I know this sounds like a strange title but I have found some people who got mad that they got paid. Actually the scenario really goes like this. We get paid on the last day of every month, except for December, when we get paid around the 18th of the month.
Now you would think that people would be happy to just get paid but they are getting angry. I asked someone else who gets paid regularly why they think that someone would get mad about the pay cycle being changed and this is what I found out.
Most of those people are living paycheck to paycheck and do not have a budget. They get paid on the last day of the month and rent is due the next day so they go out and pay it. Then they go shopping for groceries and pay whatever bills come in the mail. They keep a little bit in the checking account to pay the bills that are going to come later in the month, but by the third week all the money is gone.
These people are accustomed to being broke by the third week of the month because of the cycle that they follow on a regular basis. If they do have any money they feel the need to go ahead and spend it because they will be getting paid in one more week. When we get paid at the end of the third week in that irregular month it triggers the ‘money in…must spend’ gene and so they go off and spend the money on ‘stuff’, forgetting that in two weeks the rent will be due.
The other thing is that December is gift giving time so when they get the paycheck during the third week it is just in time to get those last minute Christmas presents. They go wild at the stores and then when January rolls around there is no money to pay the bills and they have to ‘wait until the END of January’ to get paid again. This means there is a lag of one month and one week from the last time they got paid and they simply do not know what to do.
I found this theory to be very interesting and decided to talk to some of those people about it. What I found out was that they saw it exactly the way it was explained to me. They did not see that they were getting paid early in December, which means the money earns more interest in savings. Instead they saw that only that they had to wait over a month to get paid in January and this meant that bills would not get paid.
I think it is a pretty crazy way to think but it makes sense for those people who do not budget. I think it will take a LOT for them to change their mindset and see the early payday as a positive but this is not something that will be easy to do. I love when December rolls around and we get paid early because I see that as two weeks of interest for my money to grow. Since I do not have an emergency fund that can cover more than one month I am still living paycheck to paycheck like those other folks….but I have a different MINDSET.
I have set up a budget and I try my very best to stick to it. I have automated my budget and my bills are set to be paid on certain days of the month. It therefore does not matter if I get paid early (although it would hurt if I got paid late) because the checks will go out on the 15th whether I get paid two weeks early or not.
Even while I was a broke college student without a budget (and before I got my ING account) I practiced some form of this bill payment scheme. I only got paper bills but I would write out a check for the bill as soon as I got the bill. I would then subtract the bill amount in my checkbook and record the debit immediately and balance my checkbook. This check would then be placed in my outbox according to the date it needed to go out. When I got any money into my account I would once more update the checkbook balance and repeat the cycle. I wrote the dates that each bill needed to go out (10 days before the due date) and would drop them in the mail on that date. I guess I was very lucky that I never got a late bill from only mailing out my paper checks 10 days before the bill was due ….but that is another story.
I never made myself go out and spend money if I got paid early in college because I knew I had already updated the checkbook balance and needed the money to stay in there to cover the check that I had to pay the next week. This is why I guess it makes it very difficult for me to see people who are upset that they got paid early one month.
Again it is a mindset that needs to be changed and although I have spoken to some people about it they do not want to change….or set up budgets for whatever reason.