Managing money can be tricky when you earn a different amount every month. If you work as a freelancer or run a business, you might find it hard to keep your finances in order. That is why it is crucial to have a budget to guide you to manage money smartly and control your finances. Dave Ramsey, a personal financial expert on budget, will say ‘’a budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.’’

 A budget is essential in financial planning as it helps you see how much you have, what you spend it on, and how you can save or achieve goals, enables you to prepare for emergencies and reduces money worries. It also allows you to invest money, grow your savings, and handle changes in your income. Thus, having a budget is a vital part of smart money management.

Non-salaried workers face some financial problems compared to those with consistent salaries. These problems include not knowing how much money they will make each month, not getting benefits like health insurance, facing unexpected expenses, and not having retirement savings provided by an employer. They may also find it harder to borrow money and sometimes need help to pay their bills on time. They need to make careful money plans or create a budget to handle these issues.

 When your income goes up and down, making a budget means keeping an eye on how much you usually earn, paying for essential things first, saving money for emergencies, and checking where your money goes. Use tools to help, like apps or lists. If you get extra money, save it. This way, you can handle your money better.

For effective budgeting, below are some key strategies for traders, food vendors, freelance journalists, or contractors who are considered non-salaried workers.

  1. Keep track of all the money you get.
  2. Find out how much money you usually make in a month. As a guide, you can look at your bank statements or mobile money wallet for the past 6 months.
  3. Budget with the least amount received or an average of the least three amounts earned as a benchmark.
  4. Split your spending into two groups: stuff you always pay the same for (fixed expenses) and those that can change (variable expenses).
  5. First, pay for the things you really need, like rent and food.
  6. Save some money for unexpected events.
  7. Save or invest extra money when you have it.

Remember that consistency is key when budgeting as a non-salaried worker. These strategies can make it easier to manage your money.

Source: Ghana/