Making commission is a double edge sword, you can make as much money as you can gorom but it also means when there are no pets to groom, there is no money in your pocket. Irregular income (income that changes from week to week) is the norm in the grooming industry. Most groomers earn commission and they get a set portion of the services they perform. Not knowing how much you make week to week or month to month can create some roadblocks if you aren’t prepared for them.
Different climates have different seasons, not just weather wise but also financially. Depending on where you live you may see a massive increase around November and December (Thanksgiving and Christmas) only to turn around to a ‘dead season’ in January and February due to snow. Maybe you live in warmer weather where winter is full of extra snowbird clients, instead of summer where everyone is too hot to do anything.
Creating a written budget with irregular income can make it seem harder to get every dollar to behave. An easy way to figure out what number to use for your budget is to check your median income. Go back the last 3, 6 or 12 months worth of income depending on your employment and your patience to add numbers up. Add your AFTER TAX income together, divide by however many months you have been at that job. Ideally this would be done using the last 12 months of income but as a quick example let’s use the last 4 months.
$4000 + $3000 + $2000 + $3500 = $12500
$12500 divided by 4 months= $3125 median income
Create your budget based on $3125, make sure you have priorities of what is the most important and what can go “below the line”. If you earn more than $3125 a month consider putting that money into a hills and valley fund that you can pull extra money from if needed. If you have really volatile income go by the lowest month, it’ll help you really look at priorities and budget better. Remember to always keep your personal and business finances separate… your business is not your personal piggy bank.
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