Starting: Advice when 1 partner has fortnightly income and the other monthly


Before I spend too much time setting up my goodbudget, I was looking for advice to minimise the risk that I do something wrong (or more complicated than it needs to be). I receive my income fortnightly and my partner receives his income monthly.

I like the idea of the ‘autofill - add too’ envelopes, but how would you do this with two different timeframes in mind. Can you have two different ‘schedules’ set, so certain envelopes are filled from my fortnightly income, and another schedule set up, for other envelopes to be filled when the monthly income comes in?

Or do I need to operate a buffer, and essentially allocated the monthly income out fortnightly in arrears. E.g. if monthly income of $1,000 is received on the 1st of the month, I would then add $500 to my fortnightly amount to ‘autofill’ the envelopes (e.g. 8th and 22nd)? (Yes I know this won’t work exactly as there is more than 28 days in both months, but for simplicity sake using $500 in this example and would adjust when I work through setting the budgets).

Any other advice in this regards would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Welcome! There are a couple of things in your question with different answers. As far as your overall budget is concerned, you’ll need to choose one budget period as your overall baseline. However, you can have envelopes on different periods, and you can create as many Fill instructions as you need.
In your case, it sounds like a monthly budget is likely what you’re looking for, with one monthly Fill and one fortnightly Fill. As long as the envelopes you don’t want to change are toggled to “Add 0” they won’t be affected by a Fill.
There are many ways to manage income. You might create both monthly and fortnightly envelopes and have money go straight into them, or use all fortnightly allocations, or have one person’s income go to Unallocated to be distributed on your schedule, or you can even send all your income to Unallocated and dole it out at once (that’s actually ideal but it requires building up that one-month cushion).
You may end up making changes later, but choose the one that seems to resonate best for you now and give it a try. Hope that helps!!

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Hi Tiffany

My biggest income and payment (mortgage) item are on weekly and fortnightly schedules, so I was thinking of using fortnight as the budget period. Is there a reason you assume I would use a monthly budget period.

I was thinking in using a fortnightly period, with the ‘add’ fill button would allow me to ‘fill’ for two fortnights to get to any monthly costs (yes I know that would eventually mean I have two extra months sitting in there by Christmas…but assume I can reallocate this technical over fill, or use that to cover when prices of those items go up e.g. insurance payments where we know the next annual reset is going to be higher than budgeting based on current year).

Also with the fortnightly fill, I wouldn’t need as large of a buffer to use your final option of doing all the fills from an unallocated buffer, rather than from the income.

What would the benefits be of setting up monthly?

Given your clarification I don’t think there IS a benefit to using a monthly budget. I just assumed from your last paragraph that monthly was your preference, but certainly a bi-weekly schedule sounds like it would work well in your case. I would offer that you’ll want to be sure you’re always Adding to the monthly envelopes you fill fortnightly so that the excess will remain there rather than being reset each time (as it would if you chose Set.) And yes, you’ll have a bit of extra in those envelopes but I’m also confident that you’ll find that your budget will be a work in progress (especially at the beginning) and you’ll likely be reallocating money often until you land on that point of equilibrium. Happy budgeting!