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How to Pay Yourself When Your Income Fluctuates A fluctuating income is no excuse for getting off track with your personal budget.

By J.D. Roth

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I chatted recently with a woman who earns her living as a freelance copy editor and sometime photographer. Her income fluctuates, making it tough to budget. She's able to pay the bills, but some months are tougher than others.

I'm in the same boat. I've been self-employed for three years, and my income has never been the same from one month to the next. Although budgeting for a variable income can be frustrating, it is possible. I've found a system that takes the terror out of an uncertain future.

The key is to give yourself a regular paycheck. First, project your personal income for the upcoming year. Traditionally, a small-business owner with variable income might build a budget based on average income earned during the previous 12 months.

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