For event photographer Veena Gokhale, the busiest time of the year is during the marriage and festive season. Actors, photographers and writers may belong to different fields but share a lot in terms of uncertain working hours and incomes.
There is a constant pressure of not receiving pay cheques at the end of each month. Says Chowdhary, "Somewhere at the back of your mind, the thought persists...what if I don't get enough assignments next month?"
Such uncertainty calls for a lot of financial maneuvering if short- and long-term goals are to be met. Financial planner Suresh Sadagopan, says, "People with irregular incomes need to start at the very outset."
Fact 1: A drop in income for no apparent reason
Planning for such a situation should be an integral part of your back-up plan. Television actor Vibhuti Thakur learned this the hard way. "Several times I have shot but not been paid as one get payments for only the telecast episodes. This taught me to spend only after cash is deposited in my bank account."
Using those erratic income streams is key.
Fact 2: Lower savings, as meeting the requirements at hand takes priority over saving for the future
For instance, most of Gokhale's income is spent on buying latest photographic equipment and on her teenage son's growing demands. Financial planners advise investing and saving in instruments or funds that can be accessed quickly in times of need.
Fact 3: Fear about the future of your dependents and building a retirement corpus
Gokhale knows buying a new house will mean working for many more years. "Though I am not the only earning member of my family, I may have to keep working till my son grows up and starts earning", she says. Planners suggest retiring current liabilities before building a corpus for the future.