Getting paid once a month is in some ways a blessing and in other ways a curse.
It’s a blessing because, when you have all of your money in hand once a month, you can pay all of your bills at the same time and not be concerned with putting any aside to pay things like your mortgage, car loan, utility bills and so forth. For people who have a hard time keeping track of paying bills, this can certainly be very helpful.
On the other hand, even if you pay all of those bills at once, stretching what’s left over for 30 days can be difficult for even the most astute budgeters. Many fall short by the time the end of the month comes around, especially during times like the upcoming holiday season.
With that in mind we put together 4 Tips that will help you to stay on your budget if that paycheck only hits your checking account once every four weeks. Enjoy.
Budget Tip 1: Set money aside in different Categories for each week. Many people find that they spend, for example, all of their grocery money by the end of the second or third week of the month. The same thing can happen with money set aside for entertainment, gasoline and miscellaneous expenses. If that’s happening to you, simply split that money up into four equal amounts that you use every week. It’s a basic system that only entails a few envelopes and it’s an easy way to stop yourself from overspending and running out of money too early.
Budget Tip 2:Pay every bill at the same time. Getting paid once a month means that you can pay all of your bills on the very same day. Not only does this save you a bit of time but it also prevents you from forgetting any bills and dinging your credit with late fee reports. If you want to simplify the process even further, you can have bills that are the same amount every month automatically deducted from your checking account. Even bills like utility bills, that might fluctuate every month, can be paid automatically if you call your utility company and work it out with them, which many consumers are beginning to do. Remember to also have money automatically deducted for savings or a retirement account.
Budget Tip 3: Use cash only for the other items on your budget. This is difficult for some people but the fact is that it’s much easier to see how much money you’re spending if you have cash in hand, rather than a debit card or credit card. Many people have their entire paycheck deposited into their bank automatically and use debit cards, but that’s a good way to overspend so, rather than that, withdraw the money you need at the beginning of the month and use the aforementioned envelope system to stay on budget.
Budget Tip 4: Do your very best to stick to your budget. While this might seem like one of those “duh” statements, the fact is that the only way a budget will work is if you stick to it. Using the 3 Tips we’ve already given you, including the basic but effective envelope system, and using cash to pay for things like groceries, clothing and entertainment, it should be much easier to stay within your spending limits and stick to your budget.
Hopefully these 4 Tips and given you some food for thought about sticking to a budget when you’re only getting paid once a month. If you have questions about budgeting, or finance questions in general, please drop us an email or leave a comment and we’ll respond sometime very soon.