Working as a substitute teacher has a multitude of benefits, but the lack of regular income can potentially cause problems if not managed properly. Here, Nicola Boyd, operations manager at Creditfix, the UK’s largest personal insolvency practice, shares some tips on how to make the most out of your finances.
When you have a regular or fixed income, it is easy to consider your incomings and outgoings, and create a personal budget to help you manage your money. If your income varies from month to month, it is a lot harder to know what you have to spend, and you have to be careful you don’t end up in financial trouble.
First of all, it is important to get an idea of your minimum outgoings each month. This should just include the essentials — the things you need to pay — for example, your mortgage/rent, utilities, essential groceries, and transportation costs. It’s important to use realistic figures, so it may be useful to track your expenditure for a couple of months to see exactly what you spend.
A grand total illustrating the amount of money you need to get by each month will give you a starting point for your budget. Don’t forget, you also need to add enough to cover any tax you will owe, if that isn’t taken off by an employer. This combined figure is the base amount you will need to pay yourself each month, regardless of how much you earn.
To cover yourself for any months when your income isn’t enough to cover your outgoings, it is important to have savings in case of a reduced pay check. Build your savings up with anything you earn over the base amount — before you start splurging on any treats or non-essential items. Whether you aim to save a set amount each month, or to save a percentage of any money you earn over the base amount, make sure you are regularly putting away enough to build up your savings. Ideally, you should aim to have enough to cover you for six months, should you be ill or out of work for any reason.
It’s a good idea to ring-fence your savings by putting them into a separate account from the rest of your money. Some people choose to have multiple savings accounts so they can also keep aside the money they need to pay their tax or any other annual outgoings.
If you do get into financial trouble and end up in debt, it is important to acknowledge it as early as possible. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away, and can make it escalate quickly. Speak to a professional for advice, such as the expert advisors at Creditfix. They will be able to use their knowledge to help you and signpost the available options to you.
You can find more information on debt help and financial support by visiting Creditfix or calling 0808 208 5190.