Hi Lifehacker, I have recently started a new job and got my first pay. Yay! — except I don't get another pay until next month. What are the best strategies for budgeting when you get paid monthly, especially when most of my pay goes towards a mortgage? Thanks, Four Weeks Is A Long Time
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Like most journalists, I also get paid on a monthly basis. While it initially takes some getting used to, it's really no different to any other pay cycle: you just need to take a slightly different approach to budgeting.
One effective method is to work out your estimated expenses and then transfer your remaining salary into a separate savings account. This will stop your bank balance from looking deceptively large at the beginning of each month and discourage you from making big ticket purchases that you can't really afford. As an added bonus, you'll be building up an emergency savings account which you can dip into when needed.
If that seems like too much effort, simply divide your salary in your head into 4.3 weekly allotments. As long as you don't go over this amount on any given week, you should make it to your next payday without going broke.
Whichever method you employ, it pays to use common sense and frugality when needed — as a general rule of thumb, try to hold off on expensive purchases until just before your next salary payment. If you discover you never have enough money at this stage, you're either budgeting wrong or lack the means to afford that thing you want.
We're also keen to hear our readers' budgeting tricks; particularly while juggling a mortgage. Share your tips in the comments section below!
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