People who have an unpredictable income may feel that a lot of the financial advice they encounter is not really written for them. Often, that advice is aimed at people who have a more conventional financial life. However, financial security is achievable for everyone. 

First, a credit card can interfere with financial security. It can be tempting to think that a credit card is a financial help because it offers perks, such as points for travel, but ultimately, it is an easy way to get into and stay in debt, especially for people with an unpredictable income that could affect their ability to pay off your balance each month. 

People should be focusing on paying down debt instead of accumulating it, which they can do using the “snowball method.” With this method, a person should choose one debt to focus on and make minimum payments on the other debts. They should then put as much as they can toward the main debt. Once that is paid off, they roll that amount plus the minimum onto the next debt. They can organize the debts either in order of highest to lowest interest rates, which makes more financial sense, or smallest to highest debt, which can be more psychologically satisfying. 

While paying down debt, people should work on creating a small emergency fund of around $1000. This can allow them to absorb unexpected things that happen, such as a necessary car repair. This fund is particularly important when income is irregular. Once the debts are fully paid off, they should focus on growing that account. People who have an unpredictable income should work on building more than the three to six months of savings that are normally recommended. A year or more of savings would be better. 

Once the emergency fund has been built, people should invest 15% of their income in retirement funds. Finally, they need to live within their means, spending less than they make, and keeping in mind that the unpredictable income means a budget that accounts for lean times is particularly important.

An unpredictable income can make achieving financial security more challenging, but it can be attained by following the above principles.