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Budgeting tips and tricks: Stretching your cash if you’re paid monthly or fortnightly

 

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If your pay hits your bank account once a month, you may have experienced that feeling of stretching the last few dollars out for several days before that next payment arrives.

Then, it’s easy to fall into a pattern where your latest payment is used to pay off last month’s debt or to pay for things you’ve been putting off.

It’s a familiar story for lots of people who are paid monthly or fortnightly, but there are ways to make your hard-earned cash last longer. Here are a couple of strategies.

Automatic weekly transfers

One strategy involves having two different bank accounts: one where your money is paid into and another where you “pay yourself” (It’s important to check for fees with multiple accounts). For example, if you get paid on the 1st of the month, you could consider dividing your total pay into four and then making weekly transfers into your second account. In this scenario, you only draw money out of the second account. The idea is you cannot draw too much at once.

The envelope strategy

Instead of bank transfers, the envelope strategy involves drawing cash out of the bank, dividing it up and then putting it into sealed envelopes. Then, each week you open an envelope and that becomes the money you use for the next seven days.

Know when bills and big payments are due

There’s nothing like bill shock: where a big cost arrives and you get that sinking feeling because you haven’t planned for it. One way to avoid this is to set up a calendar, which lays out where all of your big costs, such as rent, bills and insurance, are due throughout the year.

You can find more budgeting tips here.

Like every article on this website, this is not personal financial advice.

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