A 3-paycheck month to start the new year! | Budget with Me January 2021

Hey reader,

My unicorn month is here! The beauty of budgeting monthly when you get paid biweekly is that there’s one (two, if you work 12 months instead of 10) month where you get a third, magical paycheck. This is not something to treat as “extra” money by any sense of the word, because it’s very much part of your regular salary– the timing just feels strange when you budget month-to-month. So, it’s important to factor this money into your overall plan.

Let’s take a look at how I’m using this paycheck:

You’ll probably notice a number of changes here. Firstly, I reformatted my budget spreadsheet! I have been playing around with this for a while now, trying to make the format as efficient as possible, fitting into as little space as possible. I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I’ve added it as an option in my free budget template document!

You might also notice that I re-categorized my utilities– I always knew it was never super efficient to lump them in with my miscellaneous spending, but it was the best way to do it in the old way my budget was formatted. I budgeted $60 for them, as I noticed when I did my yearly spending video that they never went over $50. I like to have a bit of a buffer.

As for my third paycheck, you can see it’s mostly going toward my Roth IRA ($1000 of it, to be exact). This has always been a part of my investing plan, to use the big windfalls of money from 3rd paychecks, stipends, and my tax refund to deposit in my Roth (see the notes section of my budget above) as I consistently deposit into my 457 before tax. The rest of the paycheck is going toward finishing off my car fund rebuild, which I’m very much looking forward to. That monthly cash flow can now go toward other goals or spending (TBD on how I’ll be allocating it).

As always, to get the full breakdown and explanation, watch my video above!

🙂 Rachel


If you want to use this template, I have it available for free.

If you need more guidance in your money journey, I created my Money Map Workbook just for you.

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