Proper setup for bi-weekly income

Hey fellow budgeters,

I am new to GB and trying to figure out the best way to set things up for my situation which is as follows:

1- I have bills that come in throughout the month, some on the first, some on the 10th, 15th etc. (don’t we all? :slight_smile: )

2- My regular employment income comes into my bank account every two weeks on Thursdays and I usually have to go a couple of weeks at the start of the month and cover expenses without necessarily having the cash on hand because income hasn’t come in yet (I typically pay for those expenses using a line of credit that I pay off every month when the cash comes in)

3- I have additional income that comes into my account usually between the 15th and 20th, but the actual date might vary from one month to the next

I am clear on the overall process, but struggling to figure out exactly how to make this all work the right way for me.

Any help would be much appreciated.


My situation is exactly the same except I don’t use the line of credit, I get paid each two weeks on a Thursday with another smaller amount during the month. I’m new too though so I’ll wait for replies!

For now I’ve set my first fill on pay day and either let it do the budgeted amount, or adjusted it where I had higher expenses in one area for that pay.

Here are my thoughts—first, I’d set up the budget to match the frequency of most of your bills; sounds like that’s Monthly. You CAN do a biweekly budget but it takes a bit more work, however, you can have biweekly and monthly envelopes too if that’s what you prefer (maybe Rent would be monthly while Entertainment would be biweekly?) If you want, there’s a brand new feature that allows you to input due dates to help know how much to put into your envelopes each Fill if you’re not filling them all at one go.
I’d set up Fills for biweekly to accommodate your regular income, as well as a separate monthly Fill for the income that just comes at the end. Schedule it for the 20th and if you get it early you can just use the “Enter Now” function to move up the transaction.
List your borrowed money as a Credit Card that you pay off every month, and you can track your expenses that way.
Finally, work toward building up a one-month cushion so you can fill the whole month on the first. There’s a great video here from the GB admins to help you get started!
I hope this helps; I made it a little vague to apply to more people but if you want more detail I’m happy to try to expand it!

1 Like

Thanks @Tiffany. Yes, you’re correct. Most of the bills I’m interested in tracking are monthly, although there are things like groceries for example which obviously aren’t monthly but rather spread out over the month. I believe the setup you described is generally what I had, but I think there is something I am not getting about the way the system works because some things don’t add up. For example, if I track my borrowed money as a credit card transaction, how do I reflect that transaction as income? Also, when I record the expense on the card, it asks me to choose an envelope…but that would be a “withdrawal” from the envelope and what I am actually doing in that case is filling it?

I don’t have a paid account, but I use a Credit Card Hold envelope in pretty much the same way as a credit card account would work. When I use my credit card to pay for something, I move that money from whatever envelope I am covering with the credit card. I don’t reflect anything put on the card as income (since it’s really not). Then when I pay the credit card, I do an expense against the Credit Card Hold envelope.

It took me a few months to find a system that worked for me and that I found easy to follow. Are your 2 week paychecks consistently the same (or at least close)? What Tiffany said makes sense to me as well - have a scheduled fill for each time you receive income (so it sounds like 3 a month), and vary which envelopes you fill with how much based on when bills are due.

Yes, that makes sense as well. But I guess the thing I am trying to reflect is the “true” flow of the money so that it matches up with the amounts I have in my bank accounts and line of credit. So since the money actually goes from the credit account to my checking account, which is then used to pay the expense (say rent for example which is due on the first), I wanted to see if there was a way to reflect that in my GB transactions.

I’m not sure I’m understanding. One of the reasons I like using the Hold envelope is that the money remains in my checking account - I can just see by glancing that I owe that amount, but meanwhile my account balance in GB matches what is actually in my bank account. Mentally I just need to know that the last envelope is not really money I have budgeted to spend but money I owe, and I how I have it labeled works to my satisfaction. If you find a more straight-forward solution, I’d love to hear about it!

Ultimately what I would like is to record an income transaction (to add funds to my bank account) and simultaneously record a new debt for that same amount. Then I could fill my envelopes from the bank account with the new, unallocated funds, yet still see the new debt amount that needs to be paid down.

I know I can do this manually every time, but I was hoping there was a way to automate it. That said, I think the real answer is to have a cushion so I don’t need to worry about this at all :slight_smile:

It sounds like what you’d like to do is a simple Account Transfer from the credit card account to the checking account. You can automate this to occur each month by using the Schedule function, and then just adjust the amount each time.
This transfer will add a debt to the credit card account (be sure it’s built as a “paid-in-full” account since you don’t carry a balance) and increase the balance of the checking account from which you’re filling envelopes. I think that’s what you’re trying to do, yes?


@Tiffany Yes, that’s exactly what I want! :slight_smile: I thought I had tried that option already but probably didn’t do it correctly. Will try again and let you know if I run into any issues. Thanks!