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3 Must Know Financial Planning Tips for Temporary Workers

Temporary positions are a great option for people who don’t quite know what they want to do next. It’s a beneficial way to try on new jobs for size before committing to something full-time.

Unfortunately, temp jobs usually come with an expiration date, meaning the income you’re bringing home now might run out. The good news, of course, is that you usually know how long you’ll have the job when you start, so you can do some financial preparation from the beginning. Here are three things to keep in mind when working a temporary job to help defray some of your financial stress.

Know your expenses.

Get out a piece of paper and a pencil — or a digital spreadsheet if that’s how you feel more comfortable — and list out all of your expenses. Every single one: Housing, transportation, food, utilities, entertainment, streaming subscriptions, etc. All of it. Understand exactly how much money you’re spending on your bills each month. Account for everything. Go over your bank statement, your bills, etc., and get it all in one place. Break these into buckets: Necessities (aka needs) and optional spending (aka wants) are the most important and will help you bring into focus what you MUST pay for each month (housing, food) and what you choose to pay for but don’t need in order to live (subscriptions to streaming services, etc.).

Determine your income.

When you receive a temporary job offer, you are given a salary amount. In a separate portion of the paper, or a different section of the spreadsheet, add up all your income. If you have other paying projects or work that you do in addition to this temporary work — even if you have multiple temporary jobs at once — figure out how much you’ll be bringing in each month. Don’t forget to factor in the taxes you might need to pay on this income if your temporary job isn’t deducting those from your wages already. Give yourself a solid, clear financial picture from which to make your decisions going forward.

Make some cuts where possible.

Once you have your income and your expenses, see how the numbers match up. Will you have enough to cover your bills while you’re doing temporary work? If not, you have a few options: You can try to pick up additional part-time, temporary or freelance work, or you can try to cut expenses. (Tapping into savings might be an option for some people but should be considered a last resort unless it’s a real emergency.) Maybe you don’t need all those streaming services. Maybe you can carpool or rideshare to work a few days a week, or bring your lunch from home instead of buying it every day. The same goes for your morning coffee — going on a coffee run is fun but that’s money that could be spent elsewhere. If you’re able to save some money while working a temporary job, consider how to use it — do you want to pay down high-interest debt or tuck it aside for the future? Either way, it’s worth giving some thought to this question while you’re doing money math.

Looking for a new job? See what Sterling Personnel has available and then reach out!

Temporary jobs can be a great way to fill time and space, and get some new skills, between permanent gigs. Some temp jobs can even turn into permanent, full-time work! Don’t be dissuaded or talked out of taking one on if you need to; just do a little work and be money smart in the process.

If you’re looking for something a little more stable, it’s time to contact Sterling Personnel. We’re ready to help match you with some of our great clients who are looking for new employees and we’d be happy to help you find a job in your field. Contact Sterling Personnel today and let’s get started!