Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Managing Four Weekly Pension

(72 Posts)
Bea0802 Wed 30-Nov-22 11:51:20

I'm about to make a concerted effort to manage my money better - might be a New Year's resolution. One problem I've always had is how to manage a four weekly payment against monthly bills. Apart from changing to weekly or opening several bank accounts, does anyone have any tips before my head explodes!

Riverwalk Wed 30-Nov-22 12:08:08

Most of my direct debits are taken at the beginning of the month, so I just ensure that there is enough in the current account to cover these.

You certainly don't need to open additional bank accounts.

I might be missing something obvious here, but can't see a problem!

Blossoming Wed 30-Nov-22 12:32:03

I bank on line Bea0802. I can view a list of my direct debits showing when they’re due and I have a private calendar showing when my pensions are due in. Then same as Riverwalk, I just make sure there’s enough to cover any payments due. Like you I wondered how it would work going from a monthly salary to 4 weekly payments. You get used to it smile

Poppyred Wed 30-Nov-22 12:55:56

Write a list, it’s not rocket science……..

loopyloo Wed 30-Nov-22 13:01:03

I have a calendar that I note when the pensions are going in and when the major expenses go out and check the account almost every day on line.
Yes the moving pensions are a bit of a pain as they can be with DH pay and it looks like a lot then nothing for ages.

notgran Wed 30-Nov-22 13:21:47

You get 4 weekly payments which works out at 13 payments a year to pay 12 monthly bills. Unless you are starting off in debt this should be manageable. There are a number of Budget Help Tools on the Citizen Advice site and Martin Lewis. If it is easier for you to write everything coming in and going out in a notebook rather than a spreadsheet do that. In this house during tough times when every single half pence had to count we used both manual and computer methods to double check everything.

M0nica Wed 30-Nov-22 13:36:38

I treat each 4 weekly payment as if it has to last a month. I then have one 'extra' payment each year that I can use for something big I need, or a treat or add to my savingor even to be my only savings.

It is much easier than trying to tie your budget around a 4 weekly cycle and means, at most making 4 weeks money last 3 more days, or 2 or, once a year, the 4 weeks equals a month (except in leap years.

Norah Wed 30-Nov-22 13:49:05

notgran You get 4 weekly payments which works out at 13 payments a year to pay 12 monthly bills.

We view the bank account as receiving a bonus month over the year (the extra 4 weeks) - arrives end of third, sixth, ninth, twelfth month.

The monthly bills debits leave the account each on a different week - the incoming and outgoing are relatively evenly spread.

We have a check list on the computer, to follow the debits and credits, it opens automatically on Mondays. Thus Monday is the day the online bank account is checked for balance.

The transition from paper to computer was the hard bit. Once the automatic calendar was in place - no problems.

I still keep a yearly paper journal for the whole process and update it monthly. I keep the same for my husband's business records.

DaisyAnne Wed 30-Nov-22 14:22:54

This if just the right time of the year to be overhauling your budget Bea0802. If you have all your income, all monthly direct debits and all reoccurring annual bills going from the same account as everyday spending I think you need some physical way of keeping track. Is that what you want to do? I have banking spreadsheets (I love spreadsheets but appreciate not everyone does.) You can, as notgran suggests, write list and columns on paper.

All banks make it very easy to open another account online and it may be better for you to have one account with all your income going in and all the bills going out and another for your general spending. Transferring money between them is very easy.

DaisyAnne Wed 30-Nov-22 14:25:50

Using the "13th month" as a savings month may not work if you are living on a very low income.

LadyHonoriaDedlock Wed 30-Nov-22 15:52:52

I'm not necessarily the best person to advise on money management and I was hopeless when my pension started, always being caught unawares by an unwatched-for payment just when I thought I was on track.

My payments are spread throughout the month. Also some are quarterly, some are annual and a couple are four weekly. So I put my spreadsheet skills to good use to give me a cashflow of regular payments for the year and show what's available for free spending at any given time. Of course, in my hands it goes completely to pot within a week.

What works mostly for me is having two accounts, and I know that's specifically not what's asked for but it does. One is reserved for regular payments only. I have my pension paid into that one and then move all but the sum of all the regular payments for the 4-week period to the other account. Then I don't have to worry about the regulars and can use the other account knowing I won't be ambushed by a payment I'd forgotten about.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 30-Nov-22 16:08:53

This is the way I budget.

50% of my income for household bills.
30% for leisure including gifts etc medical (dentist, feet etc)
20% for any major household expense, car and the dog.

I also try to save 10% of my total income if possible which will come out of my 50% if that makes sense.

So I have a minimum of 4 bank accounts which includes a current account and savings/investment accounts. 2 of those are easy access. The others following the highest interest etc.

shysal Wed 30-Nov-22 16:45:04

I originally opted for my state pension to be paid weekly. I find this useful when my monthly work pension is running low towards the end of the month. Most of my DDs are paid at the beginning of the month, but work pension payday is the 5th so I have to check my balance on line frequently.
It sounds complicated, but if you are organised all will be fine! Good luck!

Callistemon21 Wed 30-Nov-22 16:45:59

DH used to be paid four weekly years ago and the bonus 13th payment came at Christmas which was useful.

It was sometimes difficult to organise to ensure DD and SO got paid and we didn't go overdrawn but those were the days before internet banking (before the internet in fact).

Maggiemaybe Wed 30-Nov-22 16:47:11

I love a spreadsheet too and that’s where all my income/outgoings end up. I reconcile them monthly against the online bank statement, and it’s quite nice to see a double pension payment on one of them every year. But it’d be more logical if we had 12 monthly payments, imho. We’ve no other income or payment that’s on a 4 weekly cycle.

Barmeyoldbat Wed 30-Nov-22 17:24:34

I have my state pension paid weekly and use this for household stuff. My works pension is paid on the 22nd of each month so my dad goout on the 23rd. I also have a small private pension paid quarterly which is my savings.

henetha Wed 30-Nov-22 17:27:42

All my bills are paid by monthly direct debit. It's the only way I can cope.
And another direct debit into my savings account so I always have something for a rainy day.

M0nica Wed 30-Nov-22 17:33:57

I too love my spreadsheets, not just for accounts, but almost anything.

I am currently busy with my Christmas spread sheet.

Kim19 Wed 30-Nov-22 17:40:36

I'm an avid spreadsheeter too. Opted for my pension weekly which helps cashflow and another monthly which deals with DDs. No problems thusfar.

Delila Wed 30-Nov-22 17:45:48

Is it possible for you to start off with a “float” in your current account (perhaps from a savings account) of one month’s expenses, so that you have a financial cushion until your income and expenditure are established in a rolling routine?

I appreciate this may not be possible, in which case ignore me. I find this works for me though. I occasionally have to keep a close eye on things, but so far so good.

Hetty58 Wed 30-Nov-22 17:46:19

If it's important for you to match the timing of incomings and outgoings, just use four-weekly standing orders instead of direct debits. I dislike direct debits anyway and it's good to have a bill-free December. Divide your annual bill by 11 and make adjustments as necessary.

VioletSky Wed 30-Nov-22 17:52:45

Do you have any savings?

If so, what I would do is calculate your monthly direct debits and then move that amount from savings to your current account.

Then when using the account I would not allow the balance to fall below that amount

That way you are always covered

Maggiemaybe Wed 30-Nov-22 20:09:47


I too love my spreadsheets, not just for accounts, but almost anything.

I am currently busy with my Christmas spread sheet.

I thought it was just me, M0nica. I bet you haven’t got a World Cup one though keeping a tally of scores, goal differences and red/yellow cards.

Guess who’s in charge of the family sweepstake? grin

DaisyAnne Wed 30-Nov-22 20:19:22

You are definitely not alone Maggiemaybe. Sanity is a spreadsheet as far as I'm concerned.

Georgesgran Wed 30-Nov-22 20:29:21

I can’t see much of a problem either - it’s all about timing, but as one poster says perhaps have a float to start off with. When I have a William (big bill) I pay it by credit card, then I can transfer that amount or whatever’s needed from my savings account into my current account, then any surplus moved back when the next payment comes in.