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How Often Do You Get Paid?

Everyone loves payday. Even children seem to pick up on when payday is. Did you know that how often you get paid directly impacts your budget? And this frugal teacher is going to hope (and pray) that you have a budget. It also affects your spending over the course of a month. So, how often do you get paid?

You get paid every week - lucky you! This is a fairly easy one. If you get paid every week, then you have some months where you'll get 4 paychecks and some months will have 5. It's important to divide up your bigger monthly bills (like rent or your mortgage) into 4 equal parts so you can set aside the money each week when you get paid. That way you won't be short when the bill comes due. If that month happens to have 5 paydays for you, then that is a good time to take that little bit of extra money and catch up if you're behind, pay an extra payment on one of your debts, or put it in savings.

You get paid every other week - this one can be tricky but the same basic concept applies. Take your bigger bills and divide by 2 so that you take 1/2 out of each paycheck. Getting paid every other week also means that most months you will have 2 paydays. However, a couple of times a year you will have a month with 3 paydays. This frugal teacher would like you to figure out which months those are (it will depend on which day of the week your payday falls) and plan for what you will do with that extra paycheck. Maybe you'll put it towards debt like making an extra car payment. Maybe you'll set it aside to use for Christmas. Or maybe you'll fund that emergency fund finally!

You get paid twice a month - this is the one all Levy County School District teachers and staff fall into. Yes, this frugal teacher gets paid on the 15th and the last working day of the month. This kind of pay schedule is pretty easy to budget since you consistently have 2 paychecks every month. You simply take your big monthly bills and divide them by 2 to set aside enough money to cover them. Or you can pay some bills out of your first paycheck and others out of your next paycheck. You have flexibility and your budget should be pretty easy to make and manage.

Payday comes once a month - ouch, this one is hard! Getting paid once a month means that you need to pay all of your bills that are due before you get paid again the next month. Then you just divide up whatever is left into your spending categories such as groceries, gas, etc. This one can be so hard for families, especially towards the end of the month. You'll have a large sum of money all at once so you'll need to use some self-discipline to refrain from spending too much, too soon. You don't want to end up spending so much that you don't have enough money left for food or gas at the end of the month. You'll definitely want to have an emergency fund if you fall into this category for when unexpected expenses pop up or irregular bills that you didn't plan for.

It's important to know what your bills are each month, specifically how much they are and when they're due. This will help you plan out your paychecks in advance. If you don't have a list of your current bills already, just take a piece of paper and list out each bill, how much it is, and when it's due. Then put them in date order so you can keep track of which bills to pay out of each paycheck. This is basically budgeting in its simplest form. If you discover that one of your paychecks has nearly all of your bills due and the other paycheck only has a few, it's worth a try to see if you can get your due date(s) changed.

Understanding your paycheck frequency can help you manage your cash flow so that income, expenses, and financial goals all align. Use that knowledge to make a solid monthly plan so that you know exactly what to pay when your paycheck hits your bank account.


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