No set in stone income - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-20-2016, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No set in stone income

I'm a massage therapist and at my main job I am paid per massage. My income can fluctuate greatly depending how busy we are or not at the office. My other job is weekends only and the pay is pretty steady so I know what I'm taking home there (though, it isn't much. I only keep it for the free gym membership it comes with...that's how little I'm paid there ) does anyone else have this problem with a job that has varying pays?

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#2 of 4 Old 06-21-2016, 08:20 AM
 
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I am a freelancer, but I've been doing it pretty steadily for 15 yrs. My income does fluctuate somewhat, although for me it's not crazy. Having a cushion to fall back on is pretty much the key, but it's hard to build, and I'm not perfect on that front by any means. I have heard good things about the You Need a Budget (google YNAB) approach where you build up funds until you're a month ahead, then spend out of that so you always have a cushion. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good.
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#3 of 4 Old 06-26-2016, 07:06 AM
 
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Yes. I dislike it, though it doesn't phase my husband. He is (and we have both been in the past) a gardener so income is variable season to season as well as year to year. Luckily, for securing low-income health care, etc, it's been easier in the last five years to use a yearly income. Before it was a struggle to make them understand that a snapshot of our income from April to August (our highest earning months) is not a fair assessment of our needs.

Our income can fluctuates up to 10K-12K per year. I can expect at least 5K-8K each year. I hate it.

Maybe I would like it better if we could actually save money, or even make more money, but no. Maybe it would be better if I wasn't a walking sack of nervousness. But this is definitely one reason why I'm seeking a career change. I want to be able to know what I'm bringing in each month. I want 11 months out of 12 (rather than 6 months out of twelve) to be in the black. I have one steady job (with variable hours) and that's better than when I was trying to pull in clients, like my husband still does. I'd prefer to have something more reliable, and I'm going to be looking for that.

But I suppose this is not necessarily the experience of others with variable incomes.

Anyway, I suppose after 20 years I've achieved a certain level of acceptance. Maybe it doesn't stress me out as much as I think, relative to the reality of it. We get by. We own our house. We own our vehicles. Our credit is stellar, and we have no debt outside property and school loans. I'm sure there are a few tricks I've learned to manage this kind of life.

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#4 of 4 Old 08-03-2016, 11:38 AM
 
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My very meager income fluctuates, as I'm a self-employed Lactation Consultant. At first, I was spending money as it came in, and then oftentimes found myself short of money. I can often go for a week or 2 without any clients. So what I did was I spent the very minimum on *anything* for a couple of months, and squirreled away every spare penny I could until I built up a cushion. Because of the cushion, what I then started doing is that I save all the money I make each month. At the end of that month, this is what I use to live on for the next month. I know exactly how much I have to work with for the coming month. After paying the basics and setting aside some money for groceries, gas, etc., I'll put some in savings and pay extra on debts if possible. Doing it this way works well for me.
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