Paying off debt can be a challenge even if you have a steady paycheck. When your income is variable, it’s even harder. These strategies can help you take care of your financial obligations even when your salary isn’t stable.
1. Set a budget from your baseline
Take a look at your earning potential and set a baseline. Base it on what you can expect to earn even in a worst-case scenario month. For example, if you’re in sales and you earn a base salary plus commission, your baseline is your base salary. If you’re a freelancer with several contracted clients and fluctuating income from other projects, your baseline is what you earn from the ongoing contracts.
From your baseline, build a budget that covers the minimum payments you need to make every month. If more money comes in, you can split it among savings and paying down debt. (See also: The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income)
2. Reduce your expenses and bills
Be very detailed in your baseline budget. Your recurring bills are the starting point; your actual spending is just as important. You need to know, for example, if you spend $100 on books every month, or if your grocery bill is $200 more than you think it is. Once you’re aware of all your bills and expenses, look for ways to reduce them. You don’t need to reduce them all; keep the expenses that give you the greatest payback in satisfaction and minimize the costs that don’t add much to your quality of life.
If you’re paying off more than one debt, debt consolidation might be key to reducing multiple high-interest payments into one monthly payment. Explore your options to determine if you can lower…