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Money Smart: How to budget without consistent income

Maybe you have a seasonal job or work in an industry that doesn’t provide a steady income. A financial advisor shares 3 simple steps to get on track.

SAN ANTONIO — Maybe you have a seasonal job or work in an industry that doesn’t provide a steady income. How do you build your budget? A financial advisor shares 3 simple steps to get on track.

NEEDS VS. WANTS

“Break down what your needs and wants are. Your needs are things that you have to buy no matter what. That's going to be your rent, your mortgage, your groceries, your utility bills,” said Karl Eggerss, Principal, Financial Advisor of CAPTRUST. “If you've been doing this [job] for a while, look back and track those expenses. Once you know your expenses, it makes planning a little easier.”


RAINY DAY FUND

Eggerss said when you save your money, expect to set aside a larger chunk than most people.

“The general rule is 3 to 6 months of expenses. That’s for someone that has a consistent job or you’re getting paid every couple of weeks. But maybe for someone who has big gaps of time between their paychecks, it should be more like 9 months to a year of expenses,” said Eggerss.


INVEST 

Eggerss said to consider investing even if you have a small amount of money. Compounding is a powerful way to build your wealth over time.

“You still have to invest for the long-term into things that are going to grow. Whether it’s stocks, bonds, mutual funds,” he advised.