Budgets can be hard to stick to and sometimes you can get discouraged. Don’t. Here are some more tips on keeping to your budget.
For biweekly paydays or if you get paid every other week. I understand paychecks and hours may vary from week to week. Trust me, I worked for retail and sales for several years and understand hours can go up and down. One thing to keep in mind when getting paid twice a month is to make a budget for each paycheck. If you know you are getting paid $1000 on your paycheck allocate your funds as needed for your needs.
Here is a sample chart of a budget, based off every dollar in, every dollar used:
|Jan 2020||Beginning Balances|| Checking: $1200 |
|1st paycheck||$1300||2nd paycheck||$1400|
|1st half Total||$2270||2nd half Total||$1400|
|Car Ins||$85||Student Loans||$180|
|Food||$300||Food: eat out||$200|
|Expense Total1||$2116||Expense Total2||$1305|
|Fun money||$154||Fun money||$95|
|Total Income||$3670||Total Expense||$3421|
Notice at the top, I put the beginning balances of checking and savings. The goal is to save your first $1000 dollars, then for me its pay down those debts. This is away to keep track of how close you are to your goal. I have totals of the income at the bottom of the chart as well as total expense. Looks like I have some fun money set up for both parts of the month. You can also use this fun money to pay done other debts but hey you gotta have some fun too! In the middle of the chart I have expenses for the beginning of the month 1-15th and the last part of the month 16-30th. In order are what I know be paid out first. For example on the first week rent normally comes out on the 5th, and Amazon Credit card is paid on the 14th.
Miscellaneous Category is a great saver. This is the catch-all category. Your cushion. Unexpected expenses to birthday gifts to oil changes. This category is important to have when creating a budget. Whatever funds you don’t use in this category you can apply to others.
Use Cash: For categories like food, miscellaneous, fun money, gas/car maintenance- use cash. So when I first started budgeting while working for my first job I felt pretty silly carrying around cash. I wanted to balance to the penny. Looking back, on it I am glad I decided to go back to just using cash. Instead of mindlessly swiping my credit card, I was able to be in control where the funds were going. I knew exactly where my cash was going to- eating out, gas, or groceries. I felt I was holding myself accountable for what was leaving my hand and what I was getting for in exchange. Each category had its set amount and I would only use what I needed and deposit the rest.
Cash Flow Plan: You don’t have to call it a budget. Call it something different. Cash flow plan. Money that comes in and what it gets divided into as it goes out. I know several people do not like the word budget. The word itself hurts their ears and they feel restricted from what they can and can’t do. Trust me this can be hard to learn but calling it something different can help shift your mindset to something more. The money you have is working for you and not against you. And that you are in control of where you want to use your money.
Work on it together: If you are married work on your budget with your spouse. See what categories need to change, what more you can put towards to get your debts paid down. One creates the budget and the other gives suggestions and input to what can be changed. You can switch roles every other week or month. Your other half may bring creating a budget or cash flow plan to light with their input to make things fun. If you are single, get together with a close friend or family member to hold you accountable for your budget or cash flow plan.
Liked these tips? Check out my previous posts on budgeting!
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