We get paid bi-weekly, which can make monthly budgeting a challenge. I firmly believe in the YNAB way of only budgeting the money you have available (not what you expect to receive), but as much as I love all things YNAB, the monthly layout isn’t exactly helpful for seeing where you are at a glance, especially when you’re in the paycheck to paycheck cycle.
So I’m experimenting with my own creation this month. It’s a printable calendar where I can make a note of all the bills we have for the month and “schedule” them in so I can see which bills will come out of which paycheck.
I’ve just started filling mine out and already it’s had a couple of benefits.
First, writing out all your bills can be a pretty sobering thing, but it does make it easier to pick out the ones we’ve mindlessly been paying and make some adjustments. Our trash, for example, seems way higher than it used to be. I think they figure by charging us quarterly we won’t notice the increase. Unfortunately for them, this month it wound up on my handy dandy new calendar and is a glaring reminder that we need to get a rate adjustment or change companies.
I’ve also noticed we have a heavily weighted bill pay schedule where the bulk of our bills are due toward the end of the month. Dropping everything into a calendar for me to see exactly when things come due has revealed the need to spread things out a bit. Instead of spending an entire paycheck on bills, it’d be better to split the load so we have more money for groceries throughout the month.
This at-a-glance format isn’t perfect, but I like it as a supplement to my hyper-focused YNAB. While I love the detail I get about our spending and budgeting with YNAB, sometimes a change of perspective reveals things you’ve missed.
Feel free to download your own copy of my At-A-Glance Monthly Bills Calendar and play with it this month. Let me know if it helps!