BEFORE the money ever even ARRIVES!

The best way to stop saying, “I can’t believe I spent my money that way” and “I wish I could have that money back” is to develop a spending plan BEFORE the money is received that month!

So, what income will you receive during the next month?

  • Paycheck
  • Bonus
  • Side Job
  • Child Support
  • Alimony

If you get paid monthly or you have at least one month of expenses in the bank, we recommend you use our Monthly Budget Form (It’s FREE). If your income is unpredictable, write down the amount of money you can count on. (If your income is irregular or unpredictable, stay tuned for specifics of how to deal with that later this month!)

Monthly Budget - Income

 

If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, all the bills probably cannot be paid at the start of the month. You will need to develop a budget for each individual paycheck. We recommend using our Weekly Budget Form (It’s FREE). Make the dates at the top of the weekly budget form match up to your income dates and enter the income in the INCOME section.

Weekly Budget - Income

 

Stay tuned for Step Three…

 

5 Easy Steps to Budgeting – Step 1

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “how do I budget?” Many people have tried budgets…and failed! That leaves people frustrated and in turn they say they will NEVER use a budget again. Here are some things people equate with budgets:

Budget = Restricting

Budget = I’m Broke

Budget = Controlling

Budget = No Fun

Budget = Not worth it

I would ask them the following:

  • How are you paying for Christmas this year? I am paying cash.
  • How much is your car payment? I paid cash for my car.
  • How much did you invest this month? I have invested for retirement for over 220 months in a row and my daughter’s college for over 150 months in a row.
  • How much money do you owe to your credit cards right now? I owe $0.
  • When is the last time you had a great discussion on finances with your spouse? Not a fight. A great discussion. Jenn and I develop a spending plan TOGETHER every single month.

Well I want to make a deal with you. Will you give budgeting one more shot? I’m going to do my best in this series to try and teach you a method of budgeting that works. A method I used and still use today. My hope is you will try a budget for the month of March.

In reality, a budget is nothing more than telling your money where to go. I have heard Dave Ramsey take the definition a humorous step further – a budget is nothing more than telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went! EXACTLY!

So our first step in budgeting is:

STEP ONE  Decide to decide
Until you decide that budgeting is crucial to taking your finances to the next level, you will always find a way to avoid this “unsavory” task. The very day that Jenn and I started budgeting was the very day that we started WINNING WITH MONEY! From this moment on, decide to live differently. Decide to not live paycheck-to-paycheck and in debt.

Decide to decide!

Make sure to check back for Step Two on Thursday!

Monday Money Tip: Budgeting?

It’s Monday and I’m FIRED UP! Are you ready to start your week off right with another Monday Money Tip? This video covers one of the greatest challenges people face when it comes to their personal finances – preparing a monthly budget that works. I’ve found that people either put together a budget that does not work, or they can’t even find time to even prepare one.  In this Monday Money Tip, I’ll discuss the reasons you should be budgeting every month.

Want to automatically receive a helpful and practical money tip every Monday? Register FREE at MondayMoneyTip.com

 

Contest: Guess The Number Of Exclamation Marks In Original and New “I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.”

Today marks the first full day that the completely revised and updated I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. is available!

As part of the festivities, we are offering the “Release Special” for people who purchase a copy of the book.

IWBNIN Order Today

We’re also launching a contest called “Guess The Number Of Exclamation Marks!!!!!”

As you know, I am a big fan of this form of punctuation. I tend to speak with exclamation marks and my writing reflects. As I began the process of rewriting the book, I could not believe how many of those little “!” I had used in the original copy of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

So, in honor of my complete overuse of this punctuation, we’re going to award a free copy of the completely new I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. to two people:

  1. The person who most closely guesses the number of exclamation marks in the original book
  2. The person who most closely guesses the number of exclamation marks in the newly updated book

Enter your guess below. Only one entry per person. You must provide a valid email address so we can contact the winner. Contest ends at 11:59 PM Eastern on Thursday night, January 15, 2015. Can’t see the the entry form? Copy and paste the following link in your favorite browser: http://goo.gl/forms/zyaYx7VpSr

What Are You Doing Sunday Night At 8PM Eastern?

“What are you doing Sunday night at 8PM Eastern?”

A slightly strange question, I know! But I am FIRED UP about the free live online event I will be teaching at that very time.

We’re celebrating the complete rewrite, expansion and release of my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. which officially releases Sunday!

In keeping with our team’s mission of helping people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances, we wanted to be able to provide a free equipping event that can help the year 2015 be your best financial year yet!

I’ve even asked my bride, Jenn, to join me so she can share her own unique perspective of our family’s money journey. I really think you will find it to be a time of great encouragement and practical teaching that will challenge you to take your next financial steps.

It’s free, but you must REGISTER.

5 Key Decisions That Helped Us Win With Money – A Special Evening with Joe & Jenn Sangl” Live Online Event Details

  • DATE: Sunday, 1/11/2015 at 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 PM Central; 5:00 PM Pacific)
  • DURATION: 60 minutes total (45 minutes teaching – 15 minutes Q&A)
  • LOCATION: LIVE Online
  • COST: FREE! (but you MUST register to secure your spot)
  • REGISTER: Click HERE or copy and paste the following link in your favorite browser: http://iwasbrokenowimnot.com/5keydecisions

Nothing Happens Until You Decide

I once heard a friend say, “I decided to decide.”

It was amusing when he said it because it was a strange use of the English language. However, he said it with such passion that it forced me to explore what he was really saying. I realized that this was one of the 5 Key Decisions That Helped Me Win With Money.

You see, we’ve all made decisions before where we did not follow through. Here are some common examples:

  • Getting physically fit  We decide to lose weight and get in shape. We purchase the treadmill and a weight set. A gym membership is secured. We purchase all the right workout gear. And then the treadmill and weight bench become just another place to store junk. The gym membership card is never scanned.
  • Reading a book  We decide we are going to read a book that we’ve heard others talking about. We purchase the book. The book arrives in the mail. It sits on the counter, nightstand, or near the toilet. Then it becomes buried under more books we wanted to read. Five years later, we rediscover the book and realize we’ve never read it.
  • Preparing a budget  We wanted to prepare a budget. We knew that having a budget was a good idea. A good budget tool was discovered (like this one). We even took the time to put some numbers into it. We went even further and forced INCOME – OUTGO to equal EXACTLY ZERO. Then we promptly pulled out the credit card and went to Olive Garden – completely violating the budget we just prepared.

“Deciding to decide” was one of the 5 Key Decisions That Helped Me Win With Money. It meant that not only was I making a decision, I was committing to actually follow through with it!

When I finally “decided to decide” to get my finances in order back in December 2002, it completely changed the trajectory of my financial future.

This is why I’m hosting a live online event where I could share all of these decisions in more detail with you right now, at the start of 2015. I really hope you will be able to join me and my bride for this special one-of-a-kind online event (it’s FREE).

5 Key Decisions That Helped Us Win With Money – A Special Evening with Joe & Jenn Sangl” Live Online Event Details

  • DATE: Sunday, 1/11/2015 at 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 PM Central; 5:00 PM Pacific)
  • DURATION: 60 minutes total (45 minutes teaching – 15 minutes Q&A)
  • LOCATION: LIVE Online
  • COST: FREE! (but you MUST register to secure your spot)
  • REGISTER: Click HERE or copy and paste the following link in your favorite browser: http://iwasbrokenowimnot.com/5keydecisions

5 Key Decisions That Helped Us Win With Money

There have been moments in my life where I’ve made a decision knowing it would change my life forever.

Decisions like:

  • Asking my girlfriend (Jenn) if she would marry me
  • Making an offer on a house
  • Applying for a job
  • Deciding to have children
  • Buying land

However, there have been other moments where I’ve made a decision without truly realizing the future impact it was going to have on me. For example, when I made the decision to begin contributing to my company retirement plan as a new college graduate, I didn’t really grasp the incredible power this was going to have to fund my future plans, hopes, and dreams. When I started my baby girl’s college fund back when she was four years old, I had no idea how this decision would help give wings to her educational dreams.

Perhaps one of the greatest examples was the decision my bride and I made to begin preparing a monthly budget – and choosing to stick to it. We had no idea the impact this would have on our finances – and our life! This one key decision enabled us to accomplish dreams we really never thought possible. Dreams like purchasing a new car with cash, becoming debt-free except for our house, and even paying off our home mortgage!

As I was thinking about these decisions, I thought it would be great to host a live online event where I could share these decisions in more detail with you right now, at the start of 2015. I really hope you will be able to join me and my bride for this special one-of-a-kind online event (it’s FREE).

5 Key Decisions That Helped Us Win With Money – A Special Evening with Joe & Jenn Sangl” Live Online Event Details

  • DATE: Sunday, 1/11/2015 at 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 PM Central; 5:00 PM Pacific)
  • DURATION: 60 minutes total (45 minutes teaching – 15 minutes Q&A)
  • LOCATION: LIVE Online
  • COST: FREE! (but you MUST register to secure your spot)
  • REGISTER: Click HERE or copy and paste the following link in your favorite browser: http://iwasbrokenowimnot.com/5keydecisions

My Wife Will Be Joining Me For This LIVE Online Event on 1/11/2015

One of the questions I get asked all the time is, “How do I get my spouse to work with me on finances?”

First, let me say these two things:

  • Finances are one of the top causes of marriage fights and divorce.
  • Until both spouses are on the same page financially, it is impossible to maximize your financial potential.

This question is one of the many reasons why I’m hosting a LIVE online event this Sunday. But there is something very different about this online event…my “chief business counsel” will be hosting this event with me too. No, this is not my legal team, but my bride, Jenn! Without her, I would still be broke and would have been the key subject matter of the still unpublished book, “How to be Broke.”

I really hope you will join us for this special event on Sunday, January 11, 2015!

Here are some key items we will be sharing that day:

  • 5 Key Decisions That Helped Us: Jenn and I will be sharing 5 key decisions that helped us win with money. We both believe that these decisions transformed our finances and our marriage.
  • OFFICIAL BOOK RELEASE: We’re CELEBRATING the official release of my newly revised I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. My team is putting the finishing touches on it right now, but I promise it will help you on your money journey.
  • Encouragement for your Money Journey: Jenn and I want to provide encouragement for you. We’ll be sharing parts of our story and also practical “next steps” you can use to win with your money!

5 Key Decisions That Helped Us Win With Money – A Special Evening with Joe & Jenn Sangl” Live Online Event Details

  • DATE: Sunday, 1/11/2015 at 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 PM Central; 5:00 PM Pacific)
  • DURATION: 60 minutes total (45 minutes teaching – 15 minutes Q&A)
  • LOCATION: LIVE Online
  • COST: FREE! (but you MUST register to secure your spot)
  • REGISTER: Click HERE or copy and paste the following link in your favorite browser: http://iwasbrokenowimnot.com/5keydecisions

Fired up!

One more thing: You don’t have to wait until the official release date, January 11th, to order the NEW I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Book. Pre-order your copy right now by clicking on this link HERE and receive special bonuses!

Time For An Upgrade!

We’ve all experienced moments where we realized that we needed to upgrade. Perhaps it was when you were using the old fashioned dial-up Internet connection (remember all of those sounds your modem would make?!) and someone else had signed up for DSL. You immediately recognized that you needed to upgrade.

IWBNIN_Book_3DThe same becomes true in our finances. From time to time, we must upgrade our financial management techniques or else it can cost us a great deal of time and money! During the “Upgrade Your Finances” event I taught on Sunday evening, I was able to share the exciting news that the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. team has spent the entire year upgrading our tools and resources. Over 100 of our free tools have been upgraded (link provided below)!

Our biggest upgrade? I’ve completely revised my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. It is now hardcover, complete with an awesome dust jacket and foil finish on the covers. More importantly, and since you shouldn’t just judge a book by its cover even though it is awesome, I’ve added 40% more content, included an entire chapter on the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Ladder, and completely revised the rest of the book.

The new book officially releases on Sunday, January 11th, but pre-sales begin NOW! Of course, you could wait until the book actually releases to purchase it, but here’s why I think you should consider purchasing it now:

The first 1,000 books ordered in the pre-sale will receive:

  • Free Shipping
  • 3 Free eBooks
    • Managing Finances With A Non-Participating Spouse
    • Managing Finances As A Single Parent
    • Help! I Can’t Pay My Bills.
  • Early Delivery
    • At least a week before official release date of 1/11/2015
    • If we can it to you before Christmas, we will!
  • PLUS For the first 1,000 books purchased, we will give away an original copy to a deserving non-profit organization!

You can pre-order your copies HERE or copy and paste the following URL in your favorite browser: http://www.iwbnin.com/pre

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