You should not be paying bills from paycheck money.
Note that the following can have some hiccups at first if you have some long-term bills, such as large yearly tax bills, as you won't have been following the pattern a whole year yet. Make sure to save extra the first year to accommodate.
Step 0: Set money aside
It doesn't matter what you call this "aside money." Savings, buffer, The Pile Of Dough... call it what you want, but just set some money aside. For the purposes of this answer, I'll usually call it "savings" or "budget savings".
This can be in the form of a bank savings account, or anything else... it could literally be a pile of money sitting in an envelope in a safe place. Whatever you do, just start it somehow.
If you don't have much extra money that's fine; you can start it right now with a single $1 bill.
Step 1: Pick an amount of time
This will be the amount of time that you consider to be your "bill payment timeframe." This time frame should be at least as large as the amount of time you have between most bills, which for many people is 1 month. It sounds like right now you do things per-month. You can pick 1 month to keep things how you are used to if you would like.
If you would like to be more conservative in your budgeting, choose a larger amount, perhaps 2 months or more.
Whatever amount of time you chose, now double it.
This chosen time is not really important by itself. It is only useful to calculate a number later.
Step 2: Figure out your average money earned and money owed over that time
Do a little bit of arithmetic to calculate some numbers normalized to your chosen time then add up your money in and money out, like so...
I chose a time period of 2 months in step 1 (1 month doubled). There are 6 units of "2-months" in a year (
"2-months" times 6 = 12 months = 1 year).
I make $100/week.
$100/week times 52 weeks = $5200/year But I want it per 2 months because of my step #1 choice.
$5200/year divided by 6 = $866/2-months
I'll stick with the 2-month thing (6 units per year).
I make $250 semi-monthly. $250 twice per month is $1000/2-months.
I pay $100/month for gas, a $200/month bill, $150 every 3 months for another bill, and a $1000/year property tax bill. (Apparently I never eat)
2a. $100/month times 12 months = $1200/year, divided by 6 = $200/2-months
2b. $200/month times 12 months = $2400/year, divided by 6 = $400/2-months
2c. $150/3-months times 4 = $600/year, divided by 6 = $100/2-months
2d. $1000/year divided by 6 = $166.66/2-months
2e. $200 + $400 + $100 + $166.66 = $866.66
In your case you have 2 separate sources of income, so add these together. Keep these numbers handy for later use, including any long term planning you want to do.
The number representing your expenses (bills, food, gas, taxes, etc.) is the more important number. This is your target number for the next step.
If your total expenses are greater than your total income, then there is no special budget method that will help you: you are doomed to fail if you keep that up long term. You need to increase your income (not as easy) or decrease your expenses (comparatively easy) - there is no way around this.
Pay all these expenses out of your budget savings, and put all of your income (or at least as much as your target number per time period) into your budget savings.
Step 3: Save
Whatever number you calculated for your "expenses over time" in step 2, consider that your target number.
As long as your money you have set aside (Step 0) is less than your target number, do not spend a penny on anything unnecessary. You must put all of your income, every penny, into your budget savings.
This is the step that nobody wants to be in but which might be necessary from time to time.
Pay your bills from this budget savings money. Even if you cash a paycheck and take the money straight to pay a bill, don't look at it as paying the bill from the paycheck. Look at it as money going into the budget savings then coming immediately back out.
If you have any bills or other expenditures that you accounted for in step 2 that are payed out less frequently than your arbitrary unit of time (eg: 2 months), then you still need to keep "paying" those bills. You may want to have a separate "pile of money" (savings account, envelope, literal pile, or whatever) to keep track of these virtual bills that you impose on yourself.
Example: Step 2's example 3 had a $150/3-month bill and a $1000/year property tax. Normalized to the 2-month period that is $100/2-months and $166.66/2-months. This means that every 2 months you need to set aside that $266.66 toward those bills. This is money you cannot touch for your vacation - you must consider the money spent even though you are still holding onto it.
Do not proceed to step 4 until your budget savings is greater than your step 2 target number.
Step 4: You're getting ahead, now what?
Now you can start spending money on things you want again. Whatever you do, do not put your budget savings amount lower than your step 2 target number.
As long as you keep your savings higher than your target number, you can spend the rest.
If you want to save up for long-term expensive thing like vacations, then set aside some of your extra money whenever you are willing. If you keep setting aside money for what you want, eventually you'll have enough for it. Alternatively, you could go back to step 2 and add "vacation: $100/month" as an expense as if it were a bill to pay.
Step 5: Keep referring back to step 3
Don't spend money you don't have. If your money is less than your calculated target number, then don't spend any extra.
If you do this, then it doesn't matter what your income schedule or your bill schedule is like. You simply have a pool of money that has an input (paycheck) and an output (bills, etc.). As long as this pool is large enough and kept full then the bills get paid and you can spend the extra.
Speaking of "keeping the pool full," keep in mind that the larger this pool is the easier it is to stop caring about when money arrives or gets paid. If your saving has exceeded your target number for a while and you want to be safer, then increase your step 1 chosen time period, which increases your step 2 calculated amounts and increases your target number. This might put you back into "Step 3: Save" again, which can be painful, but it doesn't need to be if you increase in small amounts at a time.
If you keep increasing your target number, then eventually you could get it up to a year's worth of expenses. At that point, you probably have no expenditures with a period larger than that, since even property taxes are often paid yearly. This makes things easier to keep track of, and it also has the added bonus of you knowing that if anything happens to you that you would be covered for a year (or however long you've increased your savings by).
When I was young, I followed a similar model, though I just picked an arbitrary number and said "I don't want my finances to drop below $1000." I had a minimum wage job at the time, but I had few expenses to I got my savings up to $1000. Then I just kept increasing it. Eventually, after creeping up over time it was $2000 base savings target, then at some point it was over $5000. Then I got married, had kids, and the target amount has gone up and down over time, but all along I've tried to say "If we have less than $X, then we can't do anything fun or nice."
An additional benefit of staying ahead is that it covers you for the unexpected costs as well. If your target number is $2000, you currently have $2025, and you get smacked by an unexpected $800 car repair bill, you have the money for this unexpected need. You can't spend it below $2000 for wants, but I do for needs. Then I just get stuck for a while back in step 3, saving, until you're >$2000 again.