Working in flux can leave you with questions about when to expect your money, what each paycheck will hold, and how to create a good spending plan so you can pay your bills. Many temporary workers struggle with budgeting, so you’re not alone. Fluctuations in wages are no excuse to avoid budgeting entirely. It’s up to you to find a system that works to help you manage your money, and we’re here to help.
Step One: Crunch The Numbers
First, you’ll want to take inventory and run the numbers. Whether you’re a seasonal hire or you have a steady job with varying hours, your best bet is to create an estimate of how much you make per month on average. This way, you are prepared for what income you can reasonably expect. Then, draw up how much you make in a year, setting aside funds for taxes. Be proactive about a savings budget for taxes because getting hit with a big payment the following year can really hurt. There’s no need for surprises if you plan and calculate correctly.
Step Two: Check Your Check
While we would hope your employer is providing an accurate check each month, you’re the only one that will care about the accuracy of the money going in your pocket. Be diligent in tracking your hours, submitting your timesheets/timecards, and matching those hours up with your paycheck calculation. Don’t overlook an error: remember, you’ve earned that money.
Step Three: Spend and Save
Lastly, mark your bills and income together. A good chunk of your check will go toward mandatory fixed expenses like rent, electricity, phone, etc. But even as a temporary or contract worker, you need to focus on savings. If possible, we recommend at least 20% of each paycheck goes into a savings/retirement fund for future use. Even if you can’t spare that much, make sure you’re setting aside something for a rainy day. The rest of your check goes to groceries, unexpected expenses, fun spending, and other fluid expenses that pop up.
Find Your Next Opportunity
For more tips on making the most of your temporary gig, contact Davis Staffing. As a top Chicago-area staffing firm, we can help connect you to your next contract job or assist you in turning that temporary job into a permanent one. Check out our website today to learn more.