My life is dictated by the school year and at this time of year, the start of summer, I feel both exhilarated and unsure. Though I am looking forward to this week being over as it is the final week of school, the beginning of summer also means a loss of income. To supplement the next three months of my summer vacation, I’m using various methods to bring in additional money. It won’t make up for my teaching income which spans 9 months out of the year, but it will help pay the bills and keep me on track with my budget. Here is the breakdown of what I will be losing in the way of income, and ways I hope to make up some for it:
- Income Loss: $3,200 a month in teaching
- Tutoring: $500 monthly
- Administrative side job: $400 monthly
- Additional web site and graphic design job income: $1,500 monthly
- Writing for publications: $100 monthly (this might be wishful thinking!)
Total potential income is $2,500 a month, about $900 short of what I make October through July (those are my pay-day months). My monthly budget throughout the summer stays about the same since I don’t drive very far to work, and some days I ride my bike. This equates to not saving much on gas. I also don’t buy lunch when I’m working, I bring my own, so no savings there. I will save a little money on school supplies, such as rewards, prizes, and candy, but the total amount saved will be minimal and won’t help make up the difference in lost income.
I’ve looked closely at a few items in my budget where I can save a little money by renegotiating the terms and prices. For instance, I was recently able to lower my auto insurance by almost $20 a month, which is a huge savings. I’m thinking I might be able to apply this strategy of shopping around to reduce my phone bill. Web hosting is another area I’m working on cutting expenses. I’m basically merging two servers into one and should be able to save quite a bit on monthly web hosting costs. If I can whittle my monthly bills down by $75, I would only be short $825.
But how could I potentially make up that missing $825? I’ve thought through a few scenarios and decided I could reduce my Starbucks (gulp!) and perhaps bump up the additional streams of income.
- Switch out my daily Starbucks Americano at $2.55 to the Via packets and vanilla syrup at $1.85. Total monthly savings $21.00 (Almost doesn’t seem worth it! * sigh*)
- Increase the amount of web site projects: Potential income $450
- Increase the number of tutoring clients or hours: Potential income $150
- Increase the number of Cap Light orders (a passive income generator that has been taking up too much of my time lately!): Potential income $50
I could probably squeeze another $600 to $700 out of my potential streams of income, but these figures are estimates and could be higher or lower in actuality. Hiding in the wings is another passive income generator that I’ve been patiently waiting on. My husband and I have been working for a company on a percentage basis. The company is in the negotiation process with a potential client. This could mean a few thousand dollars is heading our way. We just need to remain patient and hope that the contract goes through within the next couple of weeks.
Luckily, I’m a flexible, jack-of-all trade’s kind of person and can adapt to almost any environment. Yet knowing where my money goes and having a savings account is also helpful during this unpredictable season.
Does you income fluctuate throughout the year? How do you navigate your way through those low periods?