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Budgeting on an irregular income

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If you don’t receive a regular, monthly paycheck, making a monthly budget can be tough.

Those who don’t have a regular shift, work a lot of temporary jobs or have an income that varies from month-to-month, might not know exactly what to expect in the next paycheck, which makes budgeting and saving even more difficult.

Unpredictable income makes monthly budgeting tough. It affects more than just your everyday spending - it also has an impact on how much you can put towards paying off debts and what you save each month.

But there are some ways that you can be prepared if your next paycheck is a little light. By following these budgeting tips, you can make the most of your paycheck, so you can try to cover your expenses.

6 budgeting tips for those on irregular incomes…

1. Track your expenses
Instead of starting with your monthly income and deducting what you spend*, start with how much your expenses are and plan a budget around that. Simply write down how much you’re paying for the bills you need to pay every month like rent, gas and energy. Use this total as your monthly starting point.

2. Take a note of your income
Keep track of how much you’re being paid month-to-month and compare it to the list of expenses. Your paycheck might change monthly, but see if you can make an educated guess at what your pay will be. If you know you typically bring less money in the winter, factor that into your plan.

3. Plan for big payments
Do your best to plan ahead for costs that you can predict, like birthday presents. If you keep these kinds of expenses in mind, you might be able to plan so you’ll have enough money to cover your expenses for the month.

4. Shop smart
Make your monthly income go further by making the most of store coupons and discounts. When you shop at the Kroger family of stores and use your Plus Card, you’ll earn 1 fuel point for every $1 you spend. Plus you’ll earn double fuel points on Gift Cards, No-Contract Wireless Phones and Airtime Cards. Also at Money Services, you can save on fees when cashing checks, paying bills or sending money to friends and family around the world.

5. Claim what you’re entitled to
Check online to find out if you’re getting the most out of the benefits you’re entitled to such as Social Security, tax deductions or credits, unemployment or WIC/SNAP benefits. Check the USA.gov site for a full list.

6. Have priorities
If you do manage to save, have a priority list of things to spend it on. Put the most important things at the top of the list. Would you save money in the long term by repairing your car now? Is paying off debt a better option? Even if you’re only able to save a small amount each month, it can add up.

*Restrictions apply. Not valid in LA or MO. Offer, discount and redemption locations vary by market. See store or visit our FAQ page to learn more about the program at your store.

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