Creating and sticking to a budget can seem like a daunting task, especially if you get paid every two weeks! There are hundreds of tips on how to manage your monthly income. But what about when every two weeks?
If you need to budget on biweekly income and aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve put together simple steps to help guide you in the right direction. These are the exact steps I used to help our family budget when we were getting paid every two weeks.
Here are five steps to help you budget every two weeks:
- List your bills
- Fill out a bill payment calendar
- Write your first budget every two weeks
- Write your second budget every two weeks
- Track your spending
Before we dive into each of these steps, let’s cover what biweekly payment actually looks like.
What is the wage every two weeks?
There are 52 weeks in a year. If you pay biweekly you will receive 26 paychecks over the course of the year. Most months, you will receive 2 paychecks, but 2 months out of the year you will receive 3 paychecks.
Wondering what to do with that third paycheck? Don’t worry! We will cover that in this article.
Do you get paid the same every two weeks as you would twice a month?
Bi-weekly pay is not the same as getting paid twice a month. Those who get paid twice a month will receive only 24 checks. They will not have the opportunity to enjoy their third months of salary.
Regardless of whether you get paid biweekly or twice a month, the following steps will help you write a budget you can stick to!
Step 1: List your invoices
Grab a piece of paper and list all your bills, the amount owed, and their due dates. To make sure you don’t miss any bills, print out your bank statements for the last two months. Review every transaction and highlight the invoices issued each month. Add these to your billing list.
If you forget to add monthly expenses to your list, your entire biweekly budget could be thrown out the window. Although no budget is perfect, this is when many people give up on their budget. The more prepared you are with your budget, the more likely it will be successful!
Step 2: Create your bill payment calendar
Once you’ve listed all your bills, it’s time to add them to your bill payment calendar. This type of calendar helps you organize your bills based on when they are paid. If you’re a visual person, this is a must-have!
A simple monthly calendar will work, or you can use this page from my budget planner.
As you write your bi-weekly budget, highlight all bills that will be paid from your first paycheck in one color. Then highlight all the bills that will come out of your second paycheck in another color.
Bill payment calendars are excellent To track when you have paid bills. I always put a check mark next to each bill after it’s paid or after it’s automatically withdrawn from my account.
You can also draw an asterisk next to each bill that will be automatically debited from your account. This way you will know which bills will be paid automatically and which bills you are responsible for paying.
Another great tip is to add other notes or special dates to your bill payment calendar to help you adjust your budget. For example, add any family’s birthdays or holidays to your bill payment calendar.
Keep your bill payment calendar somewhere where you can refer to it often. Don’t delete it or you may forget to come back to it throughout the month. Bill payment calendar is excellent A way to keep yourself organized and make budgeting every two weeks an easy task!
Step 3: Write your first budget every two weeks
Once you have your bill payment calendar filled out, you’ll know which bills need to be paid with your first paycheck. Next, add any additional expenses to your budget such as groceries, gas, and spending money. Make sure to include all expenses you will incur before your next payday in your budget.
By creating a comprehensive budget, you’ll set yourself up for success!
If you have any money left over, you can send it to your sinking funds or make an extra payment on debt! This will help you achieve your savings and debt freedom goals faster.
Step 4: Write your second budget every two weeks
After the second check hits your bank account, you can pay the rest of your bills for the month. You’ll also need to set aside money for groceries, gas, and other expenses.
Don’t forget to include these 10 items that are often missing from budgets!
If there is any money left over after you’ve budgeted all your expenses, send it to savings or debt.
Step 5: Track your spending
Once you have your bi-weekly budget written out, it’s important to track your spending. By tracking your expenses and spending, you’ll get a good idea of whether your budget is realistic or not. It’s not uncommon to write a budget that you think is perfect and then discover that you’ve run out of budget within a week of payday.
Tracking your spending has many benefits, but these three stand out above the rest:
- You learn more about your financial habits. When you track your spending, you’ll start to learn more about yourself and your partner’s spending habits. The more you know about your spending, the easier it will be to write a budget you can actually stick to.
- You can find ways to save money. When you start tracking your spending, you may be surprised by how much money you spend! This will allow you to find areas in your spending where you can cut back and save more money. Try to find new expenses to cut your spending every month.
- You will be more in control of your money. Tracking your spending allows you to face your financial reality. When you know exactly where your money is going, you will be more confident and feel in control of your money. This is the better The benefit of knowing where your money is going.
Budget Bi-Monthly Tips and Hacks
Learning how to write a budget every two weeks may seem difficult at first, but these tips will help make it simple!
Organize yourself and your money
No matter how you get your money, organizing yourself and your money will not only make budgeting more efficient, but fun too!
How you choose to organize yourself depends entirely on you. Are you more technical and prefer spreadsheets? excellent! Keep everything organized in Excel or even Quick. If you enjoy making budgets and handling your money with paper and pencil, this budget folder is perfect for you!
You can even get a combination of the two. Our family personally uses Quicken to track our spending. We also have a budget file where we keep any papers, bills and our budget calendars organized.
When you can get your finances in order, you will worry less about your money. You’ll know that writing a budget or paying bills doesn’t have to be daunting. Who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it one day!
Include a buffer in your budget
It doesn’t matter how Your budget Consider including a buffer in your budget each pay period. A buffer is simply an amount that acts as a limit so that you don’t overspend. It covers any additional expenses that may surprise you.
Likewise, a buffer can also help cover bills that end up costing more than you planned. You know, like the electric bill that ended up being $50 more than you expected!
Buffers can help you stick to your budget. They leave room for grace in your everyday finances. To include a buffer in your budget, simply write the word “buffer” as a line item in your budget. Decide how much money you want to have as a buffer and make it a priority to include the same amount for each paycheck!
Set a day and time to work according to your budget
Life happens. And sometimes the last thing is you Wants What you should do is sit down to review or write down your budget every two weeks. Look, I get it. I can easily find 100 things I would rather do than sit down and work on my finances.
But if you want to achieve your financial goals, go for it Owns To make your budget and your money a priority.
Even when you don’t want to.
The best way to make your budget a priority is to set a day and time to work on your finances. Treat this time as a non-negotiable appointment with yourself.
If you are sick, you will see a doctor. If you have a cavity, you will see a dentist. You’ll never miss a dentist appointment if your teeth hurt! Treat these appointments with yourself as important as the doctor’s visit you schedule!
During these scheduled budget meetings, you can:
- Pay upcoming bills
- Write a new budget if payday is coming soon
- Track any expenses or spending from the past few days
- Track how much money you have in savings
- Find ways to cut back on your spending so you can save more money
This little tip can really transform your finances and help you budget better than ever!
Move your due dates
If you don’t have enough money to cover all of your expenses in your biweekly budget, consider contacting your billing companies and changing the due dates of your bills. This is a very easy task and will help make budgeting easier for you each month.
For example, if your cell phone bill is due on the 18thy, but you prefer to pay it from your first paycheck, then contact the company and simply ask to change the date. Most companies will be willing to work with you because they know that this means you are more likely to pay your bills on time.
Traps to avoid when you get paid every two weeks
There are two main traps people fall into when they start working on their bi-weekly budget. Let’s cover them below so you don’t fall into the same traps.
Trap #1: Don’t spend your entire third paycheck
We’ll go into more depth below about what you should do with your third paycheck, but know this: it has a purpose. This should be the third salary NB They can be considered your rewards or extra spending money. You’ll need to be specific about how you’ll use that extra paycheck so you can continue to make progress toward your financial goals.
Trap #2: Don’t get off track
If you get paid every two weeks, you should check it often to make sure you’re on track with your budget and bill payment. Unlike someone who gets paid once a month, you will likely have to pay bills several times each month.
Don’t stray from your bill payment schedule. Keep your bill payment calendar visible so you don’t miss any bills. The last thing you want to do is face late fees!
What to do with the third salary
Twice a year the clouds will clear, the sky will shine upon you, and you will receive your glorious third salary! All would be right in the world and the spender might want to head straight to the Target home decor section. But let me encourage you to send that “extra money” elsewhere.
First, you’ll need to set aside any money you’ll need for the next two weeks. This will include any bills that may come up and daily expenses. Don’t let any account go overlooked.
Next, take all your remaining money and throw it into your snowball or savings account. If you’re trying to save for a vacation, this is a great opportunity to send more money toward that goal. Plus, if you have money saved, you won’t have to put any of your vacation expenses on a credit card.
You can also use this money to build a large buffer in your checking account. The third paycheck is a great tool, but it has to be used that way.
Writing a budget is like any other task. Practice makes progress! The more often you write a bi-monthly budget, the easier it becomes. Give yourself time and I promise you’ll become a budgeting pro in no time!
Are you looking for an incentive to stop living paycheck to paycheck and pay off your debt once and for all? This simple, actionable budgeting and debt cheat sheet will help you take control of your money once and for all. You don’t work hard to live paycheck to paycheck, do you?