Whether you and your significant other have just begun your relationship or have been together a while, creating a personal budget is an important step in managing your finances. A budget that takes into account all your expenses is a way for you to determine where your money is going, which expenses you need to cut back on and which ones need to be increased. If you are paid biweekly, it is advantageous for you to create a budget that allocates your paycheck every two weeks to your expenses. As you get more at ease with sticking to your budget, you can expand it to monthly and annually.
Determine your biweekly income. If you are paid biweekly, use the amount of your paycheck and add any other income you receive from investments or other sources. If you receive interest every month, divide the amount you expect to receive by two to estimate the interest earned every two weeks. If you receive interest or dividends every quarter, divide the quarterly amount by the number of biweekly periods in the quarter, approximately 12, to arrive at the bi-weekly other income amount. Remember there are 26 biweekly periods in a year; you can use this number to divide an annual salary or other income amount to calculate a biweekly total.
Identify your monthly expenses and divide them by two to determine the expense amounts incurred in every two week period. Your expenses should typically fall under two categories: mandatory and discretionary. Mandatory expenses must be paid every month and include items such as, rent, groceries and utilities. Discretionary expenses are non-essential items such as, entertainment and leisure travel.
Allocate your b-weekly income to your biweekly expenses. As you allocate your income to your expenses, begin with your mandatory expenses. If there are funds left over, allocate the remaining amount among your discretionary expenses based on how important the expense is to you as a couple. If your biweekly income does not cover your mandatory expenses or you are left with very little money, review your expenses and identify areas where you can reduce.
Eileen Rojas holds a bachelor's and master's degree in accounting from Florida International University. She has more than 10 years of combined experience in auditing, accounting, financial analysis and business writing.