How To Budget Biweekly In 4 Simple Steps

Sharing is caring!

Building a budget can be challenging sometimes, especially if you aren’t used to creating a plan for how you spend your income. However, applying a unique approach to budgeting can make it much easier to manage your finances efficiently every month without feeling like you’re doing a difficult job. The Biweekly budget, for example, can be the perfect method for you if monthly budgets seem too tasking.

Before you begin to learn how to budget biweekly, it’s important to remind yourself that this budget method is best for households that receive biweekly pay. So if your paycheck comes twice a month, you need to switch to this plan as soon as possible. It will help you pay your bills on time, reach your savings goals faster, and curb your spending.


What Is A Biweekly Budget?

A biweekly budget is a financial plan you set up once every two weeks to handle your bills and monthly expenditures. Whether your bills are due once or twice a month, this strategy helps you to pay for the expenditure in a way that seems flexible.


How Does A Biweekly Budget Work?

When using a biweekly budget, you are meant to allocate funds from your first and second paydays to cover your expenses in the first and second halves of the month respectively.

If you ever feel overwhelmed with building a monthly budget, then you should switch to a method that seemingly reduces the complexity of budgeting your income. A biweekly budget is the answer.

how to budget biweekly


How To Budget Biweekly In 4 Simple Steps

Learning how to budget biweekly can be easy when you adhere to the appropriate steps. Here’s the simple 4-step process for setting up a budget for your biweekly paycheck:


1. List Your Income

Ideally, you can only figure out how to manage your finances when you are certain of how much comes into your account every month. So, creating a list of your income is one of the initial steps to help you budget biweekly.

If you work two jobs, calculate your biweekly income after tax. If you are a single mom expecting child support, you should include that as a part of your income. Basically, it’s highly important to know your income streams before you try to build a budget.


2. Visualize Your Expenses

The next step on how to set up a biweekly budget is to know your expenses.

Your expenditure for the month falls into two main categories: fixed expenses and variable expenses. Your fixed expenses are essential bills that don’t change. They remain the same. Examples are your rent or mortgage payments, car payments, student loan payments, childcare, subscriptions, etc.

Your variable expenses, on the other hand, are bills that change frequently. You can’t predict the specific amount of money you are to spend on these types of bills. Examples are groceries, home repairs, car repairs, dining out, medical bills, pet care, and recreation.

So to allocate funds to variable expenses, you have to determine the averages for each one by examining how much you’ve spent on them in the previous months.


3. Create Two Budgets

Bills are usually paid monthly. This is why many people build a budget once every month. But since we are discussing how to budget biweekly, bear in mind that you have to create two budgets within a month: each for every other week.

You can do this with a spreadsheet, pen and paper, or an efficient budgeting app that simplifies the whole budgeting process.

List your expenses along with due dates within the first two weeks. Then list your income along with corresponding paycheck dates. Repeat this step for the remaining two weeks of the month.

For larger expenses such as rent or mortgage, you’ll have to allocate funds from both paychecks to make a single payment.


4. Monitor Your Budgets Regularly

After observing the above steps to create a biweekly budget, you have to monitor it regularly throughout the month.

There are three main areas to look at when monitoring your budget: spending, upcoming bills, and saving. Make sure you aren’t spending more than you have budgeted for. Be reasonable when purchasing clothes, dining out, and shopping for groceries.

As for upcoming bills, make sure you don’t miss any payments. Bills that aren’t on autopay should be cleared in time. You can set reminders for those kinds of expenses. Lastly, don’t abandon your savings goals. Ensure you transfer money into your savings accounts whenever you receive your paycheck.


Budgeting Biweekly Tips For Success

Although building a budget may seem difficult, there are some amazing tips that will make your budgeting journey as a beginner pretty easy. Here’s what you should know:


1. Use A Budgeting App

As the world increasingly adapts to the digital era, people are now reluctant to do things the old-school way. Besides, there’s no reason to live like you’re in the 90s when there are better and more improved tools to make your life much easier.

When it comes to learning how to budget biweekly, you can use budgeting apps to monitor your plan and stay on track with your finances. Many budgeting apps have built-in tools that can help you create spending categories, set spending limits, review your expenses, set reminders for important payments, etc.

Another alternative to a budgeting app is Google Sheets. It’s free to use and there are several pre-designed templates you can customize to plan for your expenses biweekly.

If by chance you need a list of the best budgeting apps to use for free, check out these 10 best budget apps to help you manage your money effectively.


2. Automate Payments For Fixed Expenses

One of the benefits of knowing how to create a biweekly budget is that you won’t have to miss important payments that may attract late fees. Fixed expenses like rent, debt, or mortgage payments should be automated.

By preventing any late fees or penalties that could eat into your income, you will be able to stick to your budget and live within your means.


3. Use The Envelope Tracking System

If you don’t want to use a budgeting app to monitor your variable expenses, the envelope tracking system is another effective strategy you need to employ.

An envelope system works in a very straightforward manner. Make a list of your expenses and assign each of them to an envelope with cash. Each envelope will contain the specific amount needed to cover an expense over some time.

For example, if you plan to spend $145 on groceries for the first two weeks of the month, take that amount of cash and keep it in an envelope. If you exhaust the money before the set date, then you’ve overspent. This is a good way to keep your spending in check so you don’t break your budget all the time.

Need a proper guide on how envelope budgeting works? Check out this piece on how the envelope budget method works – with examples.


4. Plan For Windfalls

This is one of the common biweekly budget tips I always recommend.

Aside from your salary and any other regular stream of income, you may occasionally get some extra cash during the month. It could be a bonus at work, a cash gift, or a tax refund. Although you may be tempted to spend this money without any proper planning, it’s important to act wisely.

Windfalls are an opportunity to contribute more money to your savings accounts, pay down debt faster, or simply pay bills earlier. This is what you should be more concerned with. Don’t be quick to splurge extra cash on irrelevant purchases.


5. Build An Emergency Fund

An emergency fund serves as a safety net to protect yourself during unexpected events that may eat deep into your finances. You must be prepared for emergencies even as you learn how to make a biweekly budget.

For example, if you happen to lose your job and remain unemployed for a few months, the money you have saved in an emergency fund might be the only thing you fall back to. This will then prevent you from incurring debts and living in a situation where you can’t pay your bills.

By the way, if you need help saving money for emergencies, you have nothing to worry about. Check out this insightful guide that explains the 7 simple steps to build an emergency fund successfully.


Pros And Cons Of A Biweekly Budget

Knowing how to budget biweekly is a brilliant way to manage your finances. But it’s not an all-perfect budget method for everyone. As much as you’re fully aware of the benefits of a biweekly budget, you must also learn about other factors that could hinder your financial plan as you use it.


  • Improved Budgeting Discipline

Budgeting twice a month is a constant reminder that you need to be very intentional about how you spend your income. It improves your money mindset and encourages you to get used to managing your expenses with a budget.

Irrespective of how much you earn, getting comfortable with budgeting is one of the building blocks of financial success.


  • Easy To Set Up

Once you learn how to budget biweekly paychecks, it becomes easy for you to budget your income over time. You don’t have to tackle all your expenses for the month at once. You can focus on the first two weeks without feeling like you’re paying for too many things at the same time. Then when your next paycheck comes, you can cater to other expenses. This is the main reason biweekly budgets are easy to set up.


  • Increase Awareness Of Income And Expenses

Budgeting biweekly means you are actually budgeting more frequently than people who do it once a month. As a result, you’re regularly reminded of your income level and the expenses you have to cover throughout the month. Hence, you’ll be able to make realistic financial goals and plan for your money the right way.


  • Opportunity To Make More Frequent Debt Payments

Budgeting twice a month means you could contribute more money to pay down your debt balance. However, there must be room in your income to accommodate this extra payment.

Let’s look at the bright side, anyway. If you are supposed to make a minimum monthly payment of $150, and your paycheck is enough to allow you to make another $150 during the next budget, you’ll pay off your debt two times faster.



  • Difficulty In Saving A Large Amount Of Money Over A Short Period

If you know how to budget biweekly, it can be sometimes difficult to reach your big savings goals faster. The reason for this is simple: a single biweekly paycheck can’t cover your bills and contribute adequately to your savings account. You have to be extra disciplined to put down extra cash twice a month to reach your savings goals on time.


  • Less Flexibility With Irregular Income

Biweekly budgets are for biweekly paychecks. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. So if you are a business owner or someone who doesn’t receive a fixed amount of money every two weeks, you’ll have a problem with this budget method.

Apparently, it will be extremely difficult to keep up. You won’t be able to predict every month’s outcome. It would be better to stick to a monthly budget in this situation.


  • Difficulty In Managing Irregular Expenses

Figuring out how to budget biweekly can be relatively difficult when managing variable expenses. It’s almost impossible to predict the specific amount of money you spend on expenses such as transportation, entertainment, shopping, and dining out. This factor poses a major challenge when building biweekly budgets. You’ll constantly have to review your budget to stay on track.


Final Words On How To Budget Biweekly

Achieving financial success begins with basic things such as budgeting. It’s the only way you can track where your money goes, understand your expenditure each month, and ultimately curb your spending.

Having learned how to budget biweekly by reading this post, it’s safe to say that you are well-informed to make the right decisions concerning how you spend and manage your money throughout the month.

If you ever stop getting biweekly paychecks, it’s totally okay to switch to another budgeting method. The 50/30/20 rule, for example, can work out perfectly even if you have an irregular income. All you have to do is allocate 50% of your income to your essentials, 30% to your wants, and 20% to savings.


Pin this for later!

what is a biweekly budget

Sharing is caring!

Author: Anthony Ihz

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *