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I am starting a new job tomorrow and in this job the pay comes twice a month (15th and end of month). In my previous job I was paid every other week. I know in the end the totals are the same for the year (multiply by 26 vs. multiply by 24) but for some reason I think I prefer being paid every other week. It may not mean much but from a psychological perspective there is something about those 2 months a year when you get paid 3 times, like a "fake bonus"

No real question just a general discussion as to what you guys prefer in how you get paid. Does anyone actually get paid every week?

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I'm also of the mind that most people here either don't have cashflow considerations or are very good at managing it. F... (more)

Bagofchips (Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:17a) |

it was probably exorbitantly complicated more by the variable pay aspect of it than the frequency, but the 1x per month ... (more)

makinbutter (Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:22a) |

You also make full monthly pay for working only 28 (or 29) days, if you want to analyze it that way.

makinbutter (Feb. 01, 2013 @ 10:26a) |


So you like the idea of possibly being in a higher tax bracket every other year just because of how the two-week cycle happens to coincide (or not) with year end?

Or potentially having to recalculate deduction phase-out amounts from year-to-year even when you did not get a pay raise?

Or not being able to optimize your cashflow by synchronizing your mortgage payment and other monthly loan payments with a consistant, reliable monthly schedule of income?

Cool beans.

I actually had a job where I got paid every week. THAT was nice. Then I got a real job and had to learn money management. Being broke 4 days after payday is not fun.

How about paying yourself every week by taking your two week pay and dividing between different checking accounts.

Previous job was semi-monthly and my current gig is bi-weekly. I don't feel strong for either one, but getting paid semi-monthly was easy to forecast - you know it was going to hit mid-month and at the end of the month.

I prefer to get paid annually, upfront

It's all the same, but I prefer getting paid every week. At my current job we get paid every Thursday. Last week, Monday was a federal holiday due to MLK Day, and so we get paid on Friday. People freak out when they get their paycheck one day later than normal. I don't know how these people would function if they had to wait 2 weeks in between paychecks.

hillwood8 said:   It's all the same, but I prefer getting paid every week. At my current job we get paid every Thursday. Last week, Monday was a federal holiday due to MLK Day, and so we get paid on Friday. People freak out when they get their paycheck one day later than normal. I don't know how these people would function if they had to wait 2 weeks in between paychecks.

Then you get the guys who are paid once a month. On the positive side, we are paid on the 25th, so technically we are ahead of the company for those last days of the month. You definitely have to be disciplined though!

Having only worked for large companies that pay on the 15th and (floating last day of the month), I can't imagine life being paid every other week.

There is absolutely no thought involved in having my bills (mortgage, student/auto loan) on auto payment since I have them come out on either the 1st or 16th.

I've had both but I like the 15th and the last day of the month. It's consistent. But, I also learned to make sure I have more than enough to cover my largest expenses in my checking in case something happens. My old employer (who paid on the 3rd and 18th of every month) "missed" the payroll cutoff date a few times so we'd get our pay by the 20th or whatever.

juliox said:   Having only worked for large companies that pay on the 15th and (floating last day of the month), I can't imagine life being paid every other week.

There is absolutely no thought involved in having my bills (mortgage, student/auto loan) on auto payment since I have them come out on either the 1st or 16th.

Setting your bills on autopay and forgetting about them is the worst thing you can do, ESP without checking your account before funds are pulled out

I'm paid every other week. One advantage is it's easier to compute overtime (working over 40 hours per week). If you have an employer who is not on the ball, where the pay period differs from the work week, they could rip you off on the overtime.

With a previous job I had (I very long time ago), that's exactly what they did. My termination of employment with them wasn't pretty, so I decided to file a complaint with my state's department of labor relations. They (my employer) initially denied not paying required overtime. As my records were reviewed, it was proved otherwise. I got every cent I was owed and then some, and my employer was fined. In their settlement with the labor board (several other employees filed complaints too) they had to change their payroll system from twice a month to every other week. You got to fight for what's right.

cjbell said:   Then you get the guys who are paid once a month. On the positive side, we are paid on the 25th, so technically we are ahead of the company for those last days of the month. You definitely have to be disciplined though!

We might work for the same company--I get paid on the 25th as well. I actually love getting paid once per month--comparing my paycheck to my rent, utility bills, credit card spending, and other monthly expenditures is trivial, and I have fewer bank transactions to monitor and fewer virtual pay stubs to check. Also, and this is purely psychological, but it's fun to get one big check every month rather than two or three smaller checks.

Doesn't matter if you are paid once a week, once in two weeks or once a fortnight. What matters is your hourly rate on the W2. Get that going !!

A company I worked for switched their pay periods from twice a month to every other week. They went out of their way to notify employees in advance of the smaller paychecks they would receive each pay period, but that they would receive two additional paychecks per year, so the net affect was a wash. That's bullshit, and here's why:

For those employees who receive health, dental, vision, etc. insurance benefits, both the company and the employee each pay a portion of the premiums. Employee premiums are deducted from each of their paychecks at a rate of $x (which varies per employee depending on their selected benefits).

After the company switched over to paying every other week, do you think they reduced the amount they were deducting for those premiums? Absolutely not! They got away with it by enacting the switchover at the start of a new year; however, benefits selection for that new year occurred in the previous year, before the new pay policy was announced. So employees selected benefits for the new year based on an expectation of having to make 24 payments of $x for that year. Instead they ended up making 26 payments of that same $x in that new year. To this day I don't think most of them realized they got screwed like that.

It actually is not the same, and you should prefer being paid every other week. I think BEEFjerKAY was hinting at why, although he was implying it is worse. It also wouldn't be "every other year". I would not mind being in a higher tax bracket some years, because it means I made more. This is assuming your pay is based on an annual amount (if you are paid based on your hourly pay and each check is based on your actual hours worked that period, then it will of course be equal). Being paid every two weeks means you will earn about .34% more in the long run (not outstanding, but not negligible).

The reason it is not the same is because there are not 26 fortnights in a year; there are 26 fortnights in 364 days. There are, on average of course, 365.25 days in a year. Every 11.2 years (14/1.25), you will receive 27 paychecks if you are paid every other week (any year you are first paid on 01/01 [where you will also be paid on 12/31] or any leap-year you are first paid on 01/01 or 01/02). I get paid this Friday. In 2016, assuming I'm still at my current employer and it is on the same pay schedule, I will receive 27 checks.

Let's assume your annual salary is $78,000. If you are paid twice per month, you will receive $3,250 24 times per year. Every year. If you are paid every other week, you will receive $3,000 26 times per year. Most of the time. Every once in a while (11.2 years), you will be paid 27 times in one year, and earn $81,000. An extra 3.8% in that year. As if by magic. 3.8% / 11.2 = .34%.

This past 02/29, I saw a lot of people post on facebook that they were working for free that day. If you get paid every other week (or weekly, or truly hourly), then you were still getting paid to work that day. If you get paid twice per month on salary, there is some truth to that. But you still got paid the same amount that month to work a shorter number of days than the average month. And not every month or year has the same number of business days in the first place.

You can still get a bit of the bonus paycheck feeling on a 15th/last day schedule when the weekends or company holidays fall just right. Honestly I don't care what the schedule is, as long as they stick to it and the check clears.

TheDiggler said:   A company I worked for switched their pay periods from twice a month to every other week. They went out of their way to notify employees in advance of the smaller smaller paychecks they would receive each pay period, but that they would receive two additioanl paychecks per year, so the net affect was a wash. That's bullshit, and here's why:

For those employees who receive health, dental, vision, etc. insurance benefits, both the company and the employee each pay a portion of the premiums. Employee premiums are deducted from each of their paychecks at a rate of $x (which varies per employee depending on their selected benefits).

After the company switched over to paying every other week, do you think they reduced the amount they were deducting for those premiums? Absolutely not! They got away with it by enacting the switchover at the start of a new year; however, benefits selection for that new year occurred in the previous year, before the new pay policy was announced. So employees selected benefits for the new year based on an expectation of having to make 24 payments of $x for that year. Instead they ended up making 26 payments of that same $x in that new year. To this day I don't think most of them realized they got screwed like that.
All of the companies that I have worked for that pay biweekly have collected 1/2 of the premiums per pay period, but would not deduct any premiums in the two months where there were 3 pay periods. Are you sure that is not what this company is doing? If not, then the premiums either actually went up, or there is extra money going somewhere. If you're there still, you should probably find out about this. But I would assume they aren't deducting any time there are 3 checks.

TheDiggler said:   A company I worked for switched their pay periods from twice a month to every other week. They went out of their way to notify employees in advance of the smaller smaller paychecks they would receive each pay period, but that they would receive two additioanl paychecks per year, so the net affect was a wash. That's bullshit, and here's why:

For those employees who receive health, dental, vision, etc. insurance benefits, both the company and the employee each pay a portion of the premiums. Employee premiums are deducted from each of their paychecks at a rate of $x (which varies per employee depending on their selected benefits).

After the company switched over to paying every other week, do you think they reduced the amount they were deducting for those premiums? Absolutely not! They got away with it by enacting the switchover at the start of a new year; however, benefits selection for that new year occurred in the previous year, before the new pay policy was announced. So employees selected benefits for the new year based on an expectation of having to make 24 payments of $x for that year. Instead they ended up making 26 payments of that same $x in that new year. To this day I don't think most of them realized they got screwed like that.


Are you positive about the insurance getting deducted 26 times. I get paid every other week also. In the 2 months where I get 3 paychecks, the 3rd check does not have insurance deductions.

I just paid biweekly for my first job, then last friday of the month for my 2nd job. since then, it has always been weekly. weekly>all

BingBlangBlaow said:   All of the companies that I have worked for that pay biweekly have collected 1/2 of the premiums per pay period, but would not deduct any premiums in the two months where there were 3 pay periods. Are you sure that is not what this company is doing? If not, then the premiums either actually went up, or there is extra money going somewhere. If you're there still, you should probably find out about this. But I would assume they aren't deducting any time there are 3 checks.

mickcris said:   Are you positive about the insurance getting deducted 26 times. I get paid every other week also. In the 2 months where I get 3 paychecks, the 3rd check does not have insurance deductions.

Yes, am positive about benefits being deducted all 26 times. For example, here's the amount of the 3 paychecks I received in June 2012:

June 02, 2012: $x,xxxx.29
June 16, 2012: $x,xxxx.30
June 30, 2012: $x,xxxx.29

where the "$x,xxxx" portion on all 3 checks is the same. If benefits weren't being deducted on the 3rd monthly check, the June 30th check should have been higher than the other two by at least $100. It also shows on each of the pay statements the deducted benefits.

*EDIT* My paychecks alternated from pay period to pay period by 1 penny (i.e. $xxxx.29, $xxxx.30, $xxxx.29, $xxxx.30 ...)

One interesting anecdote - as a college professor - our college pays after the semester ends in December (December 16thish) after getting paid the last day of November - and then there's nearly six weeks before the January paycheck hits. Fortunately, I don't live paycheck to paycheck or really care when I get paid, but I'm sure there are some people really hurting that last week in January.

mickcris said:   Are you positive about the insurance getting deducted 26 times. I get paid every other week also. In the 2 months where I get 3 paychecks, the 3rd check does not have insurance deductions.
At a company where I did the payroll, we started with health insurance deductions twice a month, but I had to switch it to a full deduction in the first paycheck of the month. It was annoying for some people (mainly those living paycheck to paycheck). But we had a lot of hourly workers with fairly high turnover, and too many of them were quitting immediately after the first pay period in the month to screw over the company by getting a full month's worth of insurance on the company's dime but only paying for half of it.

A surprising number of people don't understand the difference between 26 vs 24 pay periods a year (including some accountants!), and the ramifications it has for monthly deductions. Have you tried talking with the accounting department about it? It may be as simple as them being lazy/stupid and not realizing they had to change the deduction in the software. It may just be programmed as a static deduction every pay period based on (annual charge / 24), and nobody thought to update it. Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. Unless they're deliberately trying to defraud their employees, it'll show up as a discrepancy in the accounting at the end of the year. $(X+Y) collected for health deductions, $X paid to health insurance, $Y left over.

Also kinda on topic, when I first started working I was naive and expected the company to pay me in the middle of the month for the full month. My reasoning was that if they paid me in full at the end of the month, then I was giving them a month's worth of work in advance. If they paid me in full at the beginning of the month, then they were paying me a month's worth in advance. If they paid me in full in the middle of the month, it split the difference. The first half of the month I'd be working for them in advance, the second half of the month they'd have paid me in advance. It seemed the fairest way to me at the time.

TheDiggler said:   BingBlangBlaow said:   All of the companies that I have worked for that pay biweekly have collected 1/2 of the premiums per pay period, but would not deduct any premiums in the two months where there were 3 pay periods. Are you sure that is not what this company is doing? If not, then the premiums either actually went up, or there is extra money going somewhere. If you're there still, you should probably find out about this. But I would assume they aren't deducting any time there are 3 checks.

mickcris said:   Are you positive about the insurance getting deducted 26 times. I get paid every other week also. In the 2 months where I get 3 paychecks, the 3rd check does not have insurance deductions.

Yes, am positive about benefits being deducted all 26 times.


My company does this, too. At Open Enrollment, our premiums are given as $xxx.xx/pay period and they are deducted from every paycheck.

doveroftke said:   TheDiggler said:   BingBlangBlaow said:   All of the companies that I have worked for that pay biweekly have collected 1/2 of the premiums per pay period, but would not deduct any premiums in the two months where there were 3 pay periods. Are you sure that is not what this company is doing? If not, then the premiums either actually went up, or there is extra money going somewhere. If you're there still, you should probably find out about this. But I would assume they aren't deducting any time there are 3 checks.

mickcris said:   Are you positive about the insurance getting deducted 26 times. I get paid every other week also. In the 2 months where I get 3 paychecks, the 3rd check does not have insurance deductions.

Yes, am positive about benefits being deducted all 26 times.


My company does this, too. At Open Enrollment, our premiums are given as $xxx.xx/pay period and they are deducted from every paycheck.


Yes, but if the insurance is priced as per period for 26 periods, then there's nothing wrong. The problem is if the price is X per period and then the payroll method switches and the price per period is still X. My company states all insurance costs at the annual amount, so it would be easy to sort this out. The per period pricing is really stupid as it causes these issues.

I get paid every Wednesday and it's glorious.

dukerau said:   doveroftke said:   TheDiggler said:   BingBlangBlaow said:   All of the companies that I have worked for that pay biweekly have collected 1/2 of the premiums per pay period, but would not deduct any premiums in the two months where there were 3 pay periods. Are you sure that is not what this company is doing? If not, then the premiums either actually went up, or there is extra money going somewhere. If you're there still, you should probably find out about this. But I would assume they aren't deducting any time there are 3 checks.

mickcris said:   Are you positive about the insurance getting deducted 26 times. I get paid every other week also. In the 2 months where I get 3 paychecks, the 3rd check does not have insurance deductions.

Yes, am positive about benefits being deducted all 26 times.


My company does this, too. At Open Enrollment, our premiums are given as $xxx.xx/pay period and they are deducted from every paycheck.


Yes, but if the insurance is priced as per period for 26 periods, then there's nothing wrong. The problem is if the price is X per period and then the payroll method switches and the price per period is still X. My company states all insurance costs at the annual amount, so it would be easy to sort this out. The per period pricing is really stupid as it causes these issues.



Same thing where I work. We recently had a 27-payroll year also, so there was one check without premiums taken out.

i don't care how often i get paid, as long as i do get paid and i don't have to wait for 3+ months. or, if paid upfront, any pay schedule works.

Horseymen said:   One interesting anecdote - as a college professor - our college pays after the semester ends in December (December 16thish) after getting paid the last day of November - and then there's nearly six weeks before the January paycheck hits. Fortunately, I don't live paycheck to paycheck or really care when I get paid, but I'm sure there are some people really hurting that last week in January.

Similar to this, I know a lot of people who became teachers straight out of college. In the school districts where they worked (and possibly statewide - in Texas) teachers are paid once per month on the 1st, but the school year starts in August and they aren't paid for August until September 1. So even though they got the job in the summer sometime, they had to wait until September for their first paycheck, even though in some cases they worked for more than half of August. (I should mention that after that they got paid every month even during summer, so it's only the first year that sucks.)

For me, I have had all three (bi-weekly, weekly, and semi-monthly), and I prefer either weekly or bi-weekly. Twice a month just feels like you're waiting forever for a paycheck. It's just a psychological thing with me, since I made sure to keep enough in checking to cover any expenses. Getting paid every Friday was awesome.

I get paid once a month. It's fairly common here to hear people complaining about having no money at the end of the month, which funny because they're all engineers. I guess looking in your bank account and then deciding to spend until it's all gone is a thing people do? Anyway, If you want the "fake bonus" just take your bi-monthly pay, subtract what your every-two-weeks pay would be, set that amount of money to auto deposit into a savings account, and spend it twice a year

If you just keep a buffer in your checking account it really doesn't matter what frequency you are paid in.

soundtechie said:   I guess looking in your bank account and then deciding to spend until it's all gone is a thing people do?
Yeah, it shocked me too. But the method of account balancing a lot of people (maybe even most) use is to deposit their paycheck, and spend money until the ATM says they're out. I was also surprised at the number of people who went to those check cashing services (who take about 5%-10%) to cash their paycheck, because they got off work after the bank closed on Friday and they wanted to spend the money immediately. (You can tell because the service usually writes the person's driver's license number on the check, so it's pretty obvious after the bank sends back the cleared payroll checks.)

This country badly needs a mandatory home economics course in high school. Not cooking and sewing, but real home econ - how to manage your money.

Solandri said:   
This country badly needs a mandatory home economics course in high school. Not cooking and sewing, but real home econ - how to manage your money.
We're taught to fill out a 1040-EZ. The teacher also taught us to buy whole life insurance, and this somehow will make us millionaires.

Not much you can expect from public school teachers who got lifetime security via their pension plan.

I too get paid every Wednesday and it's nice that I can rely on it to pay bills. Wife's 26 checks per year go to investments and other non-standard purchases/expenses.

Are there that many people on this board living paycheck to paycheck such that it would matter what day you get paid? Geez, save up a little so that it doesn't matter. If you have to budget to make sure that bills get paid based on when your next paycheck arrives, you're doing something wrong.

vipercon said:   If you just keep a buffer in your checking account it really doesn't matter what frequency you are paid in.

I agree but when paychecks align with bills, you can run on a smaller buffer with fewer transfers.

Green for a good thread/discussion.

Good info as far as I'm concerned

Personally, I just hate biweekly paychecks because they screw up my Mint.com budgeting.

Solandri said:   This country badly needs a mandatory home economics course in high school. Not cooking and sewing, but real home econ - how to manage your money.But who would teach it? Not us. So it probably wouldn't help the way we (FWF) would want it to.

ZenNUTS said:   Solandri said:   
This country badly needs a mandatory home economics course in high school. Not cooking and sewing, but real home econ - how to manage your money.
We're taught to fill out a 1040-EZ. The teacher also taught us to buy whole life insurance, and this somehow will make us millionaires.

Not much you can expect from public school teachers who got lifetime security via their pension plan.


Which school system taught that? I went through the public school system from elementary to senior high and not once was the income tax forms or laws ever mentioned in any class in my school system. They did have courses in home economics and woodworking though.

Skipping 21 Messages...
irascible1 said:   It is not all equal though, monthly pay employees do end up taking a huge pay hit on leap years (having to work a day for free). I'm never happy when that happens.

You also make full monthly pay for working only 28 (or 29) days, if you want to analyze it that way.



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