When I worked at a regular old 9-to-5 job, managing my paychecks and budget was easy. I knew exactly when my money was going to hit my account and how much would be in each check. As a freelancer who works for herself, it’s much more difficult to budget my money now because the schedule in which I receive it is all over the place. One of the articles featured in the list below talks about that issue specifically, and the importance we should place on how we get paid. It’s not enough to just make money and watch it get dumped into your account week-in and week-out — you’ve got to make it work smarter and harder for you. There are some really useful strategies mentioned in the articles here and here, which are definitely worth checking out (in addition to the ones linked in the list below).
Articles such as these emphasize taking a long-term view of what money you’ll need now and over the next few months. They discuss the need to generate estimates of what you might be able to bring in/what checks you can expect, so you can get a sense of your overall earnings. Finally, as we’ve seen/mentioned here before, there’s a strong focus on creating an emergency fund. If you hit a month that’s particularly tight, you want to be able to rest assured knowing that you took the right steps when money was good, and set aside extra $$$ to prepare for a tougher month. This is all invaluable advice, and if you work in any kind of job where you don’t get paid on a regimented schedule (like myself), it’s infinitely more important to have these useful financial strategies in place.
In addition to struggling to budget for an income that changes month-to-month, one of the most common issues I’m forever working against is how to reduce spending money on social outings. I often find that, starting on Thursday nights, spending money becomes synonymous with feeling like I’m truly #relaxing. It was helpful to read through the post by Life and Finances below, which describes how you can have fun on the weekends while still paying back debt. Personally, I’ll be clicking my heels once I make the final school loan payment I have lingering on my account, but until then, I can’t let every fun social event bum me out because I’m spending. Yes, it’s important that I pay down what I owe in a timely and responsible way, but that sure as hell doesn’t mean I’m in the market to forgo every outing, so I can pay off that loan a year faster. To me, there’s a certain quality of life that I’m simply not willing to sacrifice on in favor of my student debt. It is what it is, I’ve accepted it, and I just have to learn to move on, and take it one day at a time.
In my opinion, this week’s personal finance article roundup has a bunch of hits that you can’t afford to miss out on. A lot of them are quite timely in the shadow of (tempting) summer spending, but we’re here to help you manage those desires, practice budgeting for happiness, and ensure you stand up for the health of your finances. Here are the seven PF articles we love this week, courtesy of Rockstar Finance:
The Magical Third Paycheck — Money Peach
“Every time I sit down with one of my financial coaching clients, one of the first things we look at is not only what their monthly income is, but HOW they get paid. This is extremely important, because how you get paid throughout the year has a massive effect on your savings, paying off debt, and building wealth.”
“There was only one thing wrong with the latte factor. It wasn’t true. It didn’t work mathematically. It didn’t work in terms of what we were actually spending our money on. And it didn’t take into account what life costs were actually rising or falling.”
How to Bank Happiness for Tough Times — Yes and Yes
“Things significantly improved when a friend sat me down and gave me a stern talking to about non-negotiables. I could choose my own, but I had to choose three things I’d do every single day no matter what. No matter what!”
The No Bullsh*t Rule — Impossible
“Something about the stupid phone set me off. The inside of my head started screaming bullsh*t! So I started the bullsh*t purge – getting rid of all bullsh*t from my life. It’s pretty simple – all you ask is, “Is this bullsh*t?””
When My Boyfriend Stole My Lunch — From Frugal to Free
“Maybe my frugality needs a limit. I don’t want to save money at the expense of my relationship, or my boyfriends comfort level around me. Nor do I want to go buck wild on spending to make my boyfriend feel better. I mean, I love him, but come on. Let’s be reasonable!”
How to Enjoy the Weekend While Battling Debt — Life and My Finances
“There are two primary ways that you can still enjoy your weekends while battling debt, whether you’re single, married, have kids, or don’t have kids. I’ve divided them into two categories: Behavior and Finances. Choosing to enjoy your life and make the most of it is a behavioral choice. Creating and implementing a step-by-step plan to accomplish your debt-free goal is a financial choice.”
Dear Internet, Stop Telling Me to Quit My Job — The Coffeelicious
“Having an interesting life and having a day job aren’t mutually exclusive things… Instead of sharing quotes like “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”, why don’t we start celebrating those who are doing the best they can, with what they currently have?”
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