How to Budget When Money Is Unreliable

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People who freelance usually say they'd never give up the freedom the gig economy lends them. That said, nearly everyone who hustles for a living would probably prefer the dependability of a biweekly paycheck with the benefits already taken out. Sometimes the freelance life can get a little dicey — one missed or late paycheck and your whole month's spending can go out of whack.


In those instances, it may be necessary to rely on savings or an emergency fund; if you've been setting aside a little each week, it may come in handy. How can you know what to take from your paycheck, though? Personal finance blogger Tiffany Aliche of The Budgetnista recommends a middle-school math trick: Try breaking down your income by percentages rather than fixed amounts.

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Aliche, speaking to CNBC, suggests a quick and fairly easy process for allocating funds when you're not sure about your future weekly income. In between what you should set aside for taxes and what you need bare minimum to get by is where you can fiddle with your finances. Rather than insisting that you'll save $100 a week for retirement, it might be more feasible to shoot for 10 percent of your after-tax income.


Even if you're fairly secure in what you're bringing home, it's always a good idea to build good habits around saving and investing. More and more experts are warning that the good times won't last forever. You don't have to freak out, but there's no time like the present to get prepared.