How to Budget With Inconsistent Paychecks

I love Pinterest.  Why?  People are so creative and it’s just beautiful, in my opinion (the creativity that is).  I stumbled upon this pin that instantly grabbed my attention.

How To Budget with an Inconsistent Paycheck

The article is from Firsthomelove.com.  As you know, I consider myself the finance queen in this household and I often lose my marbles and worry about how we’re going to squeeze by next month.   But Christine from Firsthomelove.com talks about how to budget with inconsistent paychecks.  And it’s a beautiful new way of looking at things differently.

Christine pays and files away her bills every time she gets them.  At the end of the year, she takes them all out and piles the bills in each category.  Like the water bill goes in the water bill pile, and etc.  She then tally’s up the total and divides it by 12.  Any extra money she sets aside into another account to save for when a bill is higher than usual.

Our old utility company offered us a flat monthly plan calculated off of the last 12 months of our usage and averaged out what they think our bill will be like.  It was great considering how the summer months our bill was around $100, and the winter it shot up to $300 (electricity is expensive these days).  We certainly didn’t have the extra cash for a sudden burst in bills, but the level pay plan helped us prepare and gave us a “cushion” for the winter months.  Since then we moved and haven’t bothered with a level pay plan.  Our gas bill takes over in the winter months and everything evens itself out.

But as of late, we’re finding ourselves on the fence of being able to pay all our bills one month and the next month we’ll have some cash left over (it evens itself out).  We’ll get to a point where we can put away a rainy day fund.  But to be honest, we don’t have it.  What can I say, we live on the edge!

But there’s one tip I can give you guys to improve Christine’s suggestion.  Use Quicken.  It will save you a couple of hours of Calculating, Using Spreadsheets and taking up closet space of paperwork.  With one click of a button in Quicken (okay maybe like 3), it will give you a yearly tally report of all your category reports.

I know I reported last time that Quicken sucks up my time (here), but now it doesn’t.  I log in about every few days and update our accounts (my business, Jeremiah’s, joint checking) and I’m done.  It just takes a couple of minutes.  Every time my business has a transaction with my bank, I immediately log it.  I’m so thankful for Quicken.  I’d be pulling out my hair without it.  It’s my own free version of a CPA that I get to have weekly vs. once a year when we file our taxes.

You tell me, if you have inconsistent paychecks, how do you budget or pay your bills?

Image belongs to Christine from Firsthomelife.com.

We Rebranded!

As a graphic designer I’m constantly improving my skills and updating my designs.  However, I have always struggled with my own business brand.  I knew when I started Fall For Design that I wanted to have a tree or a leaf in it or something, but I was completely stuck on how to pull it all together.  I had sketched it so many times and it still turned out uglier than ever.

So for a very long time, I stuck with just a cursive font.

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A few days ago I stumbled upon some beautiful brands and loved each one of them.  They’re from Making Brands Happen.  This particular brand name grabbed my attention.

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It grabbed my attention because the pink and grey are my colors as well, but I love how unique it is with the cursive and the bird.  And that’s where I came up with my new brand.

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It’s much more elegant, simple, unique and beautiful.  It really describes who I am and what I do, all-in-one.  Get it?  My name (Autumn) and I design.  It took me a couple of hours to draw the leaf.  But it sure beats having to pay $15-$30 for a vector leaf when I could do it myself for free.

I love my new logo.  And my mother who has her own Etsy shop has been telling me for months that I needed up upgrade my logo.  I’ll just say now that this new one is stamped with mother’s approval. ;) What do you think?