How To Budget Weekly Pay? The 10 Steps You Need

Receiving your salary every week is great because you see the benefits of your work very often. However, it can complicate budgeting somewhat, as you might be missing the bigger monthly picture of your finances. So what’s the best way to budget weekly pay?

Most budgeting methods assume you receive your pay on a monthly basis. This can leave you stuck wondering how to budget your weekly wage.

Most bills are also paid monthly, so ensuring you have a good plan and knowing how to budget when paid weekly is key to achieving your financial goals. Of course, weekly pay shouldn't mean you can't start to budget your finances, but you should take a slightly different approach.

How To Budget Weekly Pay?

To budget your money correctly every week, you need to know how much money you have to spend every week, make a list of all your expenses, differentiate the costs that are essential from the non-essential, know the paydays, prioritize the bills and cut what is not necessary. You should also create financial goals, plan for significant, unexpected events and irregular expenses, and save in advance.

How to budget weekly pay

1 – Know How Much Money You Have To Spend

The money you will have to spend comes from your income sources, including regular salary, any additional part-time work, and side hustles you may have in your spare time. Knowing the amounts or at least close estimates and expected paydays will be essential for successful budgeting.

Start a Budget by adding your income

Remember to make standard deductions when trying to figure out how much money you should be receiving. This includes tax, insurance, or any other deductions that should be automatically taken from your paycheck, as those will work exactly the same as with monthly adjustments but taken in smaller amounts from every paycheck.

2 – Make A List Of All Your Expenses

As with every budget, you need to know what you expect to spend and the due dates for those expenses to ensure enough funds are in your account to cover them. Make a list of all costs you anticipate spending during the month, guiding yourself with your previous spending using bank statements and/or receipts.

Include all of the expenses, even the smaller ones, as they can add up and make a more significant difference when you are paid weekly.

3 – Know What Expenses Are Essential And Non-Essential

When you are paid weekly, you usually have less money available at once, so you might not be able to cover all your expenses in one go. Therefore, differentiating between essential and non-essential costs, is key when understanding how to budget weekly pay.

Start a Budget by adding your expenses

Examples of essential expenses, also known as needs, include rent, gas/electricity/water bill, or food. Non-essential expenses, also known as wants, include gym membership, Netflix subscription, or any other entertainment-related spending.

You can then use this when planning your spending so non-essential costs are covered first and any non-essential spending that might be pushed back to ensure enough funds in your account.

4 – Know Your Paydays

Receiving your paydays on a weekly basis will require a more organized and structured plan when looking at how to budget with weekly paychecks. First, you need to know when exactly you can expect money in your account so those can be later matched with your expenses that will leave your account.

5 – Prioritise Your Bills

Your list of all necessary expenses, including your bills, will now be helpful. You need to ensure you always have enough money left to cover your bills and you stay caught up when receiving your pay weekly, with bills usually based on a monthly period.

How To Budget Weekly Pay - Prioritize Your Bills

Falling behind your bills might entail an adverse credit history footprint and additional charges. Know the exact days your bills are due. So if your water bill is due on the 15th of each month, you know you need to have that money every time you reach that date, and the same goes for each essential bill.

6 – Cut What Is Not Necessary

Think back to all your non-essential spending you identified earlier – is there something you can cut back on? Equally, you can think of any essential spending that might be reduced by, for example, changing your energy supplier, renegotiating the tariff, or shopping at a cheaper grocery store.

When looking at how to budget when paid weekly, you will undoubtedly look at your expenses with greater detail due to the time-sensitivity that comes with ensuring you have enough money in your account for upcoming expenses. Use this to your advantage to ensure you are spending your money wisely. You can also try the extreme budgeting method if you want to cut most of the unnecessary expenses.

7 – Create Financial Goals

When it comes to budgeting, having clear goals will motivate you to keep going and make it through the hard times. Having a financial objective will also ensure you won't potentially waste any spare money left after you cover all of your expenses.

Financial Goals when Budgeting Weekly Pay
How To Budget Weekly Pay? The 10 Steps You Need 8

A financial goal might relate to spending, saving, or debt. For example, you can aim to spend more on a nice holiday or save extra for a house deposit. You can also look to pay down your mortgage as quickly as possible or finally pay off your student debt. Whatever it is, make sure it is something you really want to achieve and work towards.

8 – Plan For Big Or Unexpected Events

With weekly pay, the spare amount of money you have left in your bank account might be less than those who receive their compensation monthly. So planning for a big or unexpected event like a car breakdown will be critical to avoid financial difficulties.

One way of going about it will be to create an emergency fund that you can use in case of any unexpected event. This money should be instantly available and not used for other expenses in your budget.

To build an emergency fund when receiving a weekly salary, try setting a monthly goal that you can then use to split into smaller parts and save from your weekly wage. Building it should take the same amount of time as with a monthly salary, but the weekly contributions will be smaller than one monthly contribution.

9 – Don't Forget Irregular Expenses

Planning for any irregular expenses like birthdays, Christmas, or even Valentine's Day should be done with a few paychecks, just like with bigger bills which are on a monthly basis. You should try to estimate the amount you will need towards those expenses and divide it into smaller amounts that you can put aside from your weekly salary. 

If you plan well ahead, you can decide to put money aside for irregular expenses every other payday. For example, if you are planning your Christmas spending six months in advance, you might be able to put money aside every third payday for the next six months to be able to fulfill your spending needs.

An important point to note, however, is that making a reasonable estimate of the spending that will be required will be critical. Closer to the spending time, you might find yourself with fewer opportunities to ‘catch up' with savings needed as you might have limited spare funds on a weekly basis.

10 – Save In Advance

When it comes to paying a monthly expense avoiding losing your whole weekly paycheck to one larger bill like rent will be essential but requires planning. The best thing I found to do is split the bill into four equal parts and put money aside with each payday to ensure spreading the cost of that bill across a month.

Save in Advance when paid weekly
How To Budget Weekly Pay? The 10 Steps You Need 9

A great example is rent. If you pay $1000 each month, you should split the payment into four equal parts of $250 and aim to put aside that much with every paycheck you receive. This way, your monthly expenses won't hurt your account balance much when they come due.

Common Questions About How To Budget When You Get Paid Weekly

These are the most common questions about budgeting when you get paid weekly.

Is It Better To Budget Weekly Or Monthly?

Even though budgeting every week might require more effort, it also allows you to stay on top of things better as you review and plan everything more frequently. It might benefit people on a low budget or those worried about their spending habits. However, some people prefer to budget monthly instead of weekly. It all comes from a personal preference or what you are used to.

How Do I Make A Weekly Budget Spreadsheet?

You will want to open a new workbook and set up your income and expenses parts as well as any other sections, including debt, savings, and investment, by listing and adding them up per category by totaling the numbers. You will then take away all of your expenses from your income which is done by using subtracting or summing up formulas and adding any other visual analysis per your requirements.

How Much Should You Save If You Get Paid Weekly?

The best way to work out how much to save if you receive your pay weekly is to set your monthly or yearly goal and divide either by 4 (average amount of paydays every month, with six months having five paydays) or 52 (total number of weeks every year). You will then have a weekly figure that you will use to put aside from the money you receive every week.

Why Is Weekly Pay Better?

Receiving your pay on a weekly basis ensures that you receive the money you have earned more quickly and improves your cash position as your bank account is topped up with cash every week. It is also great when starting a new job as it means you won't need to wait for a whole month or longer for your first paycheck.


Receiving a weekly paycheck doesn't mean you can't budget; however, it will require more planning.

You need to know when and how much you are getting paid in order to match your expenses and not get into financial difficulties of not being able to cover your costs due to a lack of money in your bank account until next week.

Personal experience taught me that spreading out my expenses across the month is best. That may mean phoning up providers of utilities or, when signing a new contract, ensuring due dates were spread out across the month. This ensured all of my bills weren't going out at the start of the month, which is useful when receiving your salary on a monthly basis.

Hopefully, you now know how to budget weekly pay and have an action plan you can use. Remember that you might struggle at first, especially if you are used to receiving your salary on a monthly basis before. But most importantly, do not give up; review and readjust as needed on a weekly basis until you get it right.

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Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.