always red? biweekly income vs monthly rent/utils

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Hi

I'm not sure what im doing wrong.  I get paid paychecks biweekly, and i pay monthly rent.  The rent uses up most of one paycheck, so for those two weeks all my envelopes show red, or if i set the balances then they're all zero and i have a negative unallocated.  I also went on a trip last month, which wiped out another paycheck.  So everything has been red, then I set the balances, so everything was zero and I have a negative unallocated.  My next paycheck is coming on Friday, which might help a bit, but then rent will hit on Mar 1 and everything will be screwed up again.  The envelopes aren't really showing me how far along in the month I am or whether I'm spending too fast or slow, since the trip and rent change everything all the time.  Since I set the envelope balances, I also don't really know whether I'm spending too fast or slow on e.g. groceries.  

How should I handle that?

Also I have an "other" envelope for things like eating out or random stuff, but it's sort of confusing - any idea what I should do about that?

That said, even though it's not really working as it should, just writing the expenses down has been making a BIG difference - thanks so much for this application!!!!!!  

Thanks
-Neal
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neal

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Posted 4 years ago

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Colin Grant

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Not sure I really understand your problem, Neal. But your paycheque initially shows as Unallocated money, yes? What you should do is split this money across your envelopes (fill your envelopes) until there is nothing left in unallocated. In my case I also run a Spending Money category where I budget for the amount I have to spend over and above my bills (fun money if you like). Now in your case your monthly income comes in via two paycheques that arrive at different times. You need to ensure that your first paycheque covers the bills that come up first and your second paycheque covers the bills later in the month. I have exactly the same issue and I therefore group my bills to match the paycheques, thus I carry out two envelope fills per month - one upon receipt of the first cheque and one upon receipt of the second.

It is quite possible that some of your first cheque will have to be used to supplement some of the bills that come in the later group of bills. That is ok, you just partly fill the envelope when the first cheque comes in and complete the fill when the second arrives.

All sounds complicate but is easy once you've cracked it in your mind. What you must remember is that the envelopes have to be filled and if they are not  they will go into the negative when you pay out from them.
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neal

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i guess one issue is that i spent more than i made last month because of the trip - is there a way to account for that but then move on to a new month without having issues?
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Colin Grant

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If you spend too much your categories where the overrspending has taken place will go to a negative amount. The usual way to deal with this is move money from other categories to cover the deficit - you may have to take money from savings if you have any. If you cannot correct the deficit in the way I have suggested because you have insufficient funds you will have to correct it out of next month pay cheque (you will have to budget enough to cover the deficit and the expense). This will impact the amount of money you have around for fun stuff, having a beer with your mates etc. 

Are you using the accounts functionality with Goodbudget or just the envelopes. I use the full package as that way all my finances are represented and I can move money around as I need. One thing with any budget, you really do need a buffer (some savings behind you). These can be called upon in times of need.
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Becky Huang, Official Rep

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Hi neal, 

Colin's right! We recommend that you fill your Envelopes by priority if you receive multiple paychecks throughout the month. If you're budgeting with Accounts in Goodbudget, they should always reflect what you have available in your real life accounts.

While we recommend that you budget with your actual bank account or paycheck amounts, if you're not budgeting with your exact account balances, you could move on from the previous month by creating a fake income transaction.