Do you struggle with traditional budgets? Sometimes once a month is too long to plan out your paychecks. After all, one part of the month may be far more costly than the other, right? If that has been your struggle, I totally relate. I found a solution; however, and that’s why we’re going to talk about financial management on a bi-weekly budget.
Financial Management On a Bi-Weekly Budget 101
What is a bi-weekly budget?
A budget simply tells your money where to go. If you get paid bi-weekly, then you create a budget for every paycheck. Two separate budgets per month.
Does it really work?
YES. My husband and I tried using a monthly budget, but right around the end of each month, our habits started slipping. Mistakes would happen. Money would run out, and we couldn’t figure out why.
Turns out so many of our bills came due during the first half of the month (i.e. rent, cell phones, utilities, etc.). It was hard to have extra funds to fill all our cash envelopes; it all got tangled.
Then, one day, we realized we could do two budgets each month. We started listing the expenses that would only happen during that two-week pay period. The benefits include:
- We only had to budget 14 days worth of bills.
- We could divide our cash envelopes more easily and feel safer with less cash in our pockets.
- It became easier to delegate which part of the month was for bill paying and which part could be used for saving and paying extra on debt.
For example, our first paycheck goes directly toward most of our bills and expenses. There isn’t much left over, so we don’t even try to save any of it. Then, when our second paycheck comes, we cover the remaining bills and expenses, but we move as much extra as we can into our emergency fund, paying off debt, or building up funds toward home repairs, renewing our auto insurance, clothing, etc.
Are two budgets every month worth the hassle?
For us? Yes. Before we discovered the option of financial management on a bi-weekly budget, our choices were either figure out the monthly budget (which just wasn’t happening) or quit trying. I can’t imagine where we’d be right now if we’d thrown in the towel.
Instead, we’re debt-free except our mortgage, we have a fully funded emergency fund, a growing investment portfolio, and just enough good habits to keep us from falling into old behaviors.
We’re not perfect, but choosing the bi-weekly budget brought far better results than quitting.
If you are someone who struggles with your monthly expenses, you may need to split your month in two and track those bi-weekly paychecks. Below are several free templates for you to choose. Find one that works for you and your family, and get started today.
Bi-Weekly Budget Templates
The Allocated Spending Plan – Source: Dave Ramsey
The Bi-Weekly Budget Template – Source: Document Templates
Bi-Weekly Personal Budget Template – Source: Thrivent Financial