Easy tips on how to budget your money if you get paid monthly

Whether you’re paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly, you end up getting the same amount of pay.

But can the frequency of your pay can affect how you spend it, making things even tougher amid a cost of living crisis?

Frances Cook, the investments editor of BusinessDesk, told AM while it technically shouldn't be more difficult to budget on monthly pay v fortnightly or weekly pay - a lot of people still found it harder.

"That can lead to us beating ourselves up because we're looking at it being like, 'Why is this so much harder?' It's a mental game right at this point where you'll live like a king that first week if you're paid monthly, and then an absolute pauper the other three weeks," Cook told host Melissa Chan-Green.

"It's not that fun long-term."

Cook said addressing the "mental head game" was the first step in coping with monthly payments.

"You say, 'This isn't that fun and what do I want instead?' Because we often try to tell ourselves we should be saving or investing just to 'be good' with our money - which is fine but our motivation doesn't last very long. So I think the thing is first to think, 'Why do I want to change this?'"

Below are more tips from Cook on how Kiwis can budget their money on monthly payments and save that stress.

Review your goals 

Cook urged Kiwis to set financial goals to determine how their money should be budgeted.

"Think… 'Do I want to feel less stressed? Do I want to go on holiday? Do I want to start a big goal like saving for a house deposit or investing for financial freedom' - all of these totally legitimate things? So get your head sorted [and] get started on, what is your goal? 

"[That's] going to be what holds you over more of the technical stuff, which you can also do," Cook said.

Frances Cook.
Frances Cook. Photo credit: AM/Getty Images

Pay yourself 

Cook encouraged Kiwis on monthly pay to use a separate account - or even a different bank altogether - to pay themselves a weekly sum based on their monthly salary.

"You get that money, it comes in and then you auto-pay into your chequing account each week," she said.

"Then you're hiding that money from yourself and this is really key."

Talk to your bill providers 

Another tip Cook had for Kiwis on monthly pay was to talk to their bill providers about potentially changing payment dates and frequencies.

Aligning your major bills - electricity and insurance, for example - to be due the day after pay day means they can be quickly taken care of, she said.

"Then, at least if you run out of money, it's not a big problem."