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Budget By Paycheck: Easy Tips To Maximize Your Income

Inside: Learn how to budget by paycheck and save more money than you thought possible. Download our budget by paycheck printable to help you get more money from your paycheck.

Do you struggle with budgeting?

Many people do, too.

What I have found is that it is important to plan ahead so that you know where your money will come from and when.

Since most of us live paycheck-to-paycheck, in fact, 64% of Americans struggle each month with this issue.1

This can be difficult because our paychecks only arrive once every two weeks or four times per month – but if we don’t plan accordingly, then there’s a good chance we’ll run out of money before the next paycheck arrives.

Have you ever wondered how much money is sitting in your checking account? Just because you are stressed and wonder whether or not, you have enough money until the next payday?

How would it feel to know what was going out of your wallet could be funneled into savings instead and then only spend what is leftover on necessary expenses?

This may seem like an unattainable goal, but it can actually be done with a little planning and discipline.

Here are the practical ways to start budgeting by paycheck…

Learn how to budget by paycheck and save money. A budget by paycheck printable will help you get more money from your paycheck. Download your free PDF template now.

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What is budget by paycheck?

Budget by paycheck is a budgeting technique that helps people to better manage their money by breaking their budget down into smaller, more manageable chunks. This technique helps people to stay on track with their budget by knowing how much money they have to spend on a paycheck basis.

Budget by paycheck is a new way of budgeting that has become popular in recent years – thanks to The Budget Mom. It’s a system where you budget from your paycheck to your next paycheck. This type of budgeting takes the guesswork out of budgeting because it uses your regular paychecks as a guide.

How do I budget my weekly salary?

Picture of a lady doing her budget by paycheck method.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as everyone’s budget will differ depending on their individual circumstances. However, some tips on how to budget your weekly salary include setting aside money for bills, groceries, and other necessary expenses, as well as setting aside money for savings and/or investments.

There are a couple of different ways to budget your weekly salary. You can either budget by paycheck, which means you budget every time you get paid.

The budget by paycheck method is perfect for people who have weekly or bi-weekly paychecks.

This way, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to spend each week and you won’t have to worry about going over your budget.

Why Budget by Paycheck?

Picture of a journal with the words - control your spending - for why budget by paycheck.

There are several benefits to using this type of budgeting method: it’s simple, you always have money for emergencies, and you are less likely to overspend.

There are also some drawbacks: you might not have enough money saved up for larger purchases, and you need to be disciplined about sticking to the budget and the time to manage it.

Overall, Budget by Paycheck is an easy way to stay on top of your finances without too much hassle.

Who is the paycheck budget method right for?

This budgeting method is perfect for people who want to see their money last until the next paycheck.

The paycheck budget method is ideal for people in a few specific financial situations:

  • Variable income
  • Trying to get out of debt
  • Want more control over their spending

If you have a variable income like freelancers–meaning your income changes from month to month–then the paycheck budget method is a great way to ensure that you’re never spending more than you can afford.

This system also helps people who are trying to get out of debt because it enables them to put extra payments on their debts when they can. Finally, if you want more control over your spending, then the paycheck budget method is a great way to achieve that goal.

People who are paid on inconsistent days

When you are paid more than once per month and those days are different each month, it’s easy to forget how much money you have already been paid. With the paycheck budget method, you will know exactly how much money you have each month and what bills need to be paid.

This includes rent or mortgage, car payments, insurance, utilities, and any other regular monthly bills that you have.

People who live paycheck to paycheck

Sign that says spend or save.

People who live paycheck to paycheck are often forced to make tough choices when it comes to their finances. They may have to choose between paying their bills and buying groceries, for example. This can be a difficult way to live and can often lead to stress and anxiety.

It can help you build up your savings and get ahead financially. The basic idea is to break your net income into four parts: fixed costs, essentials, savings, and debt. You then use this breakdown to create a budget that helps you stay on track each month.

It will require some effort on your part, but it’s worth it if you want to get out of debt or save for the future.

People who are new to budgeting

People who are new to budgeting may find it helpful to start by tracking their spending for a month. This will give them a good understanding of where their money is going. They can then use this information to create a budget that works for them.

It’s simple and straightforward, and it makes it easy to track your spending and stay on track. With this method, you divide your income into four categories:

  1. fixed expenses
  2. variable expenses
  3. savings
  4. debt payments.

This approach helps you stay mindful of how much money you have left each month after covering your essential costs.

With this approach, you further break down your expenses into different categories (e.g., groceries, transportation, housing) and put a set amount of cash into envelopes each month to cover those costs. When the cash runs out, you can’t spend any more money in that category until the next month.

How the Budget by Paycheck Method Works

Picture of a personal budget written in a journal for how the budget by paycheck method works.

The budget by paycheck method is a great way to manage your money.

It is helpful to see your expenses and budget them down each month.

The system can be combined with other methods, such as the calendar method, to help you visualize your plan.

The Budget by Paycheck Method is popular because it allows you to budget in smaller, more manageable chunks.

This system is helpful because it gives you control over your paycheck- when there are times when one paycheck won’t cover all of the expenses, you’ll know that earlier in the year. The monthly calendar is still useful because you may need to save up before a big expense comes due or be able to spend more on others if they aren’t covered by future paychecks.

The Budget by Paycheck Method can help you see how much money is coming in and going out each month. You can also use this method as a plan to track your monthly expenses so that you’re always aware of where your money is going!

Step #1: Track your spending

It is important to track your spending to understand where your money goes each month.

This will help you figure out where you can cut back and save money. It may take a month or two for you to get an accurate picture, but it will be worth it in the long run. You can use a variety of tools and techniques to track your spending, including budgeting apps, spreadsheets, and tracking your net worth.

Alternatively, one can use bank statements, credit card bills, and old receipts to retroactively take inventory of spending habits. Whichever way you choose, being aware of where your money is going is the first step to taking control of your finances.

Step #2: Start with a Blank Budget Calendar

Many different types of bill calendars can be used to create a budget.

A person might choose to use a blank calendar and write in their own budget goals, or they might prefer a monthly planner that breaks down the month into specific days and includes room for notes. Alternatively, many people now use digital calendars on their phones or computers which can also be helpful for budgeting.

By using a calendar, you can visually see when you need to save money from one paycheck to have enough for expenses during the next paycheck.

This is where the budget by paycheck method comes in handy. In this system, you plan out your expenses and figure out how much you need to save from each paycheck to make your goals work.

Step #3: Add your paychecks and bill amount

This will help you keep track of when money is coming in and going out so that you can better plan for the future. It may also be helpful to set up reminders for yourself to help make sure you don’t forget about any important payments.

For example, on this paycheck, you pay your cell phone, car insurance, water, life insurance, and internet bill. This leaves a net balance that can be used for food/clothing/entertainment or other needs that come up throughout the month.

With this paycheck budget method, you will create a workbook with all of your past budgets and calendars.

Step #4: Create a Budget For Each Paycheck

Picture of the Money Bliss budget by paycheck free printable.

Creating and following a budget is an important part of financial stability. It can be customized to your needs as you grow and change, so it always reflects your current goals and situation.

  1. First, you should make a budget for each paycheck. This will help you stay organized and aware of your spending.
  2. Second, your budget is customizable- that means it can be tailored to fit your wants, values, beliefs, and feelings.
  3. Finally, remember that budgeting is an ongoing process- it’s not something you do once and forget about!

Add up all of your expenses for the month, including rent or mortgage, car payments, insurance, groceries, and everything else. This is your total monthly spending.

Now, you need to divide each paycheck to meet your expenses.

When you are trying to pay off debt, your savings should be your number one priority. This is because if an emergency situation arises, you will have the money saved up to cover it without having to go into more debt.

Step #5: Set Money Aside in Sinking Funds for Variable Expenses

Sinking funds are important for anyone trying to budget their money because they help cover variable expenses that may come up unexpectedly. This can be anything from clothing and transportation costs to unexpected medical bills.

The variety of sinking funds you can create is up to you, depending on your needs. This is an important step to include in any budget.

Many people use cash envelopes to divide their money.

However, more and more people want a cashless envelope system and that is something we use, too.

Step #6 – Make Time for an End-of-Month Budget Review

It’s important to review your budget at the end of every month to ensure that you are on track with your financial goals. This will help you make adjustments for upcoming months, as well as avoid any costly mistakes.

In fact, you must do so for a few reasons:

  • You might be spending more than you need to.
  • You may have extra money left over at the end of the month.
  • Your money goals may have transformed.
  • Your budget will change as your life changes.

Set a date on the calendar to plan your paychecks and review past spending.

Step # 7 – Be Realistic about Your Finances

Creating a budget that works for you can be difficult, but it is important to be realistic when doing so.

One way to help make your budget more achievable is to track your spending and see where you are overspending. Once you have an understanding of your spending habits, you can begin to make changes that will allow you to save more money.

Another way to be realistic in your budgeting is to think about what is important to you and what compromises you are willing to make. The goal is to be financially sound.

For example, if you plan to spend $300 a month on groceries while previously spending $750 a month. That is an unrealistic expectation to start from.

Budget by Paycheck Printables

The Budget by Paycheck printable provides a helpful way to create a budget. It is intended for people looking for an easy way to spend their money on groceries, gas, and other necessities.

You can use our budget by paycheck printable templates and spreadsheets to help you stay on top of your finances. Alternatively, you can also use a pen and paper and create your own.

Just be sure to track your spending and income so you can make the most of your money!

Learn how to budget by paycheck and save money. A budget by paycheck printable will help you get more money from your paycheck. Download your free PDF template now.

Tools Needed to Create your Budgeting by Paycheck

There are digital tools available for creating a budget using your pay dates as a guide.

This will help you avoid overspending, and going into debt into actually saving and reaching your financial goals.

You can use these tools to take back control of your money.

A monthly calendar

Just remember, a monthly calendar can help visualize your paydays and monthly bills.

You can list out all of your bills and due dates on the calendar, as well as when you get paid. This will help you to stay organized and ensure that you can pay all of your bills on time.

Additionally, it can be helpful to set a budget for each month and try to stick to it. Having a monthly calendar can be a great way to stay on top of your finances and keep your budgeting goals in check.

Budget templates

You can use a budget template, or you can create your own budget from scratch. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get started, using a budget template might be the best option for you.

Some templates are geared toward people who have a lot of debt, while others are designed for people who want to save money. It’s important to find one that works best for your unique situation.

Cash Envelopes

Cash envelopes can help manage your spending.

When the envelopes are empty, that means you have no more money to spend. This will help you from going over budget immensely.

A budgeting app

You can use a simple spreadsheet or one of the many specialized budgeting apps on the market. The important thing is to find one that fits your needs and makes it easy for you to track your spending.

Some apps allow you to set financial goals and track your progress over time. Others let you create budgets for specific categories (e.g., groceries, entertainment, rent) and warn you when you’re getting close to your limit.

Whatever app you choose, make sure it’s easy to use and provides the information you need to stay in control of your finances.

Here are our popular budgeting apps:

Ready to Plan with the Paycheck Budgeting Method?

Picture of a lady sitting down to create her first budget by paycheck

For a long time, I was trying to stick to a budget that only allowed me a certain amount of money to spend each month. However, this was very difficult because my expenses varied from month to month. After tallying up my total expenses for the year, I realized that it would be much easier to just allow myself a flexible budget that could adjust with my monthly spending.

The budget by paycheck system is different from other popular methods in that it doesn’t dictate how much people should spend in each category or what percentage of income should go toward which goal.

Rather, it allows individuals to figure out what they can afford and then work within those constraints. This method can be especially helpful for people who have variable incomes or who want more flexibility in their spending.

This budgeting method is perfect for those who have an irregular income and want to make sure they’re not spending more than they’re making. Or for those with a stable income, but a knack for spending too much money.

More importantly, you need to dedicate the time needed to stay on top of your budgeting and spending.

This will make sure you have the habits to be financially stable.


  1. CNBC. “As inflation heats up, 64% of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.” https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/08/as-prices-rise-64-percent-of-americans-live-paycheck-to-paycheck.html#:~:text=At%20the%20start%20of%202022,according%20to%20a%20LendingClub%20report. Accessed February 16, 2024.

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  1. Where in the heck do I print out the budget by paycheck templates?! So frustrating, I don’t dare use one of the many “download here” apps, just looking for the link and can’t find it? I’m not techy so this is frustrating. I really really need this help. Diane

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