"Love your Budget, Love your Life!"
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Hey girl, hey!
So there you are getting paid every two weeks… thinking that you are rollin’ in the dough. Yet, even with this pay frequency, it seems that the money is leaving your pocketbook faster than the direct deposit is hitting your account. And somehow, someway there’s always a bill or two that ends up getting paid late or not at all (noooo!). But how in the world is a girl supposed to manage monthly bills when your pay is split up into two or three checks a month?” Girlfriend, I got you! Let’s take a closer look:
Now if you’ve been following my posts regularly, you know that I’m a huge advocate of having an excel spreadsheet to keep track of your income and monthly expenses, but with bi-weekly pay periods, things can become a little tricky.
Folks with bi-weekly pay frequencies will have a beginning of the month check, an end of the month check, and sometimes an extra third check during any given month (winning!). So the best way to manage this situation is to pay close attention to the due dates of your bills and plan accordingly.
Below I have created a sample budget based on a hypothetical, single, career woman with no children who nets about $1400 every two weeks. Please note, not every budget will look the same and yours will have to be adjusted to fit your lifestyle.
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To some of you this spreadsheet example may seem like a lot of mumbo-jumbo, but let me break it down for you column by column so that we're all on the same page.
The first column is a list of all your regular monthly obligations. Color coding can help keep track of "bill categories". For example:
Green = Savings
Blue = Necessary Household Bills
Orange = Transportation Expenses
Purple = "Nice to Have" Household Bills (can be reduced and/or eliminated)
Red = Debt
The second column lists your due dates for each bill. As you see... not all items on your spreadsheet will have set “due dates”, so money can be allocated toward those items as your budget allows. However, notice that all bills that do have required due dates are scheduled to be paid on or prior to the actual date it’s due.
The third and fourth columns are split into two parts. The top portion shows each pay date and how much was on each paycheck (income).
The bottom portion of the third column lists the starting balances for each account that have funds that will roll over i.e. savings will increase and debt should decrease. The bottom portion of the fourth column shows how much is actually budgeted for each bill.
The fifth column displays the account balance for rollover accounts... whether increasing or decreasing. For instance, sometimes rent will need to be split between two paydays in order to allow yourself to have a little spending money. On the other hand, as your savings increases and your debt drops... you'll want to keep track of that too.
For the most part… all beginning of the month checks should match, all end of the month checks should match and if you’re lucky… your third check could end up being a bonus check to pay off a little more debt and add a little more to savings! (double winning!).
So after you determine how much from that particular payday will go towards bills, (girlfriends, you know what to do) chunk it in your Bill Pay Account! Any leftover amount is yours to play with until the next payday comes around (Spending Money).
This hypothetical girlfriend has about $430 left over for spending money for the month and all of her necessities are covered! Now can she ball out like a celebrity? No. But she can definitely ball on a budget!
I know this spreadsheet may seem like a lot at first glance, but once you get a handle on when things are due and what each pay period is going to look like, updating your spreadsheet should be a breeze… so much so that you’ll actually look forward to it (no more dreaded paydays, hunty!).
So give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!
Until Next Time,