Published on August 11th, 2014 | by Falcon0
The Pros & Cons of weekly & monthly budgeting
Unless money really is no object, budgeting is important to every household. This becomes particularly pertinent if you are in debt, and even more so if you are struggling to meet your repayments. Budgeting doesn’t have to be too complicated; to begin with you need to decide whether to budget on a weekly or a monthly basis. The decision can depend on a number of things, such as whether you are working, and if so, how frequently you get paid. This can also be particularly important for people on benefits at the moment, since the switch to Universal Credits will mean that they are paid monthly.
Here are the top pros and cons of weekly and monthly budgeting to help you make an informed decision on which is best for you.
A great advantage of budgeting on a weekly basis is that you can designate yourself a spending allowance each week for groceries, travel or social activities. This could help you avoid overspending too early on in the month and reduces the need for relying on a credit card or obtaining a short term loan.
A weekly budget can be complicated when bills are coming in monthly. A mistake can lead to bills being left unpaid or having to dip into your overdraft which could lead to bank charges and further debts. It is also difficult to recover from missing a monthly bill when you are paid weekly and it could take you longer to get out of debt if this does happen. You might also not know how much you will earn each week and can be left short by the end of the month. Weekly budgeting will only work if you can be certain what your earnings will be so you can be sure of having enough to pay monthly bills.
Being paid monthly and having your bills come out on monthly basis makes it very easy to set up direct debits for the day after payday. That way all your bills are paid and whatever is left can be divided out for the rest of the month. This will keep overdue payment charges at bay ensuring that your debt situation doesn’t spiral out of control. Many online budget planners or apps automatically default to a monthly setting so you can easily keep track of your finances, even when you’re on the go.
There are circumstances where bills or services could be cheaper if you pay them on a quarterly or yearly basis. For example, paying your TV Licence, water or other utilities could be cheaper in the long run if you pay them once a year however when the month when this payment is due arrives it will take a sizeable chunk out of your budget. Careful planning a few months before may be in order so you aren’t left relying on a credit card or overdraft. Consider using both a saving strategy as well as budgeting strategy to prepare you for any upcoming “big bill” months or holiday seasons.