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How to Budget

Budgeting can be tricky at the best of times, and even more difficult to navigate when you have an unreliable income. If you work a seasonal job, this usually means that there will be some months of the year where you are earning a lot more income than others. For example, if you work as a holiday representative, you might be earning a huge amount of money over the summer but not all that much in the winter months. The key to managing your money when you earn more during some parts of the year compared to others is to make sure that you are prepared for the drop in income. Here are some budgeting ideas that you might find useful. 

Put Money Aside

Figure out how much money you earn yearly, and divide it by twelve so that you can budget with an equal amount for each month. When you earn money from your seasonal job, take only the monthly amount that you have worked out, and put the rest into a savings account for the months that you are not working. This way, you have a guaranteed amount of money for each month of the year and do not need to worry about where your next pay cheque is going to come from when you are no longer needed at your seasonal job. 

Get a Side Hustle

Having a side hustle that you can work harder on during the times that you are not working on your seasonal job can be an ideal way to continue making money all year round, making it easier for you to budget. This is a good idea if your seasonal job does not bring in enough money for you to cover your expenses both when you are working and when you are not. There are plenty of things that you can do on a self-employed basis so that when you return to work at your seasonal job, you can choose to spend less time on your side hustle and pick it back up again when your time is freed up. Delivery driving, blogging, and online services like web design are all excellent choices, or you might want to consider starting an online business. 

Make a Passive Income

Another way of making it easier to budget when you work a seasonal job is to find a way to make a passive income throughout the year. On top of the money that you put aside when you are working, a passive income can boost your funds and make it easier for you to afford everything that you want and need, even when you’re in the off-season. For example, if you are good at writing, you may want to consider writing an eBook and self-publishing it on Amazon. You could write fiction, self-help, or anything else that you are interested in, and every time the book is sold you will make some money without having to lift a finger. 

Consider Short-Term Loans for Debt Consolidation

A short-term loan can be an ideal way to get the extra funds that you need when your income is low. You can find short-term loans that can be paid off in monthly instalments, allowing you to better manage them by borrowing shortly before you start work again and using your seasonal wages to pay them off. This is an excellent choice for consolidating existing debts and making them easier to manage. If you have a bad credit score, you may still be able to obtain a short-term loan with a trusted UK broker like New Horizons, which provides loans for bad credit scores and takes your income and expenses into account rather than simply looking at the numbers on your credit rating. Just enter your personal details into the site. If you want to figure out how to improve your credit rating when you work a seasonal job, you can learn how to fix it here too with plenty of interesting resources on offer. 

Reduce Expenses

When you’re working over the busy season and bringing in a lot of money, you might not be so worried about expenses - but when those funds dry up, managing your expenses might not be so easy. Reducing your expenses as much as possible can make it easier to budget, and another benefit is that when you are earning money from working, you can also save more by paying out less. Reducing expenses is often easier than you realise and by shopping around, you can find better deals on the items that you need to pay out for regularly such as car insurance, gas and electric bills, home broadband, your mobile phone plan and more. You might even want to consider moving to a cheaper place to benefit from paying less rent, or if possible, rent out a room in your home to somebody, so that you can reduce your expenses and bills by splitting them. 

Write Your Budget Down

Rather than trying to keep track of everything mentally, having your budget written down can be a good way to help yourself better keep track of everything that you have coming in and going out. By working out your expenses per month, you can determine how much money you will need to put aside while you are working in order to be able to successfully cover your regular expenses plus keep some money aside for yourself to spend or save during the months that you are not at work. You can work out your budget the old-fashioned way using a pen and notepad or you can take advantage of several budget-tracking apps that are designed to help you better manage your finances. 

Micro-Saving

Micro-saving is a growing trend for various different reasons. Not only does it allow you to put money aside for the future while barely noticing that it’s even leaving your account; it also adds up faster than you might think. There are several different effective ways to micro-save, including rounding up the pennies every time you spend. There are various bank accounts that offer this feature as standard so that each time you spend, the pennies are automatically moved into a savings account or pot for you. Monzo is a great option for this. 

Another way to micro-save is by putting aside a small amount of money per day. For example, you could decide to save the money instead of buying yourself something small like a coffee; just £3 per day would add up to £1,095 over the course of a year and give you more money to work with during the months that you are not earning money from your seasonal job. 

Self-Discipline

Finally, you need a lot of self-discipline to be able to work a seasonal job and manage to budget successfully for the year. When done well, it can be very beneficial as it means that you only have to work during the season that your job is available, and then you can take the rest of the year off comfortably. By working out how much money you are going to need for the months that you are off work, you can ensure that you provide yourself with enough cash to cover your expenses and then some, and enjoy your free time. 

Working a seasonal job might mean that you don’t get paid every month of the year, but you can make it work for you with these budgeting strategies. 

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