The half-pay method for budgeting is preferred by people who are paid bi-weekly or those who are paid twice a month. The basics behind this method is that you split your fixed expenses into two payments so that one paycheck can cover half of your expenses, and the second paycheck can cover the other half.
That means, with each paycheck, you set aside half of the money that is needed for monthly bills so that you have the money ready when the bill is due. In the end, this leaves a set amount from each paycheck for your variable expenses, rather than having a feast/famine cycle.
How Is The Half-Payment Budget Method Different From The Zero-Based Budget Method?
The goal with any budgeting method is to ensure that your money is doing its best for your financial goals at that point in your financial journey.
That said, zero-based budgeting ensures you are giving every penny in your paycheck a job. You are controlling where your money goes, rather than your money controlling you.
The Half-Payment Budgeting Method is very similar. You are giving your paycheck a job, and allowing it to get you through until the next paycheck. The difference here is that rather than subtracting all the expenses you have until the next paycheck, you are splitting your fixed monthly expenses in half so that one paycheck isn’t completely wiped out by monthly bills, leaving no room for your variable monthly expenses, such as food, fuel, etc.
How To Start Budgeting With The Half Pay Method
Start by looking at your expenses for the entire month.
For the example above, you can see that just the bills leave a lot of variation from paycheck to paycheck, and the example above doesn’t include variable expenses throughout the month, like food, fuel, and personal care items.
To start the half-budget method, you want to split the payments in half, saving the funds you will need from each pay period to cover your fixed expenses.
That means if you don’t have the money set aside initially, you may have to save up until you have half of the expenses set aside, working from the smallest bill up to the largest until you have half of your payment set aside. You have a consistent amount for variable expenses with each pay period.
What are the pros of the Half Pay Method
Less Chances To Overspend:
Once you’ve gotten the hang of this method, you’re less likely to overspend on a pay period that includes more fixed expenses.
Gives You More Control Over Your Finances:
With a set amount for variable expenses each pay period, you will be able to manage your income more effectively and be able to reach your financial goals as a result.
Decreases The Chances Of Living Paycheck To Paycheck
Once you get the hang of this type of budgeting, you are no longer living paycheck to paycheck. You have enough saved up to cover your fixed expenses when they come due, and still have a set amount for your variable expenses.
Less Chance To Put Expenses On Credit Cards
Since you’re no longer living paycheck to paycheck, you are less likely to put necessary expenses on credit cards and have to pay for them down the road, plus interest.
Half Pay Method Cons:
You Need To Be Organized
As with any method for budgeting, you need to be organized to keep track of what is saved for and what isn’t. You will also need to be diligent with your variable expenses, and remaining within what is budgeted.
You Need To Be Disciplined
This goes hand in hand with being organized. In order to remain consistent with the half-payment method. Tracking all of your expenses, making sure your fixed expenses are saved up for, and that any increase in the bills is accounted for, and remaining within a consistent budget for your variable expenses.
There Is A Significant Set-Up Time
If you don’t already have any funds to start this method within savings, it can take some time to save up for having enough money for half of the bills on hand. You can start by saving up for the smallest bill and working your way up to the largest. As the previous two points noted, this will take both organization and discipline.
Be Aware That It May Not Work For You
As with any new budgeting method, this may not work for you, and that is okay! That doesn’t mean give it up within a week, or even a month. Give the method three to six months to determine whether there is an improvement in your finances.
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Do you use the half-payment budgeting method? What are some tips that helped you get started? Leave them in the comments below!