Living With an Uneven Income

When your cash flow is unpredictable but your bills arrive like clockwork, you need an ironclad plan.

(Image credit: @Xiangyun Chen 2014All Rights Reserved)

Sarah and Ryan Parker of Richmond, Va., didn’t plan to work for themselves when they got married 13 years ago. Sarah, 35, intended to be a nurse anesthetist. Ryan, 38, was committed to a career in the banking industry. But while Sarah was pursuing her nursing degree, she found herself spending most of her free time making hand-stamped silverware and other custom-made housewares. In 2011, she decided to sell her creations on Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods. The business, Milk & Honey Luxuries, was so successful that, in 2012, Sarah decided to pursue it full-time. A year later, Ryan left his job at Bank of America to help her expand the business.

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Sandra Block
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.