When you start out in Weekly, the first thing Weekly asks for is regular income, which is the amount of money in your salary paycheck and how often are you paid it. We then subtract your committed expenses from this regular income to get your discretionary spending.
But for some people the amount in the paychecks are variable or they have extra income where the exact amounts of the income are not known. This article describes how to handle irregular income inside of Weekly.
Our recommendations on how to handle irregular amounts in your income changes based on how much the irregular income is used to cover your committed expenses. Here are four different scenarios.
- Your regular (salaried) income covers all your committed expenses.
- You need a portion of your irregular income to cover your committed expenses.
- All your income is different amounts but is fairly predictable
- All your income is variable and is extremely lumpy as if you are paid on commission.
Let’s cover how to handle each of these scenarios in Weekly.
Your regular (salaried) income covers all your committed expenses.
If you have salaried income that covers all your committed expenses (and you therefore have a positive Weekly Spending Limit) when the irregular income hits the bank and the transaction gets downloaded into Weekly you can simply add it to your Safe-to-Spend for the week if you are counting on that money to cover things like gas and groceries or you can add it to a Fund if you want to save that money for a rainy day or other goal or both. If you add it to your Safe-to-Spend and you have a big end of week balance you can roll it over to the next week or you can add your positive Safe-to-Spend end of week balance to a Fund at that point.
You need a portion of your irregular income to cover your committed expenses.
If you have a regular salary but you need a portion of your irregular income to cover committed expenses, here’s how we recommend handling that situation.
- Make a best guess for a minimum amount you make every week at the non-salaried job.
- Enter that amount in under income as a regular monthly amount.
- When the actual paycheck comes in, calculate the difference between your estimate and the actual amount.
- Manually add a transaction that reflects the difference.
- From there you can
- Match the income transaction to the recurring income item and just don’t update the amount or
- Ignore the income transaction.
You ignore the income transaction because a portion of it has already been used to calculate your Weekly Spending Limit and you are accounting for the difference using your manual transaction.
All your income is different amounts but is fairly predictable – ie: you are an hourly employee with a full-time job
If you are an hourly employee with a full time job, your paycheck may be different amounts but also be regular. In this case we recommend that you start Weekly by adding in your best guess the minimum amount you make every week then when your paycheck comes in, you update your income item with the latest amount. The advantage of this method of handling income is that it will adjust your current Safe-to-Spend amounts based on the latest income check. It will also adjust the future income amounts. If you have a particularly slow work week, this may make future weeks dicey but when you next paycheck comes in, everything will even out again.
All your income is variable and is extremely lumpy as if you are paid on commission
So let’s say you are in a sales position or perhaps in something like real estate sales where there are big checks followed by time periods (long and short) of no income. Here’s how we recommend you handle that in Weekly.
- Estimate your total income for the year.
- Estimate how much money you want to spend on your expenses for the year including both committed expenses and day-to-day expenses.
- Figure your monthly equivalent income and create an income budget item to match it.
- When an income transaction happens in real life and gets added manually or downloaded into Weekly, match it to the income budget item you set up but do not update it.
- At periodic intervals do a “gut check” that your income is matching your expectations.
- Ask yourself “Are you going to continue earning what you thought you’d earn?”
- Look at the Cash Over Time report. How is your cash trending?
- Is your spending in line with your average income?
- Adjust your income budget item up or down based on your new estimates.
Weekly can be used to monitor your income and spending whether you are a salaried employee, hourly employee or make money in a side-hustle. Keeping track of this income while smoothing it out over a week’s time will ensure you know what’s safe to spend at any time even if your income is variable.