Getting paid weekly can feel confusing when most bills are on a monthly basis. Learning how to budget weekly pay is a learning curve, but it’s not as complicated as you think.
If you can track your income, expense, and normal spending, you’re already on your way to learning how to budget paycheck amounts received on a weekly basis. It may feel like a puzzle, but once you get the hang of it, you might think it’s fun!
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Is a Weekly Paycheck Budget More Difficult?
Getting paid weekly may feel great initially, but it’s often easier to blow through your money if you don’t properly budget. So is it more difficult to budget a weekly paycheck?
It can be, but only if you don’t properly budget when you get paid weekly.
Using the proper steps, you can make it easy to budget your weekly paychecks and always have enough money to cover your monthly bills and have spending money.
Remember, every budget is a work in progress. You might not get it right the first time or even after a few months. Cut yourself slack and continually adjust until you get your weekly expenses and upcoming bills properly budgeted to fit your weekly paycheck.
Information You Need To Create a Weekly Budget
The good news is that you only need a little information to create a weekly budget. Gather this basic information to get started:
- Your paydays for regular income
- Bill due dates
- Amount of monthly expenses
- Amount of weekly living costs
- Financial goals
- Your typical discretionary spending
How to Budget Weekly Pay
With this information, you can learn how to budget on a weekly paycheck. It’s not as hard as it seems. Yes, you’ll pay bills and expenses more frequently with weekly paychecks, but you’ll avoid late fees and missing payments by keeping track of your finances every week.
The difference between a weekly and monthly budget is how frequently you pay bills. When you budget for weekly paycheck deposits, you’ll likely pay bills more frequently. But you’ll also ensure you always have enough to cover your bills and have cash flow.
Track Your Paydays
Your paydays are the most important when setting up a new budget calendar for weekly paychecks and expenses. Knowing your paydays will help you put your bills and expenses in the right spots so it’s easy to pay them without worrying about overspending.
Write each pay date on your weekly calendar, and if you know the approximate weekly amounts, write that down too. For example, you know exactly how much money you’ll receive each week if you earn a salary. However, if you’re paid hourly or by any other method, write down your weekly amount using your best estimate to budget your bills.
Track Your Bill Due Dates
Next, write your bill due dates on the same calendar. This will show you how your due dates coincide with your weekly paychecks. Be careful of any due dates that fluctuate, and don’t forget to include irregular expenses or expenses that don’t occur often but still need to be paid.
It’s important to include bills that occur a few times a year or even annually. For example, do you pay your auto insurance twice a year instead of monthly? You likely also pay your real estate taxes and homeowners insurance annually unless you have an escrow account with your mortgage company.
Think of all bills you pay throughout the year, and if you can’t remember, review your bank account statements from the last year to ensure you catch everything.
Related Article: Learn About The 30/30/30/10 Budgeting Method
Tally Your Other Expenses
Monthly bills are only a part of what you must pay each month. There is also the cost of living expenses, such as groceries, gas, entertainment, and beauty. You should also include costs to maintain your home, childcare, and any other monthly expenses.
This step requires you to look back at previous spending to know how much you need for essential spending and variable expenses. Use bank statements from your checking account, and check your credit card statements to get an accurate picture.
If your expenses exceed your income, or you’re living paycheck to paycheck, consider looking at what you can cut from your monthly budget. For example, if you discover you dine out more often than you realized, consider cutting back, creating a meal plan, and eating at home.
Make Room for Saving for Emergencies
Emergencies will happen. You just don’t know when. So why take a chance?
An emergency fund is an essential part of any budget. Figure out how much you can afford to put toward your emergency fund weekly so you can save three to six months of expenses quickly.
Emergencies include job loss, medical issues, or even major car repairs.
If it’s too much to consider saving three to six months of expenses, set a $1,000 goal and work it out with your budget calendar to determine how fast you can save it. $1,000 can get you through most minor emergencies, but essentially, you should plan to have enough money saved to cover your fixed and essential expenses, such as groceries and gas.
Create and Plan for Financial Goals
Your financial goals should play a role in your weekly budgets. Consider short and long-term goals you want to achieve, such as saving to buy a car or house, paying for college, or putting money aside for retirement.
See how your savings goals fit into your budget calendar. Even if you save only a little money each week, it adds up fast. Try to look at the big picture versus focusing on the ‘small amounts’ you’re saving. It can feel defeating to only save $50 a week, for example, but over a year, that amounts to $2,800!
To save for your financial goals, consider setting up sinking funds. These separate accounts hold the money for each of your financial goals. For example, you may aim to save $10,000 for a car down payment, $25,000 for a house, and $5,000 for a vacation. Prioritize the goals by your timeline, and determine how to budget your money to meet the goals.
Related Article: Learn About The 60/30/10 Budgeting Rule
Adjust Due Dates if Necessary After Looking at Your Weekly Budget
If your calendar looks like a jumbled mess of due dates, consider adjusting them as needed. First, determine if there is any wiggle room in the creditor’s due date. For example, if you budget a bill to be paid in week two, but it’s not due until week four, and you’re struggling to get it paid in week two, move it. Just be sure it’s scheduled before the due date.
But, if you are maxed out in a specific week and need more time to pay a bill, contact your creditor to see if they’ll adjust the due date. Most people don’t know that many creditors will change the due date to help you be on time.
Make Weekly Payments for Large Expenses
As you track your bills and expenses, you might find you have to put money aside for larger expenses weekly.
So if your mortgage payments are larger than your weekly paychecks, put money aside weekly to cover it instead of waiting until the week it’s due. Make it a regular part of your weekly budget template so you never have to worry about coming up with the funds last minute.
For example, if your mortgage is $1,500, divide the expense into four equal payments so you save $375 a week.
Consider a Second Account for a Weekly Spending Budget
Having a separate account for spending ensures you don’t overspend, using money meant for bills. This ensures you avoid overdrafts and late fees by not paying your bill on time.
Some banks allow multiple accounts or ‘buckets’, or you can have your accounts at separate banks, whichever works best for you to budget weekly.
Write Your Weekly Budget Plan
The final step is to create your weekly budget! You can use a weekly budget spreadsheet, a free budgeting app, or pen and paper. The key is to create weekly budgets that you will follow. If you find that you are always over budget throughout the process, track which budget categories you overspend or overlook and adjust.
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How To Save Money When Getting Paid Weekly
It might feel impossible to save money when you earn a weekly wage, but it’s the same as if you received a monthly or bi-weekly paycheck.
Consider savings a part of your fixed expenses. After you calculate your budget and determine your cash flow, see how much you can save each week. Set up automatic transfers to ensure you make weekly contributions to your savings account to reach your financial goals.
Tips To Stick To Your Budget When You Get Paid Weekly
Learning how to budget weekly pay may seem complicated, but here are a few more tips to make it easier:
- Account for unexpected expenses, and leave room in your budget to cover them. An emergency fund is the best way, but any leftover money should be saved to cover life’s unexpected events.
- Watch your credit card statements for unnecessary spending. It’s easy to swipe plastic and not think about your spending. If you use your credit card to cover all your expenses, it’s time to revisit your budget.
- Have regular money meetings with your family members. Keeping your family in the loop with the budget calendar ensures everyone is on the same page and is set to help the family manage their personal finance needs.
- Roll any money left into the following week instead of spending it. A perfect budget calendar should account for all your bills, but the extra money could help if you overlook something.
Knowing how to budget weekly pay is essential. You want to ensure you have money left each week for spending money and other financial goals.
Is Monthly or Weekly Budgeting Better?
Weekly budgeting helps you stay on top of your bills better because you’re constantly looking at your pay, bills, and spending habits to ensure you’re sticking to your budget. Think of it as you’ll have more accountability, so you always have money left over and don’t miss critical due dates.
Is It Easier to Budget Getting Paid Weekly?
A weekly paycheck may feel like a nuisance, but there are benefits when you get paid weekly. First, you get your funds faster as you earn them. When you receive the funds, you can instantly transfer any funds meant for saving to an interest-bearing account. This way, you earn more compound interest because you have the funds sooner.
How Do You Tell How Much To Save When Getting Paid Weekly?
To determine how much to save on a weekly income, divide your goals by the number of weeks you have until you want to reach them. For example, if you set a goal you want to achieve in a year, you’d divide the total amount needed by 52 weeks. But if you have a longer-term goal, such as a 5-year goal, you’d divide it by 260 weeks.
What Is a Good Budget for a Weekly Paycheck?
Learning how to budget weekly pay may take some trial and error. You’ll need to spend more time budgeting because you’re comparing weekly pay to a monthly calendar, but with the right steps, it’s possible.
Consider yourself lucky for receiving weekly pay because you get your funds faster for work you’ve completed. You can stay on top of your bills better and invest any leftover funds earlier, allowing your funds to compound even longer.
Samantha Hawrylack is a personal finance expert and full-time entrepreneur with a passion for writing and SEO. She holds a Bachelor’s in Finance and Master’s in Business Administration and previously worked for Vanguard, where she held Series 7 and 63 licenses. Her work has been featured in publications like Grow, MSN, CNBC, Ladders, Rocket Mortgage, Quicken Loans, Clever Girl Finance, Credit Donkey, Crediful, Investing Answers, Well Kept Wallet, AllCards, Mama and Money, and Concreit, among others. She writes in personal finance, real estate, credit, entrepreneurship, credit card, student loan, mortgage, personal loan, insurance, debt management, business, productivity, and career niches.