Asked • 04/11/19

Weekly budgets based on (a variable) monthly budget?

My brother is a musician and works on a project basis -- the company pays him in the end of month, based on the hours he was working on each project. He is young and he doesn't make that much on a month so he needs to be careful to make it to the end of month without needing some extra money. As he doesn't have a defined salary, it's hard for him to plan for the entire month. Some months he gets a decent amount of money, some other months just a minimum. Last night he asked me if I have any suggestion for him. Off the top of my head I told him to divide the money he gets into four and put each of them into an envelope named "Week #1", "Week #2" and so on -- he is gonna do it actually via his bank account. So basically I told him it doesn't matter how much you have per week, just try to survive with that in that week and wait until the next week where you can spend the next division/envelop. If you got anything left in a week, save them for unexpected things that will happen in the future and try to handle every unexpected thing by your savings + the money you have for the current week. So for example if you need to pay for something that exceeds your saving, instead of spending the money you reserved for the next weeks, wait until you can pay it only by your savings or in the worst case with some money taken from your current week -- and only the current week, not the next weeks. After I had my suggestions to him, I actually start thinking about it. My question is how practical is this approach? What are the pros and cons? Is there any good read about similar things where I can get a better understanding of such an idea? Is there any general term for such an approach, so I can get some more ideas by searching on the 'net?

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