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Extra Paychecks For People Paid Weekly or Bi-Weekly


People who are on a monthly or twice per month payment schedule don't benefit from “extra paychecks”, but anyone who receives their income weekly or every other week means that you actually receive an “extra paycheck” at least two months out of the year.

For most of the year, a weekly paycheck means you get four checks per month. A bi-weekly paycheck means you get two paychecks per month. There are four months of every year (March, June, August and November) that have 5 Friday's instead of four.

When creating your budget, people on the weekly schedule should budget based on four paychecks a month, while people on a bi-weekly schedule should budget for two paychecks a month. In the months when you receive 5 instead of 4 checks, or 3 instead of 2 checks, you should be prepared to use that “extra paycheck” to your advantage. (This only works if you actually have a budget that you stick to, otherwise you'll use the extra money without even realizing you had an extra check).

Many people use their extra paycheck to pay off debts, or boost a savings plan. You might use it towards a vacation, or to buy something you've had your eye on for a long time. Maybe you'll use your extra paychecks to fund your holiday shopping, or as a donation to your church or favorite charity.

Like anything else, in order to make it work you need a plan in place. Start by determining what you spend for your regular monthly bills. Then you can determine how much per paycheck you need to set aside to cover these expenses (and sometimes it's easier to have an account designated for this amount, transfer it automatically each week or whenever payday is for you, and use that account for expenses only).

Figure out how much you pay for irregular bills throughout the year. Things like property or school tax, insurance premiums, Christmas shopping, back to school supplies, car maintenance – anything you pay during the year but not on a monthly basis. Divide the total amount of these expenses by 12 to figure out how much more you need to set aside each month in order to cover those expenses when they come due. It's a good idea to use a savings account or money market with a reasonable interest rate since the money will sit in the account until it comes due and you can let that money earn a little in the meantime.

If you've planned your budget around four pay periods or two pay periods a month, you can then put those “extra” paychecks to work for you however you see fit!

Comments
Anonymous
  |     |   Comment #1
there is no extra paychecks its still 52 cks ayear or 26 bi monthly paychecks
Anonymous
  |     |   Comment #4
if you budget for bi weekly, you will have two extra pay checks.
DCGuy
  |     |   Comment #7
Normally there are 26 biweekly pay periods for the year. This year, there are 27 biweekly pay periods due to the fact that one of the pay days happen to fall on December 31 for the pay period that covers December 9 to 22. This was not explicitly mentioned at the end of last year, so some people based their biweekly automatic deductions on 26 pay periods. You will get paid more this year than last year because of this calendar year difference. So the W-2 will be different amounts (assuming that your base pay between years did not change).
Anna M
  |     |   Comment #11
I would think that most people are like me, budgeting for a month at a time. After all, the mortgage, electric bill, etc., are all on a monthly cadence. I usually have two bi-weekly paychecks per month and I know how much they equal, so I know how to split up the total to make sure my needs are covered every month.

But if I have a third paycheck in a single month? It's not part of the standard monthly budget, so it's basically extra money for me to decide what to do with.
anonymous
  |     |   Comment #12
Budget? What Budget? I always make sure that I spend less than I make and always have money to pay all my monthly bills as well as pay all my monthly credit card charges in full at the end of each billing cycle.
Finance Guru
  |     |   Comment #26
A detailed budget helps you decide what to do with the surplus you didn't spend. It moves you from short term to long term saving goals for the shiny new car/ exotic vacation/ family planning/ retirement accounts etc. Spending less than you make is the first step to financial independence.
DW
  |     |   Comment #2
You are correct in that each year you get 52 paychecks if you get paid weekly or 26 paychecks if you get paid bi-weekly.  The point of the article is to budget as if you only get 4 paychecks a month (weekly paychecks,  4 X 12 months = 48 paychecks per year) or 2 paychecks a month (bi-weekly paycheck 2 X 12 months= 24 paychecks per year).  If you budget that way, then treat the paychecks not included in that budget as "extra paychecks".
Anonymous
  |     |   Comment #3
I liked both comments cause it helped to emphasize there is really aonly extra money if you budget and paln. My problem in the past is to see the extra check and think I had extra money you really dont unless you strickly budget 2 checks a month. this year I plan to do just that BUDGET!!!Thanks for your time...
Bogie
  |     |   Comment #5
I believe it is a lot to do about nothing. A paycheck is a paycheck, If I were to have a budget plan it would be a monthly budget, period. How often you get paid doesn't change your annual income from paychecks.
J.R.
  |     |   Comment #6
I make biweekly car payments and when the 3rd check arrives the Credit Union applies that check and deducts it for the car note, they said since it's bi-weekly they can take the other one.
m99
  |     |   Comment #8
Since I budget for payments on or around the 1st and on or around the 15th, I don't see how we'd get an extra check, when the even if you get three checks in a month they would come on the 1st, 15th and 29th the latter which would be the payments that I need to make on the first. I think the extra check is a fallacy, and I'd much rather see two checks each month. Plus the checks would be a little more.
Cashola
  |     |   Comment #9
People saying you don't get extra pay are wrong. I started working a job that pays biweekly the last check in March will have 3 weeks of pay on it instead of two. It was explained to me from an long term employee of the company
Brokered
  |     |   Comment #10
#9
It all depends on the accounting method used by the company. There are these machines called computers that can be programmed to compute your pay to the penny...and they do!

Some employers write off the pay-period phenomenon as a periodic "benefit" but, with modern technologies, this is becoming less common.
Vin
  |     |   Comment #19
My mortgage is due the 1st and car payments due the 22nd youre allowed a 15 day grace period on mortgage payments and 10 day on car payments which if looking at a budget and calendar i get 2 extra paychecks per year because of the grace period when my bills are due i get paid biweekly look at a calendar it makes sense when you look at when you get paid on a calendar
Vin
  |     |   Comment #20
Youre ****ing yourself over by not banking those checks or using those extra checks for something nice like a vacation or debt or savings plan
Vin
  |     |   Comment #21
Some months have more days or less days in it meaning yes 1st and 15th and 29th but next month it would be the 12th and 26th then 9th and 23rd
Vin
  |     |   Comment #22
Which accounts for 2 extra checks a year and budgetting on 2 checks a month
Anonymously
  |     |   Comment #13
get paid every two weeks August 08, 2019 receive a pay check. so how many more I get since it 5 week in this month ??
Whaddup
  |     |   Comment #16
Not sure how well it's going to work out, but I decided another way to handle the mysterious 3rd paycheck.

So for example, getting paid biweekly, you usually only get 2 paychecks a month, and never get less. HOWEVER you also get two months where you have 3 paychecks that month.

Let's say your paycheck is usually $1000, and you get that biweekly which means you typically get $2000 a month. August you happen to get paid on the 1st, 15th, and 30th. In this instance you can account for $3000 coming your way in August.

I like to plan for EVERYTHING so this extra check threw me off, because I was trying to fit a budget for 2000 a month, and that 1000 in August was unplanned for. What I decided to do was take that third check and spread it out over the upcoming months until the next 3 check month. Take that 1000 and throw it into a savings account. Let's say theres 4 months, split that 1000 up into 5 (also include the august) and budget to cut off that much from the savings and pay it to yourself. Add that 200 to your normal monthly and now you can budget then on for 1200/month rather than 1000/month.
Whaddup
  |     |   Comment #17
** you can budget then on for 2200/month rather than 2000/month.
Finance Guru
  |     |   Comment #27
This assumes you keep your job the whole year, and don't have any unaccounted absences from work. Always assume you could loose your source of income in the short term.
Leslie B
  |     |   Comment #18
Wrong to tell people they don’t benefit by being paid twice a month only. They would have extra days on one of those checks several times a year. Check it out financial advisors.
Stephanie
  |     |   Comment #24
Are taxes deducted from each check?
DCGuy
  |     |   Comment #25
Yes, if you have income tax withholding applied to your gross pay. The law says that you are required to withhold about 90% of your tax liability for the year without getting penalized when you file your return. You can apply for zero withholding on the W-4, but it only applies to specific situations (such as working while still a student).

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