Friday 5: PayDay!

Squeezed February 27, 2009

So far this place has become a dumping ground for my Twitter tweets. So let’s add some REAL (OK, sorta real) content here for a change.

I haven’t done a Friday 5 for a while, so let’s dive into the one for today: PayDay!

1. How often do you get paid?

Now, every two weeks. It used to be twice a month on the 15th and the last day of the month, but for some reasons unknown my employer decided that they would go to an every-two-week cycle. The thing is, bills tend to come on a monthly schedule. So it was a lot easier to budget when I knew that I have X dollars coming in each month. Now, with a two week cycle, I end up with a little less than I would have had on a semi-monthly schedule, but then twice a year I end up with three paychecks in a month. It makes planning ahead a bit more of a challenge.

And here’s more fun. We get paid biweekly, but certain deductions still come around on a monthly schedule…we get Y dollars deducted each month for health insurance, Z dollars toward my flexible spending, etc. On those periods where we have three pay period endings in a month, we’ll have those deductions for two of the periods, and then on the odd pay period we don’t get the deduction which means an even bigger paycheck.

That really makes it challenging to budget month-to-month. I really liked the semi-monthly system better, but what the heck.

2. Do you tend to splurge a little on (or shortly after) pay day?

Not so much. I tend to be pretty steady, although I do get myself stuff once in a while. I try to time my major purchases toward the last week of the month, right after I get my credit card statement, so I get the maximum amount of time to pay it off. Yes, I pay my credit card in full each month like a good little boy.

3. What are the few days leading up to pay day like for you?

Ordinarily not much different, but around mid-month I do find myself skimping a bit between my credit card payment and the following payday. I use Quicken, and my calendar usually shows me where my bank balance may fall short so I can plan accordingly.

4. If you had the option, would you like to be paid daily for each day’s work?

When I visualize the concept of being paid daily it brings to mind “day laborers”…down on their luck people who when they get paid will spend all of that money on their daily needs of food or whatever.

Maybe it’s human nature or just me, but if I had the choice of saving the one dollar I have left over from my day or using it to buy a candy bar…I might just choose the candy bar. Whereas, if I had the choice of saving $14 over getting 14 candy bars, I’d be more likely to save the money. (I don’t think I’d need or want 14 candy bars at one time.)

And if you’re using it to save for a longer-term goal? It takes discipline to physically put a dollar in a piggy bank each day, and perhaps writing a deposit of $30 off the top each month may be easier, even if it requires just as much discipline.

The point here is perhaps there’s an advantage to getting your money in larger chunks less often. Up to a point of course. I don’t think I’d ever want my annual salary to be given to me on January 1 in one lump sum.

When did you get your first paycheck and what was it for?

It was at 16, when I was working part-time at Flora-Dec Sales, where my dad also worked.

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