Welcome back! I sure hope you’ve read Part 1 of this article! Otherwise, you’ll probably be confused and thinks I’m a terrible writer. We can’t have that now, can we? So go read it if you haven’t, and then come back here…
All caught up? Good. Now read on:
The trick to this is to be realistic in your budget. Don’t go gung-ho and give your gas budget less money than it would take you to get to and from work! Don’t give yourself $50 for food, unless you plan on living like a college student. (and don’t drink away your food budget like a college student either! I didn’t buy alcohol until right before I got paid the send time for the month, because I knew I’d be replenishing my food money, so whatever I had leftover was due to good planning).
When you get paid more than once a month, it’s also important to look at *when* you spend your money. By changing *when* we paid things, we found money in each pay period! Sure, it feels good to sit down and pay ALL of the bills at once, but not all bills have the same due date, so you can space out when you pay things, especially when it comes to putting money in your Sinking Funds (stay tuned for that tip coming in a future post!). Many people do that because they HATE paying bills, so they want to do it as little as possible. We used to also. Now we love it because we know we’ve got the money because we see it in black and white (and not red) before we send the payments!
We get paid twice a month. One of those checks is always exactly the same amount. The other one includes and overtime and holiday pay the Hubby made. We like that check 🙂
We pay about half of our bills on the OT check each month, but the mortgage comes out of that one, so it gets “allocated” quickly. Then the Hubby puts in the stagnant paycheck amount for the next pay period, and we’ll be able to see how much we have that month to spend because it includes whatever we didn’t allocate from the OT check. The number we had at the end of the month was what we sent to our debt. Theoretically, every single PENNY was spent in one of the 4 categories I mentioned at the start of this article (I say theoretically for reasons I’ll get into in another post. I’m such a tease.). This is called a Zero Sum Budget.
We’ve got it pretty dialed in now, so it takes us about 30 minutes to do our budget. 30 minutes.
Don’t forget to check out my other Financial Wellness Tips!