Budgeting On An Irregular Income – EP 88

Budgeting is foundational to this frugal lifestyle, and can be a hard enough muscle to build with a predictable income, but how do we approach this task if our income is irregular? While there are a few more barriers to budgeting when we don’t know exactly how much we are making, there are still ways to get the bills paid, and save!


  • Kids on 45th: An established thrift store in Seattle, now selling online! You tell them your style, sizes, + types of garments, and they handpick clothes + ship to your door! Try out a box for your kiddo! Kidson45th.com
  • Not Knowing: That feeling of being on edge, and lacking control that everyone loves! Not knowing paves the way for all those anxious feelings, questions marks, and catastrophic thinking and is especially fun when ‘not knowing’ is linked to your income and monthly earnings! You entrepreneurs, and subcontractors DO know what I’m talking about – and this sponsor is for you! Not Knowing: getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Notable Notes:

What the Internet has to say:

  • This article from Every Dollar describes step-by-step how to budget on an irregular income

What Jen + Jill have to say:

  • 1 & 2: Start with lowest monthly estimate & create budget based on that number
  • 3. Adjust over the course of the month 
  • 4. Create a hill & valley fund
  • 5. Copy planned amount to next month & give yourself grace

More from the Internet:

  • This article from Lauren Greutman talk more about the nitty gritty of how to budget when you simply don’t earn enough to pay your bills!

More from Jen + Jill:

  • 1. Stay Positive- maybe not, just don’t play the victim
  • 2. Remember this is only temporary – “The actionable items below won’t stick if you don’t keep your head in the game”
  • 3. Cut, cut, cut
  • 4. Make more money
  • 5. Prioritize your bills

BILL OF THE WEEK – Thank you Anamaria from Hungary for sharing your bill about the $50 bill you found in the pocket of a pair of trousers! How exhilarating!

Lightning Round

Top tips for living when your income is variable:

  • Keep track of your time
  • Maintain a monthly budget
  • Build a bigger emergency fund (6 months)
  • Save for retirement in a Roth IRA (funds invested in a Roth can be withdrawn tax and penalty free, only the dividends are taxed and penalized)

Frugal Friends Book Club:

  • We are reading my new book, Pay off Your Debt For Good for book club this month!
  • It’s not available in libraries so if you want a free copy leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, screenshot the review and send it to frugalfriendspodcast@gmail.com. We will pick one winner for every 5 reviews.

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