Having multiple sources of income makes dealing with your finances a little more complicated than having a traditional 9-5 complete with hard dates for receiving paychecks. One of the most common pieces of advice I read is to set up an automatic system for bills and putting money into savings — which makes perfect sense, if your income is consistent every month in terms of how much and how often you receive it. But for me, and other people who make a living doing freelance work or a various assortment of jobs, that’s not necessarily practical.
For example, I started full-time freelancing last year, and have since been able to put together a pretty solid budget for each month. I set up an automatic transfer for a few of my bills based on when I’d be sure to have the amount needed in my checking. However, my checks don’t come in at the same time every month. There were two times that I forgot to check if I had enough in checking to transfer, which ended up in me over-drafting — a pain for many reasons, not the least of which was the fee the bank charges for that kind of transfer.
I’ve since put my bills on my credit card and automated those payments, but I haven’t yet been able to automate my credit card payment. One of my goals for the rest of my twenties is to get to a place where I can automate absolutely everything. I know I’ll never be able to ignore my money, but I’d love to get to a place where I don’t have to put so much time towards paying basic expenses.
That’s why I’m bookmarking this article from J. Money’s picks this week. It’s a great outline for having an automated budget and bill pay system, plus tips on how to save for miscellaneous expenses I maybe hadn’t thought of before.
1. You Don’t Need Any More Money Advice – Young Yet Wise
“There is nothing new that you will read in a post about money that you don’t already know…You have to make a change.”
2. Why I Stopped Tracking Everything – Cait Flanders
“I will forever say that tracking something is the first step to becoming aware of its role in your current life. But someday, I also think you’ll get to a point where you can replace tracking with trusting yourself.”
3. The Self-Driving Financial System – Mom and Dad Money
“This is how I set up my bank accounts and move money around to make sure that my savings goals are being met and my bills are being paid, all with as little ongoing work as possible.”
4. Don’t Give Up Until You Do the Math! – Money After Graduation
“I know I don’t have the soft touch many other personal finance gurus have. But I have to be harsh with you because you need to know the truth: If you do not get your financial shit together, you will not be okay.”
5. How We Saved $72,000 and Still Had Fun – Money Peach
“Being disciplined about hitting a money goal doesn’t mean you have to give up things you love, so long as you work them into your budget. For us, enjoying life was just as important as saving.”
6. Embrace Your Debt to Boost Your Organic Motivation – Financial Samurai
“Come up with a plan to pay it down faster. I promise you won’t regret your achievement. The only caveat is that if you become debt free too quickly, you might accelerate your motivational decline.”
7. You Don’t Need Financial Independence – Live Free NOW – The Firestarter
“Believe it or not, I’m currently sat in a room full of people who aren’t financially independent but they still have freedom and autonomy. These people don’t have bosses. They don’t have commutes. They don’t have performance reviews. They don’t even have specific working hours.”
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