Paying Bills Bi-Weekly Using a Budgeting Spreadsheet
The budget and savings plans created in this blog series work best when paying bills bi-weekly. We’ve already paid the bills for the first half of the month, now it’s time to pay them for the second half. This is the second part to the guide to paying bills bi-weekly using the budgeting spreadsheet. It covers paying the rest of the bills, using T-accounts to track expenses and creating a budget for the next month.
*This post was originally published on August 22, 2013 and updated on February 21, 2020.*
*My husband Jesse, the builder of our budget, wrote this post. This is NOT professional advice.*
Paying Bills Bi-Weekly – The Second Part of the Month
Let’s get started! It’s been 2 weeks and J&J have been paid $1,375($700+$675) again. They check their bank balance and find that they have $2553.07. Time to do the bills! Let’s go ahead and enter the bank balance in E13. While we are doing that we will reset cells D2-E8 that we used last time we paid bills.
J&J reviewed their budget and, because they are paying bills bi-weekly, they see that they have paid all of their bills this month except for their rent. They also have to pay their credit card bill for gas, food, and other expenses for the second half of the month. J&J review their checkbook to see if all the checks that they have written have been cashed. They find that one check of $25 for trash removal was not cashed yet. Since they technically spent this money, but it hasn’t been taken out of the bank account yet, we need to subtract it from the bank balance. Go ahead and put it in the bills list, but don’t add it to the budget since it is already there from last month.
Paying Variable Bills
Next, J&J review their credit card statements. Their total bill was $719.11. If you remember from the last section, J&J’s credit card bill was around $400. So what happened?! After reviewing their statement they found they spent around:
Entertainment: $ 78
Our expenses are close to the first half of the month’s, so where did the other $361.11 come from? Well J&J decided to spend $42 of their savings on clothes. And the remaining $319.11 was spent on a car repair when their car needed to go into the shop.
To update the gas, entertainment and grocery spending I used a simple formula to add the first half of the month’s spending to the second half. For example, grocery was $155 last time we paid bills and $148 this time. So I used the formula “=155+148” in cell D18. I did the same for Gas “=125+132” and entertainment “=80+78”.
Balancing the Budget
Now we’ve paid all our bills but if you notice the cell B8 that shows us how much money we have to allocate to savings is negative by $241! This is because we need to account for the $42 we spent on clothes and the $319 car repair.
So let’s go to our savings tab and remove $42 from “Fun+Clothing” and since the car repair was an emergency, we will remove $319 from the “Emergency” fund. Remember, when we use the T accounts its “left in, right out.” Since we are removing $42 and $319 they will both be on the left.
Now if we look at our summary, our clothing and emergency funds should be automatically reduced from our adjustments to the T accounts. Account for our spending changed our “money to allocate” from a negative $-241 to a positive $119.
Create the Next Month’s Budget
That’s it! We are ready for the next month. Just rinse and repeat!
Now I know this example was simple, but all problems that come up are really this simple. With a little thought and planning, most situations are pretty easy to tackle. If this is your was your fist time using excel or a Google spreadsheet I’m sure it seemed a little difficult, but after a little practice it becomes easy.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the way we implement paying bills bi-weekly. Like I said in the beginning this isn’t professional advice, but just an example of how we do it ourselves. There are literally hundreds of ways to handle your finances. The most important thing is finding the system that works for you! And if you are having trouble you shouldn’t hesitate to go see a professional. The only thing worse about being in a bad financial situation is doing nothing about it!
We really hope that you all have enjoyed our little budgeting series! If you want help, make sure you ask!