For those of us that get paid every two weeks, we face an epic battle that others do not. For us, managing a budget is no easy task. Ten months of the year things are just fine, but when April and October come around, my whole world turns upside down…I get an extra paycheck.
Although it is definitely a good problem to have, it does make things more difficult than other pay schedules. Us bi-weekers really only have two options…
We can break up the two extra paychecks, by twelve, and calculate that in to our budget. Say for example you get $3K every two weeks. That means 10 months of the year your income will be $6K, but for in April and Oct it will be $9K. You can take the extra $6K (from the two extra paychecks) and divide that by twelve, this gives you $500. For budgeting purposes, you can average your monthly pay to be $6,500. In my opinion this method sucks. It’s a lot of work, a lot of planning, and a waste of time, since you actually make LESS than that 83% of the year.
I subscribe to the Booya-extra-money budgeting plan. Instead of breaking up my extra two paychecks over the entire calender year, I simply pretend they don’t exist. If I get $3K every two weeks (which I don’t), then I budget my cash flow around a $6K monthly income. When April and Oct roll around, I get a bonus. I can do whatever the heck I want with that money. Why? Because I have established spending habits around a $6K/mo income.
If you haven’t noticed…it’s almost April, which means I’ll have an extra $2,000 coming my way. And you know what I’m going to do with it!? Save most of it (haha, who didn’t see that one coming?). I’ll probably spend a bit of it this week as Girl Ninja will be joining me in Germany (We’re renting a car and going to France and Luxembourg). It’s nice to have an extra cushion to remind me I don’t have to be so darn frugal all the time.
I know there are others that get paid every two weeks. How do you budget for it? Is there a third another method I haven’t thought of? If you could pick your pay schedule would you do bi-weekly, twice monthly, or monthly?