When do I pay bills?

Several people have told me they have a hard time with budgeting on a monthly basis.  Although my husband and I have an estimated budget for the year and month, we actually follow a paycheck schedule budget.

I take all of our monthly expenses and income, and divide it up between paychecks.  Currently we get paid on the 1st and 15th of each month.  Here’s an example:

1st Paycheck                     15th Paycheck
Van Payment                     Mortgage
Water Bill                           Electric Bill
Credit Card                        Telephone/Internet Service
Church Giving                    Life Insurance
Gas                                    Gas
Grocery                              Grocery
Dining Out                         Dining Out
Misc                                   Misc

*Misc (haircuts, doctor co-pay, recreation/entertainment, unexpected expenses, etc.)

Although our mortgage is not due until the 5th of each month, I pay it out of the previous month’s check.  Due on May 5th, Pay on April 15.  The reason is because of all the other bill due dates, we did not have enough money to pay the mortgage out of the paycheck on the 1st of each month.  For us it was easier than having to allocate a portion from the 1st check and the 15th check to pay our mortgage.  This is just one example.  If you get paid every Friday, try dividing your bills up by a weekly paycheck.  A good time to change your bill payments around is when you receive your tax refund, bonus check or other extra money.  You may not have the flexibility to move your bills around to a different schedule; therefore use extra money to make up the difference to start the new schedule. 

Here’s a Microsoft Bi-Weekly Template.   I also have Excel spreadsheets formatted for a bi-weekly paycheck, weekly paycheck and other schedules.  Please comment/email me if you would like one emailed to you and what schedule.  Thanks!  DANA


5 Responses

  1. Dana,
    I have a similar system – it is an absolute must!! Without scheduling your bills, it is just so messy and ultimately will require so much more time since you aren’t “batching” them…

  2. This is very encouraging. I have been struggling with order to the bill paying system, and I never seem to get quite there. Please send me your templates for biweekly and any other you think might help a budget-challenged kind of gal. 🙂 Thank you so much.

  3. Well, I really ought to figure out something more organized…lol.

  4. Dh gets paid twice a month too. What is funny is that this extra paycheck we get in Aug. throws my whole system off.

  5. BarbaraLee:
    When we had extra checks, that’s when we went to the dentist, eye dr., bought clothes, extra payments on credit card. I’m too detailed…I would plan those extra checks MONTHS in advance – LOL! It drove my husband crazy I think planning that far ahead.

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