How steady is your paycheck? If you’re like a growing number of Americans, you’re getting more commissions, project fees, seasonal and overtime pay, plus bonuses. What you’re not getting is a semi-monthly check with benefits.

If your income varies from month-to-month, that means you’ve got to get smarter about managing your money.

Create a list of priorities in your life, starting with food, clothing, shelter, utilities, transportation and health insurance. Next, stash between 25 to 30 percent of each check in a separate account to pay Uncle Sam. If you’ve got extra cash, fatten up your emergency cash account, and prepay bills, if you can. Finally, be sure to contribute to your retirement account throughout the year, so you don’t have to come up with a lump sum all at once.

The trick to living on an income that varies is to use one of my favorite financial principals – deferred gratification. If you don’t absolutely need it today, don’t buy it.

With practical, informative consumer advice, I’m Ilyce Glink, News-Talk 750 WSB