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How to budget if you're paid weekly

Published 3 February 2017 by

Getting paid weekly can be good for your finances in some ways. For one thing, you’ll never have long to wait to get some money in your account. For those who get paid monthly, there can be weeks of waiting without any cash before payday.

And what’s more, you won’t be as tempted to spend all of your month’s earnings in one go. But one thing that can be trickier with weekly pay is keeping track of your monthly household budget – what you’ve got going out and when.

Don’t worry – we’ll take you through how to make a budget when you get a weekly paycheque.

Making a budget

No matter how often and how much you get paid, putting together a budget plan should always start the same – with a list of everything you need to cover. Write down all of your outgoings for the month – this should include your rent or mortgage, gas and electric bills, insurance payments, your food shopping and anything else you have to afford.

You’ll also need to account for any financial commitments that don’t have to pay every month – such as your TV licence payments, council tax and your energy bills if you pay these quarterly. Work out a monthly allowance for these – take the total yearly cost and divide it by 12 – and write this down.

Divide your total outgoings by four and you should be able to see how much you need to cover every week. If this is less than your weekly wages, great – you’re under budget! But if you’re spending more than you’re bringing in, you’ll need to cut back in some areas.

Do you pay your bills monthly?

The difficulty with weekly pay can come if you pay your bills monthly. We’ve already explained how you can work out how much you’ll need to budget for this, by just treating the monthly bill as four smaller weekly payments. But that doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to afford this.

After all, if your monthly rent bill is more than one week’s wages, you won’t be able to cover this from one paycheque. You’ll have to set money aside from several weeks’ pay and if you’ve got a lot of other bills, you might struggle with this.

And if you and your partner manage the joint household budget together but they get monthly wages, this can make things even more complicated. For your budget, you should just treat their income as four weekly payments so it fits in with yours, but it’s easy for this to confuse you.

Covering all of the bills

One way you could keep track of your budget is with the thinkmoney Personal Account. The account comes with a budgeting feature that holds enough money for all of the bills and financial commitments you tell us about. This means that when money goes into your account, the account will automatically hold back money for the bills you have up until your next wage. The leftover money will then go onto your card.

You’ll be able to use your prepaid debit card to spend it on whatever you like, without worrying that you’ll accidentally spend money you should have saved for another bill. And if you’re a thinkmoney customer, you can also call one of our expert Money Managers if you need to change how your budgeting works.

The thinkmoney Personal Account has a monthly management fee of £17.50 a month or £24.50 for joint accounts. Find out more about how the account works to see if it could help you stay in control of your budgeting.

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