At its best, budgeting can feel like a chore you endure. At its worst, it can feel like a form of slow-burn torture. But freelancers and gig workers have it harder in some ways — because your income can go up and down like a roller coaster.
As a money nerd who has been freelancing for the last decade and then some, I've played around with different systems and strategies to manage my money on a variable income. Here are a few simple tactics I've learned along the way:
1. I separate my business and personal finances to save time (and stress) at tax time.
2. I created a budget for work expenses too.
3. I linked income from steady gigs with specific bills.
4. I prepare for gaps in cash flow with a baby buffer fund.
5. I always save for taxes.
6. And I save money based on percentages of my income.
7. I've also saved based on my past income history.
8. I use an app to save a percentage of each paycheck.
9. Sometimes I'll ask a steady client for speedier payment.
10. Finally, I work hard to "get ahead" a month on my expenses.
Now I'm super curious — what are the budgeting hacks that work for you? Share your favorite tips in the comments!
And for more stories about work and money, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.