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Paying Yourself a Salary on a Variable Income

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An author’s earnings can vary considerably from month to month and from year to year. Receiving a large book advance can tempt you to splurge, even though stretches of time without writing income likely await. One elegant solution can be to separate your personal and business finances, then pay yourself an appropriate monthly salary out your business income. Doing so can help steady your finances during lean times, while potentially improving your tax situation as well, depending on how your business is structured.

Erin Lowry, host of our Money Matters series and author of the four-part Broke Millennial series of finance books, will provide an overview of your options for establishing a business entity, obtaining a business checking account, and mapping out how to determine an appropriate monthly salary on a variable income.


Erin Lowry is the author of the four-part Broke Millennial series, including: Broke Millennial, Broke Millennial Takes On Investing and Broke Millennial Talks Money and her soon-to-be-published Broke Millennial Workbook: Take Control and Get Your Financial Life Together. Erin’s been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on CBS Sunday Morning, CNBC and The Rachael Ray Show. She has written for The New York Times, USA Today, and is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. She publishes a twice-weekly Substack newsletter called Broke Millennial with Erin Lowry.