Maybe a dumb question, but how do I budget for mortgage?

Basically, it's our largest bill, and takes most of a full paycheck (if it's my spouses payday) or half of mine. Most of our bills are due in the first two weeks of the month. We wind up using the final paycheck of the month to stock our savings and short term saving categories like "Christmas". Every time the 1st rolls around, even though we have plenty of cash to cover mortgage (from other categories), if I just use that first paycheck to cover it, we're either super tight until the next paycheck comes, or can't even afford our basic expenses. This past month, I just went ahead and paid the mortgage and left that category red until the next paycheck came, since there is plenty of cash in the account. I'm just struggling to figure out how to spread our bills and expenses out during the month, so that we have the mortgage set aside on that last paycheck of the month, vs the first one of the month. I'm sure this is obvious, but I'm just not sure the best way to go about this. Any help?

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  • Hi there. We have a similar situation with the mortgage being monthly on the first. This is how we handle it. We have a park for next month category. On the 2nd pay of the month, the question is what does this money need to do before the next payday. Usually that includes the mortgage plus part of the months groceries gas etc. And any bills payable before the next payday. Whatever that amount is goes to the park for next month category. If there is anything left after that, I find the Christmas etc type of categories. When the month rolls over, I zero out the Park for next month category (which goes automatically to TBB) and then budget normally. 

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  • It sounds like you just have to reverse the order you are funding things. If the last paycheck of the month is needed to fund the mortgage then use it for that instead of savings.  Then fill the savings categories when the bills are covered.  

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  • I get paid my full month of salary at the end of the month, so I don't have that problem.  But it sounds like you could really benefit from saving up a traditional YNAB  buffer.  "Live on last month's income" used to be one of the YNAB rules, but they changed it to age your money.  But saving up a month buffer is a very useful thing for people paid on pay cycles other than mine.

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      • Happygirl
      • Happygirl
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      I didn’t realize this was no longer a ynab rule. I’m surprised to hear that. When I started using ynab (2015ish), that was probably the most important piece of info I gained. It has relieved worry and helped me stay on track for years. I’ll continue to use that rule to guide my spending.

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      • Rakuna
      • rakuna
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Happygirl The name has changed but if you actually read the description, it does talk about living on last months income.

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 mth ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      Rakuna They keep changing what they write about Rule 4. The lack of consistency is telling. The lack of a mechanism within the software itself makes it more difficult to achieve on your own, particularly with Stealing From the Future when using their recommended method of budgeting directly into future months.

      Lastly they still equate the metric with the rule, when they really aren't related, as they try to push the Rule as a measurement of getting ahead, but the metric looks back at money you don't have any more (and it still ignores Rule 2 and other savings categories with a bunch of hand-waviness).

      They want you to think that the new Rule 4 and the old Rule 4 are the same thing, but they really aren't. Not even close.

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