How to Budget with a 4-Week Paycheck?

Update

EEBA is now Goodbudget! Goodbudget has all the great features of EEBA (and more!) in a new and updated interface. Check out our updated article on this topic, and check out the Goodbudget Help Center for the most recent help content.

If you get paid every four weeks, you’ll receive 13 paychecks over the course of the year. The best way to budget for that is with a monthly budgeting period based off one of your paychecks. This will help you keep a consistent budget month to month and will give you a bonus paycheck at the end of the year that you can use to pay down debt, build up your savings, or simply enjoy!

Budget off one paycheck

Start by creating a budget based off one of your regular paychecks. To do this, head to the “Edit Budget” page in EEBA. Here you can create your Envelopes with their budget amounts. As you create your budget, make sure that your total “Budgeted” amount is less than your paycheck.

Crafting a budget that fits into a single paycheck may mean making some tough choices, but stick with it! Resist the temptation to include a portion of your next paycheck into your budget, and you’ll be rewarded with greater peace of mind and a budget that’s flexible enough to deal with the surprises that always come up each month.

Not sure how to start? Check out our blog post on How to Make a Budget.

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Welcoming a Pup Into My Home & Budget

I recently got a puppy named Curby.  She’s a fearless little Chihuahua-mix that enjoys napping in laps, chewing on shoelaces, and sunbathing on the deck.  At first I wasn’t sure how to include her in my regular budget, so I decided to record her expenses in my existing Envelopes and tag them with #Curby in the notes section.  This would let me keep track of how much I spent on her, without having to change my existing budget. It wouldn’t work as well if my Curby expenses outweighted my regular expenses, but how much could a little dog cost? A month later, Goodbudget showed me the answer. I went to my Spending by Envelope Report and selected “Curby” under the Tagged filter to see how much I spent.  Tiny as she is, expenses for Curby grew bigger and bigger—a squeaky chew toy here, gummy bear-flavored shampoo there, not to mention her shots and food.

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FAQ: Be Smarter with #tagging

Update

EEBA is now Goodbudget! Goodbudget has all the great features of EEBA (and more!) in a new and updated interface. Check out our updated article on this topic, and check out the Goodbudget Help Center for the most recent help content.

Tags are a way to keep track of spending that occurs in more than one Envelope. You can use this feature to keep track of pretty much anything, from spending on events or personal projects to tax deductions.

For example, I’ve always wondered how much I spend on tailgate parties. When I go tailgating I buy food from my Groceries Envelope, gas from my Transportation Envelope, and tickets from my Fun Money Envelope. Because the expenses are recorded to different Envelopes it’s hard to know how much I really spend. With tags I can add a “tailgate” tag to each of these expenses and see how much I spend on tailgating no matter how many Envelopes the expenses are recorded to.

How do I add a #tag to an expense?

To add a tag simply type “#” and then the name of your tag into the notes field of the expense. Here, I’m buying food for my next tailgate party. I record the expense to my Groceries Envelope as usual, but now I add “#tailgating” into the notes field.

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6 Budgeting Tips to Get the Most Out of the EEBA App

Angela Colley is a financial writer for Money Crashers Personal Finance, an online resource with tips for budgeting, saving for long-term goals, and planning for early retirement.

For years, I kept track of my financial budget on a piece of paper in my desk drawer. It was an okay system, but it didn’t allow me to track my financial goals. I just didn’t have the time to compare my spending with my budget each month.

Then I got a smartphone and discovered the Easy Envelope Budget Aid (EEBA) app. Now I stay on top of my finances, stay within budget, and always have enough money for what I need. It took me a while to work out a budgeting system using the EEBA app, but now I have great system, and you can too.

Here are some tips you can use to get the most out of the EEBA app:

1. Create Plenty of Envelopes
A well-organized tracking system makes it easier to make a budget, and to know exactly where your money goes. The EEBA app utilizes “Envelopes” as a method of creating budget categories. When I first started budgeting, I used one Envelope for my house, one for necessities, and one for extras. Now, I have 10 Envelopes to cover everything I buy through this Envelope Budgeting System.

The EEBA app helped me to understand that I need to spend less money on extras and dining out. You can quickly add Envelopes using the EEBA app to help you stay on budget. Use all of the Envelopes you think you might need when you start using the Easy Envelope Budget Aid, and don’t hesitate to add more as you need them.

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How To Talk About Budgeting

Anyone who’s tried, knows. Sitting down to talk about money can be stressful. Whether it’s a spouse, a child, a dependent parent, or even a roommate, our lives –and our money– are interwoven with those around us, and with that comes conflict. We enter conversations about money with the best of intentions, but often leave frustrated or even resentful.

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FAQ: How to use the “Sweep” Envelope to Build Savings or Pay Down Debt

Update

EEBA is now Goodbudget! Goodbudget has all the great features of EEBA (and more!) in a new and updated interface. Check out the Goodbudget Help Center for the most recent help content.

Q: What is the “sweep” Envelope? How can I use it?

The “sweep” Envelope is like your own personal penny jar. When you record an income with the “Specify” option, EEBA will ask how much money was received and how you’d like to fund your Envelopes. Often, the amount of money you receive will be different from how much it will take to fund your Envelopes. This means that EEBA will have a little extra –or be left a little short– when funding your Envelopes. This leftover bit is sent –or taken if you’re short– to the “sweep” Envelope.

(Note, if you’re wondering how to fund your Envelopes with “Specify” without using a sweep, click here.)

For example, here we see a user recording their income of 1600.

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