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Do you or your SO work on comission? How do you deal/budget with fluctuating paychecks?

My husband is the only one working. His pay is set up this way: he gets paid either salary or comission. If he doesnt make enough comission, he gets salary which is barely enough to pay major bills like rent, car payment, and car insurance. Everything was fine for a while but we just bought a car ( our other one the engine blew) with a payment, and then he got no comission for about 3 months now. We are in such a rut.
were finally only one month behind on rent! yay

Anyways, how do you budget fluctuating checks???


Asked by leksismommy at 10:13 PM on Dec. 4, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 25 (22,485 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)

  • My DH has almost always worked on straight commission.He receives 2 checks a month so we split the bills depending on the due dates.We also bought groceries very carefully.Sounds like you are starting to get the hang of this kind of pay schedule.It all boils down to no getting out and selling no paycheck.

    Answer by Tikismom at 10:22 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • We have the same issue. I wish I had a good solution. Up until the last 2 mo it was working out ok because we got a really big income tax return & it was making up for the shortage. But THEN they decided to go to a new invetory system & cut his commission rate by 2 1/2%. I have been juggling bills. When we get our income tax return back things will even out again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:22 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • I am in real estate, so I do work on commission. Husband has a full time job though, so it's not a big deal on my end. Can you get a job that has steady pay? It really helps to have at least one full time income coming in.

    Answer by m-avi at 10:29 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • Not comission, but he gets paid per job. During a good week, he can make loads of money. During a slow week, he could only go to a couple of $15 service calls, if that. We keep a cushion in our savings account to make sure the bills are paid even when he isn't making money. It would be nice to be able to plan better, but unfortunately that's not an option.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 11:49 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • Nope. But the way you budget is you prioritize... food first, then rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, fuel, transportation. Go all the way down the list.

    Once you get paid work your way as far down the list as possible. Eventually you need to have a place on that list titled something like, "lean months." You'll want an account who's only purpose is to cover you when commissions are low. You'll have to do the math to figure out how much you'll need in there. Say for example, you've gone three months with little or no income and that's the longest. Then you'll want to put three months worth of necessary living expenses in that account. DON"T touch it unless you absolutely need it though. And remember it's not an emergency fund- you're commission only so it's pretty predictable that every once in a while your income will be low. Emergency money is for things you can't predict so that should be separate.

    Answer by Erica_Smerica at 2:31 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • We always wrote out a very detailed budget. It included everything we needed to pay...................monthly items, food, all insurances, taxes, , , everything. Then we divided it by 12 and knew how much we needed per month. Money for things that were paid quarterly or yearly went into a savings account so the money was sitting there when those bills came in (taxes, insurances, etc). Money for the other budgeted items was put in checking and those things got paid from there. If there was anything left over it went into a separate savings account and was for car repairs, bigger expenses, vacations, etc. Aside from this we had automaic deductions for retirement taken from our pay.

    Answer by elizabr at 10:57 AM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • correction..............the automatic retirement deductions came later when we were not on commission. When on commission only we did yearly retirement deposit from our savings if we could swing it.

    Answer by elizabr at 11:31 AM on Dec. 5, 2010