Newbie Question: Multiple Paychecks

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  • Updated 9 months ago
I have searched and read lots of post - but I haven't really found an answer...or maybe this program isn't best for me. My husband and I get 5 paychecks a month. His are every other Friday. I get 2 monthly on the second Wednesday and one monthly on 8th. So I pay bills, fill some envelopes and fund some goals from each paycheck. I fill some envelopes once a month some twice....It is hard for me to easily see what I need to allocate with each paycheck.... I hope this makes sense!! Any assistance is appreciated - I have been doing cash envelopes for a while - but we both share the shopping and shop online mostly - so I really want to make digital envelopes work for me!!! I've been using an excel spreadsheet but have so many tabs and formulas ....I was hoping this would be less tedious!!!! 
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Debtfreeme

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Posted 9 months ago

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Tiffany Kucifer

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We have a similar scenario--I get paid biweekly and my husband is paid on the 15th and the last day of the month. First, to address the paydays, I'd set up a single recurring income for him that drops bi-weekly but set up two different ones for you, although the "second Wednesday" is tricky. I'd have one drop monthly on the 8th and the other drop every four (two?) weeks, although the dates will have to be changed each time (you can change and save the date of a future transaction without entering it, from "scheduled transactions") but it seems to me like it'll have to be a manual process for these Wednesdays. 
As far as your fills go, are you saving your fills and scheduling them? Setting up multiple fills seems like the easiest way to have different "instructions" for each of your checks. When you adjust your pay date, you'd adjust that fill date as well and then everything would drop into place at the right time (since your husband's are on a regular schedule, his are "set it and forget it"). I agree, it does require a couple extra steps to make it work for you because your pay schedule is a bit unique, but I think these steps would get you there with the least effort. I hope this helps! Best of luck!
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Debtfreeme

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Thank you so much!!!  Do you mind if I ask a multi account question??? 
I also have multiple accounts - 2 checking and several savings.... My question: Is there a way to see how much is "Unallocated" for each account? I am a bit "dependent" on checks and balances and like to see that everything zero's out so to speak....   With all "unallocated" just one total - I don't want to inadvertently overdraft an account 
But I also just like that satisfaction of checking my transactions and seeing that each envelope, checking and savings accounts all balance out!! I'm struggling a bit with that part!!! 
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Tiffany Kucifer

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I'm working on this too, so I'm not sure my solution is the best one or even 100% correct. At the moment, what I've done is create "annual" envelopes that mirror each account in my Accounts tab (although in my case I'm only mirroring the ones I DON'T want to use in budgeting, like savings and investment accounts). I then "filled" them from unallocated with the balances actually in each account. For example, say I have a savings account in the Accounts tab from Bank A with $2,000 and from Bank B with $3,000, as well as my primary checking account (from which I actually pay my bills) holding $750. That makes my total Unallocated LOOK like $5,750 but I really only have $750 to spend.
I made an annual envelope called "Bank A" and filled it with $2,000 from Unallocated, and another envelope called "Bank B" filled with $3,000 from Unallocated. Now GoodBudget thinks that money is accounted for and my Unallocated balance only shows the $750 left over.
If I need to use money from Savings for an unplanned expense, I'll probably do an envelope transfer to move it to a monthly envelope and then expense it there.
Like I said, it's a work in progress and I haven't had to test it yet, but the logic seems sound.
If you also want your bill-paying accounts separate, I think you'd do the same thing but then instead of regular "Fills" you'd have to do scheduled envelope transfers from the bank envelope(s) to the budget envelopes (I hope that makes sense). Your actual "Fill" would just be from your paychecks (Unallocated or New Income) to each of the bank envelopes.
Finally, be sure each transaction you enter is mapped to the correct account as well as envelope (debt accounts are very tricky this way, but everything else seems straightforward). That way the account balances will be up-to-date so you can avoid overdrafts, plus you'll be able to balance every account as you like.
This is admittedly a LOT more work, but I love playing around with GB to see what I can make it do--and since you said you have multiple spreadsheet tabs and formulas in your current plan, I'm guessing you might be like me too. :-)
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Debtfreeme

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We definitely sound like "budget buddies" :)  We currently have 2 checking accounts that get income into and bills paid from (one credit union and one is at the bank my husband used to work for) we have just kept it because we liked having the option - i dont know??!! The CU is where the bulk of our transactions go through...the bank has one smaller income and I have several automatic payments paid from there and then I transfer the difference to the CU each month.... so we only keep what we need to pay those few bills and a small ($50) buffer in that account...but now it is starting to seem too tedious....Think it is time to close the bank account and switch all to the CU....frankly I have just been putting off having to call the places to get the payment info changed and change that one direct deposit!!!    That will make using GB much simpler!!!  I appreciate your insight and help on all this!!!  
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Telt1910

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Just as an FYI, you can have multiple accounts with the paid version, avoiding a lot of the confusion created by these workarounds. And you can reconcile each account with your statements. Might be worth it for less than $5 / month.
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celinedl

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I am in the same situation, with hubby getting his pay twice a month on the 15th and the last day, and me every 2 weeks. As I don't like doing multiple allocations every month, I have chosen to do it only twice, aligned with hubby paycheck. You could also choose to do it monthly, but the difficulty is to ensure that you really have the funds in your accounts at the beginning of the month, not just virtually in your envelopes. Concerning the envelopes vs the accounts, I must suppose that each account has a purpose and is not just unallocated. So do your allocation to match the account distribution.
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Wayne Woodbury

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Hi, Debtfreeme.

I've been out of town a lot lately and so I'm a little late to the conversation, but I have a couple of suggestions.  This is really a personal preference and budget"ability" issue, so I'll give you some ideas and you can decide what works best for you.  My main income comes monthly on the last business day of the month, so things are a lot simpler for me, but I do have various random smaller incomes that come throughout the month.

First, simple is usually better.  To me, the simplest method is to do a single monthly Fill.  Budget once monthly, not once for every check.  This is often easier said than done as it requires you to get a month ahead on your income.  With this method, you would put all of your income for the month in the Unallocated envelope and then do a single Fill to fill your envelopes at the beginning of the next month.  This saves you the struggle of deciding which envelopes to fill with which paycheck or doing manual calculations for filling envelopes partially with one check and then adding the rest later with another check.  It just gets too complex.

Second, if you can't do the first, then do two fills per month: one on the 1st and one on the 15th.  The hard part with this is determining which envelopes to fill and how much.  This can be further complicated by having different amounts with each fill.  Quick Fills are a MUST for this situation.  Have a quick fill for the first of the month and a different one for the last half of the month.  If your incomes are variable, then I recommend you adjust your quick fills so that a little money is left in Unallocated each check (set your budget a little lower than your expected income).  This way, on those lean months, you have a little extra in Unallocated to make up the difference and you don't have to scramble to adjust your fill to match your check.  If you can build up two weeks worth of pay in your Unallocated envelope, this would allow you to switch to monthly budgeting which would simplify things for you.

Third, if you get paid bi-weekly like Celinedl, things get a little tricky because you get a third paycheck every quarter.  I get an extra check twice a year and I like to use these to fund my emergency savings and family vacations or large purchases, like a new car or new bedroom furniture (I've been working on that last one for the last 20+ years).  If your budget is not stretched thinner than nylons on a burglar's face, then I still recommend one of the first two methods (monthly or twice-monthly fills), but a tight budget may require you to allocate each check very carefully every two weeks when you are paid.  This is a pain, because life doesn't happen in two-week spurts.  Most of our bills come monthly, so dividing things up by paycheck can get complex.  Using custom Quick Fills can still be helpful, but you may just have to sit down with a stack of bills and figure out manually which envelopes will be favored with cash.  With this method, I would set your budgeting period to two weeks and set up a quick fill for your daily expenses, such as Groceries and Gas envelopes, first.  Then with the remaining cash, manually fill the envelopes for bills that are coming due in the next two weeks, filling the highest priority bill first.  If there is not enough money to pay all of the bills, make sure it is the low priority ones that get pushed until later, keeping in mind that late fees can exacerbate cash flow problems.  If you find yourself getting behind on bills, you will either need to reduce your spending or increase your income (or both).

A couple of general tips:
  • Use categories for your envelopes and categorize necessities separate from wants.  Move the necessities to the top of the list and the less important ones to the bottom.  This will make it easier to fund your envelopes when you have multiple fills in a month, but also helps keep your priorities strait when you do your budgeting regardless of how often you fill.  It will give you a clearer picture of what your disposable income is.
  • On your mobile device, order your envelopes by frequency of use.  This makes it easier to record transaction when they are made because you don't have to scroll through a list of envelopes to find the Grocery envelope while you are standing at the check stand at the grocery store.  The easier it is to record transactions, the more likely you will stay on top of that.
  • Do your budgeting on your PC if you have one.  It is easier to budget with a big screen where you can see more things on the screen.  Budgeting with your thumbs is a pain.