For those of you who have to budget on a weekly income, I’ve got you covered! I know that budgeting weekly can seem daunting. It honestly reminds me of a jigsaw puzzle. It’s hard to put a puzzle together without knowing what the entire image is. You need to know what you’re working towards. The same is true when it comes to budgeting weekly! You need to have an idea of what you are going to do monthly and then work from there. So here is your step-by-step guide of how to budget weekly!
List Your Bills By Due Date
Grab a calendar and write out when your bills are due. You’ll need to know which bills to pay on which weeks so that you aren’t behind on any of your bills. If your bills change from month to month, then be very careful so you don’t miss the due date! In fact, set up your bills on auto draft to ensure that you don’t have any late fees. If you’ve ever had to pay late fees, then you know how annoying it is!
When You Have Too Many Bills In One Week
If your electricity, mortgage, cell phone, and internet bill are all due in the same week, then it’s time to call each company and ask them if you can move your due date. Take time to explain that it will be easier for you financially to shift the due date by a week or two. Most places will happily do it for you. This way you aren’t overwhelmed and have too many bills and not enough money. In my example below, you’ll see just how the bills are spread out to help make budgeting easier!
Plan For Large Expenses
If you have several large bills that are due, you may want to break them up over time. For instance, if you cannot cover your rent or mortgage with 1 paycheck, consider breaking the mortgage payment up over 3 weeks instead of paying it in 1 week. So a $1,200 mortgage payment could be broken up into three $400 payments. You can stash the money aside that you saved in previous weeks until the mortgage payment is due. That way you don’t run out of money the week you have to pay your mortgage or rent. Just make sure you place the money somewhere where you won’t be tempted to spend it, like a savings account. I have found that if I leave money that I’m saving in my checking account that I’m more likely to spend it recklessly.
Write Your Budget Week By Week
Once you have all your bills sorted out, it’s time to make a week by week budget. Look at this over a 4 week time period so you can have an entire month’s view of your budget. You’ll want to make a budget each time you get paid. Under each week, have all your bills that are due and your weekly expenses. On weeks where you have leftover money, send it to debt or savings. I’m a visual learner, so I’ve made a simple budget for you below. Your budget might have more items than this one, but the idea is still the same.
I’ve based this budget on a $1,200 income each week. Notice how Daycare and Mortgage aren’t due in the same week. Because both of these are large bills, they should be due separately. Also, in week 3 the budgeted amount for groceries is for 2 weeks instead of 1. This is because in week 4 there isn’t as much money left due to the mortgage payment. So you’d save the grocery money from the previous week so you can buy groceries in week 4. It’s all about spreading out your expenses so you can make your payments on time.
Not Enough Money?
If you’re at the point where you’ve made your budget and you still have too many bills or expenses, then it’s time to cut back. The truth is that you can’t hide from basic math. You need your income to be greater than your expenses, period. Otherwise, you’ll slowly start to go into debt or suck money from your savings. The only way to beat the paycheck to paycheck cycle is to cut back on your expenses and save money! If you struggle with this, then you might want to read 8 Things To Cut From Your Budget Today and How To Pay Off Debt When You Live Paycheck To Paycheck.
Budgeting takes time to get used to. I’m a firm believer that budgeting takes at least 3-4 months to get used to. You’re going to miss an expense and that’s okay. Give yourself some grace because you’re in this for the long haul. Take time writing your budget, sit down with your spouse weekly, and try your best to stay on track. You’ve got this and I believe in you!