Bi-weekly Paychecks vs. Monthly Budget

I have an Excel file that I use to track our monthly income and expenses and we are currently paid biweekly.

I’m running into a couple of issues. Firstly, if I create a single use monthly budget solely based on income we bring in vs our expenses, we’re golden. If I take into account the amount of money needed in our checking account to get us through to the next payday, however, we can easily look like we’re in the negative.

Our credit cards are also posing a similar issue. We put most all of our expenses (aside from a few utilities and our mortgage) on credit cards for points and we pay them off each month. When I plug the numbers into their respective categories as we spend throughout the month things tend to look fine…until a new month begins and the amount on those cards ends up in our debt column which again…makes things look overbudget.

At this point I don’t know what way is up and what way is down. What can I do to iron things out?

The main thing that comes to mind is that because of the grace period with your credit cards you might be using next month’s pay to pay off this month’s expenses. I also use credit cards for the vast majority of my spending but I use Mint to track my spending into categories. The way that Mint does it is that it considers those credit card payments as transfers. It isn’t really debt, and you’ve already counted those transactions in your budget in their true line items so you wouldn’t want to double count them. The debt column would only be for credit cards or loans with a balance that you’re trying to pay down long term.