Friday, January 30, 2009

Budgeting Savings with an Irregular Part-time Schedule

February is right around the corner, and I'm trying to figure out how much money I can save next month. Each month, I aspire to put $400 into both my downpayment fund and emergency fund, and $200 into my fun fund. However, February is a bit irregular. I normally work 4 shifts at the inn per month (one each Sunday), making about $350 gross, before bonuses. We haven't received bonuses for the past couple of months; because of the economic crisis, our business has been slower than usual so we're not meeting our sales/occupancy goals. When we do get bonuses, I usually gross about $450 - $500 per month at the inn.

In February, I'm taking two weekends off from the inn: next weekend, I'm going to a baby shower in NY (and I still need to get a gift, ugh!); the last weekend of the month, I'll be in Florida. But, I'm going to be covering at least 2 shifts, so I'll actually be working 4.5 shifts. In March, I'm currently scheduled for 3 shifts, but it's quite likely I'll pick up at least one during that month.

Not knowing for sure how much I'm pulling in from my part-time job makes it hard to figure out whether I can meet my savings goals. Sometimes I'm plesantly surprised, like this month. I grossed $1,025 at my part-time job in January, and that was without bonuses...! Obviously I'm not going to do that every month. For one thing, it's exhausting -- several of those shifts were "after work" shifts where I come in from 5-10 after working all day at my full-time job. Also, January was one of the two months of the year where I receive three paychecks from the inn (the next one is July).

In January, I netted over $2,700 between both jobs. Despite my super income this month, I wasn't able to meet my savings goals; I had to pay C back for our plane tickets to Florida, and pay off my credit card for the Christmas/birthday gifts I bought last month. I saved $300 for my downpayment and emergency funds, and $175 in my fun fund; I also put an extra $50 towards my federal student loan, and will be doing that next month as well. I'm hoping to make up the extra savings money next month, and to keep my clothing spending at $0, with the exception of any outlet shopping trips in Florida. I just have to stop going into clothing stores, and delete all of these amazing sale emails I receive every day and I'll be fine. ;P

1 comment:

RG said...

The great news is that you're thinking this out -- pretty carefully. I believe you're way ahead of the pack.

We too have had to make unexpected adjustments over the past year, but somehow, we have always come out on top.

It's all about adapting your spending & saving strategy to meet current needs. Kind of like supply and demand. :)