Count Your Income

Before you start writing out your expenses, you should calculate your income.  Many consumers have two income sources: a primary and a secondary source.

A primary income source can include:

Salary or wages

Freelance income

Secondary income sources can include: 

Rental income 

Dividends 

A primary income source is what pays the bills on a regular basis, whereas a secondary income source is less consistent. If you have irregular income as your primary source, use the average amount you earn every month. You can also play it safe and use the lowest amount you typically earn.

Secondary income can be less reliable than primary income, so only include it in your calculations if you are confident. For example, rental income from a property is generally fairly dependable, while freelance income may be less predictable.