Budgeting Tips for Bartenders

You are a bartender who lives off of tips so you know it can be difficult to maintain a bartender budget. There is a toil that comes with a job that relies mainly on tips for income.

Bartender Budget

When you deal primarily with cash, you quickly realize that in a blink of an eye it can be gone. It’s great to walk away with money every day. But if cash is the majority of your income, it’s a problem if you do not budget properly. So how does one maintain a bartender budget?


Know Your Priorities

Out of the money you make, you have to buy food, pay rent, etc. etc. You have to figure out how much you would need for bills. Then work towards reaching those goals while trying to save money at the same time.

It’s important to know your priorities. So if your rent is $900 dollars a month then you know you need to put that away from your tips. You have to ensure that you keep that roof over your head.

Automatic Deposits 

Take away 10-15 percent of all the tips and deposit them into your bank account. You can even set up two accounts, one for bills and one for savings.

If you plan to save 15% of your income, put 10% away to cover bills and 5% to cover savings. By doing this you are saving a little each day. You are building up money not only for necessities like groceries and rent but also in case of an emergency.

Keep a Basic Spreadsheet helps with the Bartender Budget

I know it may seem old fashioned but try keeping a spreadsheet or even just a journal of every dollar you make. Click here for a sample to download and use. Make sure you write down the date and hours you worked and then the amount of tips you earned for the day.

By doing this you can see how much you are making per month. This also shows if there are any variations to your pay on a monthly basis. If you start tracking your earnings, you will appreciate and take better care of your money.

Use Online Banking for your Bartender Budget

Try to see if your bank has online banking. With online banking it is easy to maintain and see your balance on a daily bases. This allows you to keep track of your money and see if you need to pick up extra shifts if your balance is low.

Set goals, track and check daily.

If you need to earn more, put in more hours. But if you never know, it’s hard to step things up if need be to meet your monthly expenses and savings goals.

Resist Temptation

I know that it is tempting when you come home with all of that cash. You can just spend it on things you want or the first thing that flashes in your face. But what many of us don’t realize is how fast that money can go. Try not to spend the money as soon as you get it, instead set aside a certain amount for recreational things like the movies or going out with your family and friends.

Being a bartender is not an easy job. Most of the bartenders I have spoken to say that the job makes up for itself with the tips they earn and the people they meet. The problem is keeping the money, having enough to pay the bills, and saving enough for emergencies. Just remember, deposit a chunk each night, know your priorities and keep track of what you earn. If you this, you should be able to live comfortably while enjoying being a bartender.


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