When it comes to sound money management, coming up with a good budget should be the number one thing in your mind. But what about a biweekly budget?
I know you may think creating and following a budget is difficult, I get it. For a long time I thought the same.
But honestly, it really is the best way to manage your money effectively and avoid falling into debt.
Debt is no fun, whether you are paid biweekly or monthly.
Your biweekly budget is basically you creating a plan to spend the money you are paid every two weeks. You’re in charge of deciding where your money goes, what you spend it on and it’s purpose.
Having a budget that works helps you to ensure your income covers all your bills and expenses. As importantly, if not more, it will help you save for your future.
Depending on how you are paid, you can decide between having a monthly budget or a biweekly budget.
Some people advocate using the 50 20 30 budget rule. I’m not a fan as the idea of allocating 30% of your budget to fun when you have debt to pay off or retirement to plan seems irresponsible to me.
Speaking from personal experience I think it is better to have a biweekly budget if you are paid biweekly. It keeps things simple. And I like simple!
What are the Benefits of having a biweekly budget?
Your biweekly budget will help you plan for a buffer that comes in handy in case you get any surprise or unexpected expenses.
With this kind of budgeting, you don’t have to create long estimations like you do with a monthly budget. A budget that can be affected by unexpected or surprise bills.
With short estimates in the biweekly spending plan, your numbers are going to work even if you are hit with a bill you hadn’t planned on.
a budget that matches your paycheck
A biweekly spending plan will help you examine and anticipate your biweekly expenses in a much better way, which is the primary purpose of a budget.
You will have a mapped out plan of how you spend, and in case of any extra expenses, you can make sure you add them.
You won’t end up overspending and using the money meant for other essential expenses.
Keep spending in check
It will help you keep your weekly discretionary spending in check. This means that you will not overspend on stuff or expenses that don’t go into paying the various bills or the rent.
Without a control measure for discretionary spending, you might find yourself overdoing it and end up spending your full biweekly pay without realizing it.
You get a lower transaction volume with this type of budgeting plan.
This makes it less tedious, more manageable, and much easier to go through your expenses as there are much fewer transactions to crunch out the numbers when compared to the monthly budget.
Easy to make changes
When you need to make changes to your budget, a biweekly budgeting plan makes it much easier since you go through your spending more often.
Since the weekly expenditures are not the same as some unexpected additions, you can identify the most frequent surprise expenses and always set aside some amount to cater to them every time.
Because of the advantages you may get from having a biweekly budgeting plan, you need to know how to budget when you get paid twice a month.
If you move to being paid monthly then have a read of my post on how to budget your money for monthly income payments.
The 3rd check bonus
The beauty of being paid biweekly is that twice a year you get a third check. Your biweekly budget covers all your expenses and spending for a whole month so the 3rd checks are bonus money.
Money that you can use in a completely different way to your normal paycheck. You can throw this money at debt, at your mortgage, into savings or treat yourself to something special.
You may also like:
How to budget biweekly
Just like with any other budget, starting and following a biweekly spending plan is takes a little getting used to.
But with a well-laid-out plan and monitoring your biweekly expenses against your biweekly income, you can come up with the perfect semi-monthly budget to propel you to your financial success.
If you are getting paid biweekly and want to create a biweekly spending plan, here are some of the steps to follow to write a good budget that you can implement and follow easily.
1. Make a list of all your bills or fixed monthly expenses
Write down a list that contains all the fixed payments you make like the rent or mortgage, payments for a car, internet or cable, and even the loans you are repaying.
Take note of the due dates for payments and the amounts you are supposed to pay.
To make things easier, go through your latest two months’ bank statements. These will give you the bills and expenses that occur monthly that you may forget about.
Once you have your list the next step is to plan how you will use your income to pay all your bills throughout the month.
2. Make a calendar for your bill payments
The next step is to map out the bills and expenses you have listed on a calendar meant for bill payment.
Making a calendar for paying your bills will help you organize your bill payments depending on the dates they are supposed to be paid.
There are other ways to track the payment days but having a calendar is perfect if you prefer to visualize your budget.
I have found that seeing your budget laid out on a calendar makes it more real and much easier to understand.
When writing down the bills on the calendar, you should indicate if a bill is to be paid from the first check or second. I found using different colored pens for each paycheck really helped.
Doing this will help you to track your bill payments easily.
You can add additional expenses like birthdays to your calendar to act as a reminder of the expense you make for gifts.
Another good thing about a calendar is that you create one on your phone with reminders for the bill payments.
3. Create your first budget from the first check
With your bill payment calendar and all the dates for payments mapped out, it is now easy to know the total amount of money you will spend from your first biweekly paycheck.
From here, you add other expenses to your budget like groceries, gas money, and even to buy things like clothes.
If you have anything left over from your first pay check then consider adding this to your loan repayments.
Every little extra bit of money you put towards debt repayments brings forward your debt freedom date.
If you have no debt, put this money towards your future. Pay yourself first so you can spend the money later.
4. Create your second semi monthly budget from the second check
Like the first, create a budget from the bills on your calendar and pay all the bills according to their due date.
You can also have some additional groceries and other expenses added to it to complete the expenses.
Also, ensure to add in the money you spend on for your day-to-day life like paying memberships, different kinds of maintenance, including haircuts.
Making and following a thorough semi monthly budget will have you set up for a successful financial journey.
5. Have a follow up and monitor your spending
Just having a semi monthly budget is not enough to guarantee your financial success.
You need to know if your budget is realistic as you spend, and you can do this by monitoring your spending. You may think you have made the perfect budget only to find out you have spent more. Oops!
If you don’t track your spending you could spend too much too quickly leading to blowing your budget.
Having put so much effort into creating your perfect biweekly budget, you don’t want to end up worrying about money.
Benefits of monitoring your spending
Gain more control of your money
Following up on your expenses will help you know your financial situation. Knowing your expenses well gives you more control over your finances for better and more responsible spending habits.
You may also like:
Learn additional ways to save money
When you monitor your expenses, it may surprise you how much you spend on less important things. How much do I spend on chocolate?!!
This realization will enable you to re-evaluate how you spend and find the expenses you need to cut back on to improve your saving.
When you do this each week, you will find that you have saved a fair amount from your biweekly pay hence improving your financial situation.
Learn how to make a budget you can stick to
When you track your spending, you get to learn more about your money habits and how you spend it. This makes it easier to write a budget you can follow as you already know how you spend.
Biweekly budgeting is one of the best ways to manage your income when you are paid biweekly.
The pay might not be that much, but with a proper plan on how to budget when you get paid twice a month, you will soon find yourself saving much and on your way to financial freedom after paying off your loans and debts.
Start taking back control of your money by grabbing your copy of the Money Saving Starter Guide today.
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!