Case Study on Fred & Belinda, married, both in their mid 30’s.   Belinda’s Annual Income:  $42,000   Fred’s Annual Income: is inconsistent, it changes every year.     Mortgage: $90,000   Savings: $63,000

In today’s tough economic environment many people may find themselves in Fred & Belinda’s situation. Inconsistent household income is a common situation in turbulent economic times. If you fit that profile, you can get through this – if you manage your finances properly.

First of all you need to establish some structure so that you can meet your financial obligations in good times as well as lean times. A financial planner can help you set up a solid structure. Find a financial planner that does not charge an initial consultation fee.

The financial planner can help you establish a budget that will work with your unique situation. You must follow this budget. It will have some flexibility, but you must stay on course.

Almost all employer sponsored retirement plans have an automatic deduction/deposit system. If you are not already making automatic deposits into a 401k plan at work – start. And in case of emergencies do not be tempted to borrow against your 401k assets – find other sources.

One source for emergencies should be your emergency fund. If you do not already have an emergency fund – start building one. Due to the inconsistency of household income, the balance in this emergency fund should be at least one year’s worth of income.