My husband recently changed jobs putting us back into the spiral of bi-weekly paychecks. Something we are not strangers of but still the first couple weeks was a bit crazy while we flipped bills and such around. Budgeting for being paid every two weeks is a big pain in the rear when you have only one income source to this time is a lot easier than our Army days but we still pulled out some of our tricks from back then to make the adjustment.
Why you should budget when you are paid bi-weekly
If you are not used to bi-weekly pay, it can be a bit frustrating to adjust your budget to this payment schedule. While getting bigger paychecks is a plus, they are so far apart that it poses some challenges. Taking the time to budget your bi-weekly paychecks will help you make the most of every penny you have and prevent you from running out of money during the second week of your pay period.
Budgeting helps you stay on top of your finances and ensures you always have what you need even if something unexpected happens during the first week. Budgeting allows you to make sure that you can reach your goals and that you always pay your bills even if you don’t get paid until they are due.
There are some advantages and some disadvantages to budgeting every two-week paycheck. Getting a large amount of money at once can be great for paying large bulls, but this comes with a price. Ideally, you should budget more carefully so you have enough money to make it to your next payday two weeks later. Because of this that people on a two-week pay cycle are generally living paycheck to paycheck unless they have a plan to keep their budget under control.
Tips for budgeting when you are paid every other week
It’s a bit more complicated to plan things when you know you’re getting paid every other week than when you have money coming in every week. It is possible to make biweekly pay easier and to avoid living paycheck to paycheck when you receive biweekly pay.
Making a meal plan ensures that you have enough food and other items for two weeks. If you need to budget for longer periods of time, this tip is one of the most effective ways to lower your grocery budget and keep your family comfortable. Overall, sticking with your bi-weekly budget by making and following a meal plan is one of the best moves you can make.
You should plan plenty of quick and easy meals you can make quickly in your Instant Pot, slow cooker, or air fryer. By doing this, you will be less likely to skip cooking and run through the drive-through because you are tired, which can lead to your budget being slashed later in the week. You can even help make your weekdays easier by batch cooking over the weekends.
Build a stockpile
Families living on a two-week paycheck find it difficult to ensure they have enough food and household items. You and your family are left struggling much longer if you run out of something essential and do not have the money to replace it. This is in contrast to just having to get through Friday as others do.
Having a stockpile of items your family uses frequently and often runs out of is the best way to combat this problem. Budget constraints can make this a bit challenging, but it is worth the effort. When things are on sale, buy extras of them. You will save money this way, and the larger your stockpile, the fewer items you will need to purchase at full price at the store.
Building a stockpile will help you save money and lower your overall cost of living, making it a smart move for anyone, Particularly as we fight inflation. For those on a bi-weekly paycheck, it can mean the difference between comfort and being without.
List your bills then split them between paychecks
Making sure your bills are on top of your priorities when you are paid bi-weekly is the most crucial thing you need to do. Make a list of your bills and distribute them as evenly as possible between your checks. Paying bills ahead of schedule may be necessary to ensure they are paid rather than allowing them to run through autopay. You will feel confident that your bills will be taken care of and you will avoid paying late fees if you do this. Make sure you keep up with your bills by getting ahead or arranging a new due date to avoid falling behind.
Keep money in another account
This is a smart way to make sure your expenses like gas and food are covered in the second half of your pay period, so you can go without dipping into your savings or using credit cards. If you open another bank account, you can transfer funds for the second half of your paycheck there and pull the cash out the following week.
You can also see how much money you are really spending when you switch funds this way. If you have any leftover funds, you can put them in a savings account or invest them to grow your income. This is a great way to build your savings or find a few extra dollars to invest in stocks.
Build an emergency fund
Having an emergency fund is essential for everyone. Those living on a bi-weekly pay schedule can make the difference between an emergency and an inconvenience. You can use this fund to get money for things like a new tire or a busted pipe, so you don’t go into debt or stress yourself out.
Supplement your income
To hell make the most of your budget when you are paid every two weeks it is a good idea to supplement your income with other sources. In today’s economy having only one income is nearly impossible to live off of. The good news is that you can supplement your income in so many ways.
Alternate paying income
Having your partner work a job that pays on an alternating day can make a big difference when you get paid every two weeks. Whether they get paid weekly or bi-weekly on the opposite week this is a great way for couples to help make finances a little bit easier. Having my husbands pay bi-weekly is so much easier now that I make an income as well than it was back in his Army days.
Start a side hustle
There are so many great ways you can make money on the side now. More and more people are building their own home businesses on the side allowing them to have extra income flowing in that really helps to make dealing with long pay periods easier. Try turning your hobby into a moneymaker or sign up for something like Uber Eats, sign up through a site like Swagbucks to make a bit extra.