Balancing income with monthly and 4 weekly pay.

in Debt-free wannabe
17 replies 772 views

Hello all,

I am looking for some advise on paring down our spending and budgeting. My husband and I (no children) each pay money into two household accounts for the joint bills. The issue is I am paid monthly (I transfer my money into the accounts on 1st of every month) and he is paid 4 weekly so his date changes through the year.

I always struggle to get things to balance because of the changing dates. We had some issues a few years ago on the cash flow side, so the bank suggested we did some at the DDs at start of the month and some at the end which has helped. However I want to ensure that any surplus at the end of the month is moved into a savings account and we start again the following month, but I have no idea what or if we have a surplus as the money just rolls into the next month.

It doesn’t help that he keeps getting the cards mixed up and spending from the ‘bill’s account’ not the ‘food account’ so I am just transferring money from one account to the other to cover a shortfall. I think we should have money to cover things, but are managing it very poorly.

I am also dyslexic so I get confused with the numbers as well as understanding some things.

I’m not looking for advice on reducing the costs yet, I am compiling our SOA and figuring out what we actually spend so I can see what needs reducing. I have reduced the internet yesterday and working on my mobile (out of contract) and gas electric this week.

Anything not listed is because we pay it separately. (in time I’ll be reviewing that)

Thank you in advance :smile:

Bills account

Half goes in on 1st month, half sometime later.

Out

1st Christmas savings

8th Mortgage

8th Life insurance

8th Water

10th Council tax

11th Gas and electric

15th House insurance

18th Netflix (we don’t have a TV Licence or watch live TV)

28th Internet

 

Food account

Half goes in on 1st month, half sometime later.

All food, entertainment, household shopping, pets etc to be spent from here.


Grocery challenge. May £435.95/£385. June £343.32/£400. July £0/£390
Fashion on the ration. Used 41/66.
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Replies

  • JGB1955JGB1955 Forumite
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    Why don't you split it so that ALL of the monthly bills (mortgage, life insurance, utilities) are funded by your monthly contribution and ALL the food expenditure is funded by your husband, so divided into 4 equal weeks, along with savings towards the Christmas fund and any annual insurance premiums). Any difference between the two sets of expenditure can be balanced by payment into an emergency fund.
    #2 Saving for Christmas 2023 - £1 a day challenge £740/£1460
  • edited 23 March 2022 at 10:25AM
    thepurplepixiethepurplepixie Forumite
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    edited 23 March 2022 at 10:25AM
    I had this dilemma and could never work out where I was with money.  I get a SRP 4 weekly, a small part time job that also pays 4 weekly but different date to pension, small private pension monthly, contribution from DH for his share monthly.

    What I did was pick a date, I do the day after the last DD of the month and do a balance.  Hopefully in month 1 there is enough for the next DDs with some income coming in but you might have to juggle month 1.  What is in the account after the last DDs of the month is savings.

    Once a year the 4 weekly payment/payments go in twice so in year one I let that sit in the account as a bit of a buffer.  I look forward to the "settlement" date now and know just where I am.

    It works well for me, hope it might help.
    Make £2020 in 2020
    January Total £1099.77 :j Year todate total £3769.29
  • Jami74Jami74 Forumite
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    My husband and I (no children) each pay money into two household accounts for the joint bills. The issue is I am paid monthly (I transfer my money into the accounts on 1st of every month) and he is paid 4 weekly so his date changes through the year. 

    Could your husband put his full salary to one side when he gets paid, and then transfer what needs to be transferred on 1st of every month? Mine couldn't, so we've had to work with his four weekly deposits. With regards to spending on the wrong card, can you automate all the payments from the bills account? If it is all automated then there is no need for your husband to carry that card or accidentally use it. If the payments coming out of the bills account are fixed then you should know each month exactly how much needs to go in and there shouldn't be enough surplus to sweep off into savings, but because your husband is depositing every four weeks there might be 11 months where not quite enough money is going in to cover everything and one month where he pays in twice which balances it all out. Work out all your bills for the next 12 months, if you put in 50:50 then divide your 50% by 12 and that's how much you need to deposit on the 1st of every month and divide his 50% by 13 and that's how much he needs to deposit every four weeks. If you are not starting with the month where he gets paid twice then you might need a buffer to stop you going overdrawn between bills going out and his money coming in. I find it helpful to plot it on a spreadsheet so I can see what future months look like.
    Debt Free: 01/01/2020
  • TheAbleTheAble Forumite
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    Most companies will allow you to choose the date the DD comes out. Just set it to the 3rd (say) for all of them.
    Sealed pot challenge 074
  • Rob5342Rob5342 Forumite
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    JGB1955 said:
    Why don't you split it so that ALL of the monthly bills (mortgage, life insurance, utilities) are funded by your monthly contribution and ALL the food expenditure is funded by your husband, so divided into 4 equal weeks, along with savings towards the Christmas fund and any annual insurance premiums). Any difference between the two sets of expenditure can be balanced by payment into an emergency fund.

    That's what I'd suggest, you might also find it easier if you save as soon as you are paid instead of savings what's left at the end. For example you get paid into the bills account, your bills and savings contribution standing order get taken throughout the month leaving you with zero balance. Your husband gets paid into the food account, pays his savings contribution immediately and what's left gets split between the 4 weeks until he is paid next. That would rely on your incomes being appropriate levels to be able to split them like that.

    Alternatively could you set up a holding account for your husbands share? For example he pays into it when he gets paid, you transfer the relevant amount to the bills and/or food account on the 1st of each month and don't touch it otherwise. That means you get a regular payment into the accounts on the 1st and every so often when the dates roll round you get a months worth of money you can use. That would rely on having enough of a buffer to start with and the discpline not to touch the money in between times.

    You might find Monzo or Starling useful as you can split things into numerous pots which is more convenient than having lots of different accounts.

    If he is getting the cards mixed up then just get him to leave one at home.
  • bodsjbodsj Forumite
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    I had the same issue between myself and my wife. She was paid 4 weekly. I got paid monthly ie 12 payments per year. My wife got paid 13 times a year. Direct debits and bills were hard to schedule as i could not cover all from my wage with my wife being paid on variable dates. I shifted all important  DD's (gas,electric,mortgage,water,council tax etc) to the 1st of the following month.

    This actually caused a problem with the mortgafe as I used to pay 28th of every month! paid as normal on 28th but building society took another payment on the 1st of following month (sorted with a phone call and "missed" payment spread over subsequent months ).

    Other bills ie food , phones, cards internet, general shopping etc were paid adhoc as and when, Seemed to work for us but I still do not know where the 13th yearly payment goes? Maybe some months we had more money.?


  • cwhiskey45cwhiskey45 Forumite
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    We had this issue, but we both got paid into our own accounts and then transferred all the money to our joint account, my husband would just leave his in his account (and ignore it) till the end of the month and paid it across on the 1st, by doing this it also meant that his '13th' pay was a bonus!
  • Naturelover22Naturelover22 Forumite
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    Thank you everyone, a lot of helpful ideas.
    We did used to have it all on one date, but my portion would not cover it all so spaced it throught the the month. We have an overdraft on the bills account only so payments will still go out and not get refused.
    We have now ensured the he only has the debit card for the food account and will only spend on that.
    I am thinking as you say that the bills account should be fixed with no surplus as we only pay into that for the fixed bills. So to get on track for April, on 28th March once internet has gone out I'll move away anything left, then in April we should be more even with whats in and out.

    Grocery challenge. May £435.95/£385. June £343.32/£400. July £0/£390
    Fashion on the ration. Used 41/66.
  • RosaBerniciaRosaBernicia Forumite
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    Hi Naturelover

    Have you looked into any of the money management software options?  I also struggle with numbers and have found the software really helpful for seeing what can be covered with money already in and what needs to be juggled for later, without having to do maths or create a spreadsheet - it shows the picture for your budget categories, rather than only by account. 

    Budgeting with Buckets, Buxfer and Moneydance are examples of well known ones. (I use YouNeedABudget, but that's because I've had it from when it was cheap and don't want to learn a new one - it's a bit expensive now, but you can get a free trial.)

    Best of luck
    RB
    Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
    Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
  • TheAbleTheAble Forumite
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    It all seems terribly complicated and I can't see what the separate food and bills accounts are trying to achieve. Why not just have one joint account, all income goes in there and expenses come out of it? And surplus at month end goes to savings.
    Sealed pot challenge 074
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