Most employees get paid every two weeks, and you’re probably one of them. Regardless of what day of the week your usual payday falls on, it’s the same day, and you alternate between weeks when you do get paid and weeks when you don’t. Household budgeting on a biweekly pay schedule can sometimes be tricky because you have to make sure the money you get from each paycheck stretches to fulfill your financial commitments. Here are some tips to make it easier.
1. Pay all of your debts every two weeks to match your biweekly pay schedule.
Paying a loan every month is inconvenient because you have to save part of your paycheck from earlier in the month for the payments later in the month. Rather than making monthly payments on a loan, enroll in biweekly payments so you can pay an equal amount out of each paycheck. It’s super easy to sign up, and you’ll also reap the benefit of making two extra half payments on a loan each year to pay off your debt more quickly.
2. Align your other flexible expenses with your biweekly paychecks.
Monthly budgeting doesn’t make sense for things you’re buying all the time, not just once each month. For example, rather than grocery budgeting each month, set aside a specific amount out of each paycheck for groceries. Allocate a certain amount of each paycheck toward other purchases like clothing, gas, and entertainment, too. There’s no reason to use the artificial constraint of a month when you actually get paid every two weeks.
3. Develop consistent shopping routines.
It’s tough to budget for things like groceries if you just shop periodically. However, if you get in the habit of going shopping on the same day each week, you’ll know exactly how much you can spend. For example, you may go spend $100 for most of your groceries every two weeks the day after you get paid on your biweekly pay schedule
, and then have another $25 to spend a week later on perishable foods, like produce and dairy.
4. Use your third monthly paycheck wisely.
Two months each year, you’ll end up getting three paychecks in one calendar month. Because you can’t make biweekly payments on bills with inconsistent amounts, like utility bills, you’ll end up having a little extra spending money in this paycheck because none of it is going toward these monthly bills. Consider carefully how you want to use it, whether you put it in savings, make extra payments on a loan, or spend it on something special you have had your eye on.