Most people get paid bi-monthly on the 1st or 15 of a month or every two weeks. However, some of us get paid only once a month. Now, there are some benefits to getting paid only once a month like having a huge wad of cash deposited into your bank account and feeling quite “rich” on that particular day. But there are also some challenges associated with this kind of income dispersal, such as having to plan the due date of all your other bills around the one pay day a month! Yet it’s not an impossible feat.
Step 1: Automate and schedule payments
The easiest way to budget around a once a month pay cycle is to automate and schedule bill payments for the rest of the month. In my case, I’m thankful that my pay day is early in the month – I can plan my bills for the whole month on pay day. I literally sit down and schedule all of my up coming bills for the entire month, which are pretty regular, and enter auto-debits into my Quickbooks register.
Step 2: Keep a running record and use it as a guide
The key here is that I enter all of my expenses and withdrawals using an accounting program. So even if my bank account thinks I have X amount (because certain payments haven’t posted yet) I know better. Instead, I use the balance reflected in my Quickbooks register as my guide.
Step 3: Change the due dates
Another thing I’ve done to make my once a month pay cycle work for me is I’ve set or changed the due dates of my bills. Most companies will allow you to set the due date to accommodate your pay cycle. By changing my due dates to mid-month or later in the month, it gives me time to spread out my scheduled payments avoiding the week prior to pay day when my bank account may be a little low.
Step 4: Find a strategy that works
A final strategy that works for me, but may not work for everyone, is that I use my credit card for everyday purchases. Then, at the start of the month, I pay if off in full. That way, I’m not tapping into my bank account on a daily basis, I’m earning rewards points, and I can see exactly how much I’m spending from one month to the next.
It’s not rocket science, just basic math skills and organization.
Do you get paid once a month or irregularly? How do you manage your budget?