We have mentioned a couple of times but Scott was let go from his job last year. He got a working notice which was basically means that he was told the last day he had a job. He got the notice in May of 2016 and his last date was December 31st. As Scott mentioned here we took some active steps to help prepare ourselves if in fact he was not going to be able to get a job after his last day. The most drastic step we took was moving to one income as of August, 5 months before he would have lost his job. Living on one income taught me more than I ever thought it would.
A Few Ideas on How to Budget When Your Salary is Commission-Based
There are a few different ways to receive payment for work performed; you can be an hourly employee, working on a fixed salary, completing a project for a contracted amount, or working for a percentage of the sales you make (AKA Commission). There can also have a combination of these methods of payment – you can work on a salary up to a certain amount of hours and then qualify for overtime at an hourly rate. An employee can have a base salary and get a commission for sales. Generally speaking you wouldn’t have both a salary and a contract payment but almost any other combination is possible. I recently started in a position with a sales role. While I’ve been in sales in one way, shape or form before, this was my first foray into a pay structure that involved commission. I have a base salary, but the question came up – how do you budget for commission?
Ever since before we got married Sarah and I have been money nerds. When we launched Couple of Sense we had an outlet (besides each other) to talk about money. This outlet lets you read into the inner money dork in us, our concepts and habits that really drive our voice. We may not be completely unique in our dweebing out (1st paragraph and I already have used three variations of nerd). What is important to us in our budget is analytics. In order to have pertinent stats, we need to gather data. This is where we really rev our engines.
When was the last time you made budget decisions? Changing your budget is important. A good budget makes a difference between financial success and crisis. This isn’t just making sure your extra money is moved into the right investment vehicles. This could also be dealing with a loss of income or other financial setbacks.
Our Recipe for Successfully Losing an Income
In a previous post, I provided some insight into a big change in Sarah and I’s financial world. In 2016 I was given a working notice for the job I had been at for the past decade. This meant that we had to prepare for the possibility of going down to one income for 2017. It was a scary situation. Sarah and I have had comparable salaries for several years. We both considered ourselves lucky to have solid incomes. We had worked really hard to get to where we were. The potential loss of my pay meant that we’d have to prepare to cut our expenditures in half. Read more
Money Stress – The Human Reaction
Money can be a huge source of stress; that is a truth that is very hard to get away from. Money causes fights, can split up couples and can truly make or break you. Having a budget is a great way to reduce the stress about money. Even with a budget, if something goes wrong inevitably that will lead to stress. But money hasn’t always existed so why is it a natural reaction to get stressed out when money gets tight? Why does logic escape us leaving us fighting back freak outs and dealing with migraines? I have a theory.
I lived at home until we got married. After I got married and moved out the first 6 months were rough. Like super rough. It was difficult to work 50 hours a week, cook, do laundry and keep our tiny basement apartment looking presentable. Cleaning the apartment always lost BTW. It looked presentable but I’m very lucky that people had to call us before they could come over since there was no direct access to our apartment from the outside. We basically perfected the 5 minute clean up. But I did struggle with the basics of adulting even though Scott had lived on his own for over 4 years before I moved in.
Financial Motivation Through an Actor’s Eyes
It is time to ask yourself, what is your motivation? After several months of blogging I have finally decided that it is time to put my University degree to some use! As I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts and in the Couple of Sense Podcast – I majored in Theatre when I went to University. I didn’t have aspirations of being an actor, or an acting teacher. Theatre was just something I was good enough at to make it into the program. It was that or Computer Science, I chose Theatre. I doubt my degree has helped me in my career to date, although the extra practice in public speaking can’t hurt during a sales presentation. When it comes to personal finance though, theatre is what taught me the importance of motivation.
I haven’t mentioned it before but our grocery budget is one of the more difficult to keep under control. It didn’t seem to matter how much money we had in there we would over spend. Recently we needed to re-do our budget and looking for some places to trim. In order to get the grocery spending under control we knew we needed to try something else.
For a long while we were frustrated by 2 things:
- Spending at least $30 every single trip to the store
- Doing all the things “right” but still overspending
When I say doing all of the things right I mean that we had a meal plan, we price matched and went to budget friendly stores. Even though we did that and we were never able to really move the needle.
How We Cut Our Telecommunications Bills by Over 40%
Recently Sarah and I sat down and had one of our standard saving check-ins. Our financial situation was stable but there was a potential hiccup coming down the pipes and we felt it was better to be proactive and make some changes. We went line item by line item with precision until we hit our telecommunications line item. This one was going to be tricky. Sarah and I see eye to eye on the big picture stuff, we both knew we needed to cut this bill down for some extra savings. Where we needed to talk it out was on each area of our service and how we were going reduce costs I’m not going to discuss our particular carrier, but if you have their services you’ll probably be able to figure it out.