How to Save Money on a Weekly Paycheck
Trying to save money while making a living on a weekly paycheck might seem impossible, but there are a number of ways to get by, build savings, and plan for the future.
Saving Money on a Weekly Paycheck
There are many benefits to getting paid weekly, but the bills you get will likely come in on a monthly basis. This can make planning, budgeting, and putting money aside for a rainy day, a little tricky. You might be left wondering how you could possibly save money on a weekly paycheck when timing of payments often vary.
First, consider how quickly your money is getting to you. When you sign up for direct deposit with Current, you get your money up to 2 days faster than with a traditional bank.
The first thing to do is write down, on a monthly calendar, every single day that you get your paycheck. If you know how much money you will make on your payday, write that down as well. The idea behind this is to have some visual representation to know which paycheck is going to cover which bill.
One way to help this effort is to give each paycheck a distinct color. This will help you color coordinate your budget, so you can better see how you can distribute your paychecks to cover your different expenses.
When you’ve listed out your paydays (and pay amounts) to your monthly calendar, the next step is to add your bills to the calendar as well. This is to help you know which bills to pay on which weeks, so you don’t fall behind on any of them. If your bills change from month to month, make sure your calendar reflects this, so at a glance, you can ensure you don’t miss a due date. If possible, set up auto pay on your bills so you miss the bullet of late fees altogether.
Assigning Paychecks to Bills
Then, break down all your other expenses: gas, groceries, spending money, subscription services, and any other expenses. Break these out by how much you spend on them per week. For example, if you spend $500 on groceries a month, you should list your groceries as being a weekly expense of $125.
To make sure you don’t miss any of your expenses, look through your bank statements from the last few months. Create categories for different kinds of luxuries and necessities. The goal is to create the clearest and most comprehensive picture of your finances, so your weekly paychecks can be as accurate as possible.
Once you have all of your bills and expenses broken out on your budget calendar, you should “assign” paychecks to certain bills and expenses. In other words, some paychecks will cover some expenses, and other paychecks will cover other expenses.
Using the color code system: your “green” paycheck will pay your “green” utility bill. This way, you know that your utility payment is accounted for, and you will be less tempted to use your green paycheck for some other purpose.
This also means that some paychecks will be off limits until their assigned bill is due. If you have large expenses, like rent, they might have to be covered by several paychecks. This is why planning around your weekly paychecks is so important and also why you need a system to do so.
Separate Accounts and Weekly Budgets
One way to save money on a weekly paycheck is to transfer the money you need to keep off limits into a separate checking or savings account. Calling the account “Bills” or something distinctive is a good way to remind you not to touch that money until the respective bill is due. When using Current, you can automatically save money into different Savings Pods using scheduled deposits and use round-ups every time you swipe to automatically allocate funds for specific purchases. This money is then set aside, but can be instantly unlocked when it is ready to use.
Current also offers money management tools that can help you manage your expenses, including options to create individual monthly budgets for specific spending categories and insights into how much you spend in a month vs how much you earn.
As with any kind of financial planning, writing out an ongoing weekly budget is a key step in saving money. Since you’re paid by the week, make a new budget every week. It might seem like a time-consuming chore, but the more you do it, the quicker it becomes and the better you become at thinking about how to plan your finances.
While these steps will help you to save money on a weekly paycheck, things sometimes happen, and you may find yourself in a position where you don’t have enough money to cover all your bills. Perhaps you’ve made your budget, looked at it from every angle, and you find that you still have too many bills or expenses.
If increasing your income is not an option, you should look at ways to cut things out of your budget. Every month, look through each of your bills and ask yourself some hard questions, like whether you can cancel a particular subscription or service, or whether you can talk to a vendor about a different arrangement.
Negotiating Your Bills
What might a different arrangement look like? You might be able to ask your service provider if you can move your due date to a date that fits your budget. People who get weekly paychecks warn that you shouldn’t have all your bills coming in at the same time. If you have a good relationship with your service provider, or if you can explain your need for a new date, your provider might be willing to move things around on their side if it means they can reliably get paid by you.
What are some other things to keep in mind to save money on a weekly paycheck? Some of the money you have left over in a week can also be used to pay off upcoming bills in the future. Try to save some leftover money for bills and payments.
The Importance of Budgeting
Create a weekly budget meeting with your partner, your family, or even just yourself. In half an hour, you can make sure your paychecks correspond to your bills, track your spending, and give yourself an updated, ongoing look at your financial situation. This greatly reduces the possibility of falling behind on bills or not knowing where your money is going. Put these budget meetings on your calendar so they become habitual.
Creating a budget for your weekly paychecks will not solve all your financial problems overnight, but with three months of this behavior, you’ll have a firm hand on your expenses.
When you get paid every week, budgeting monthly to save money might seem overwhelming or near impossible. But if you create a system to manage your income and expenses, you’ll be able to save money and plan for the future.
Information provided on this site is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute investment or other advice on any financial products. Such information is not, and should not be construed as, an offer or recommendation to partake in or a solicitation of an offer or recommendation to utilize any particular product or strategy.
What Is a Budget Calendar -- and Do I Need One? (May 2021). US News & World Report.
A Color-Coded Budget Helped Me Pay Off Half My Credit Card Debt. (February 2015). Business Insider.
Automatic Bill Payment: What It Is and How it Works. (July 2020). Forbes.
Weekly Paycheck but Monthly Bills? Here’s How to Budget. (April 2013). Christian Science Monitor.
How to Organize Finances in an Easy Way. (October 2021). Current.
Taking 10 Minutes to Go Through My Bank Statement Saved Me $468 A Month Without Any Real Sacrifice. (February 2021). Business Insider.
Changing Due Dates On Your Bills Can Help Shore Up Your Monthly Finances. (August 2017). USA Today.
A Budget Is the First Step to Financial Wellness. Here’s How to Get Started. (October 2021). CNBC.
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