If you’re paid bi-weekly, you know how challenging it can be managing the cash flow.
Why is that? Because your pay dates are always changing. One month you might get your first check on the 1st, while another month your first check won’t arrive until the 9th.
However, there is a silver lining. The 3 paycheck month.
Sounds amazing, right? Well, unfortunately it’s not what you think it is.
What is the 3 paycheck month?
The three paycheck month is a financial phenomenon that occurs when someone receives three paychecks in one month instead of the usual two.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, but most commonly it occurs in months with 31 days, like January or March. The extra paycheck can be a nice windfall, but it’s important to remember that it’s only temporary.
The three paycheck month is often used as an excuse to overspend, but doing so can put you in a difficult financial position when the next month rolls around and you’re back to your normal pay schedule.
Instead of using the three paycheck month as an opportunity to splurge, try to use it as a chance to save a bit extra or eliminate some debt. That way, you’ll be better prepared for the leaner months ahead.
What are some tips to help you make the most of your money during 3 paycheck month?
The three paycheck month can be a great opportunity to get ahead on your finances – if you know how to make the most of it. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your money during three paycheck month:
- Make a budget. This is crucial in any month, but especially important when you have three paychecks coming in. Knowing exactly where your money is going will help you avoid overspending and make the most of your extra income.
- Save, save, save. One of the best things you can do with a three paycheck month is to use it as an opportunity to beef up your savings account. Put away as much as you can into savings so that you have a cushion for unexpected expenses down the road.
- Use it to pay down debt. If you have high-interest debt, such as credit card debt, a three paycheck month is a great opportunity to make a dent in that balance. The more you can pay off now, the less interest you’ll accrue over time.
- Treat yourself! Just because you’re being extra mindful of your spending doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself a little bit. Use some of that extra money to treat yourself to something special – within reason, of course! A little bit of indulgence can go a long way towards keeping you on track financially.
With these tips in mind, a three paycheck month can be a breeze – and an opportunity to get ahead financially.
Why can a 3 paycheck month be bad?
We all love getting a three-paycheck month, don’t we? That extra money can sure come in handy. But did you know that a three-paycheck month can actually be bad for your finances? Here’s why:
First of all, three paycheck months throw off your budget. If you’re used to living on two paychecks, suddenly having a third can make it difficult to stick to your budget. You may be tempted to spend more than you normally would.
Secondly, three paycheck months can cause you to fall behind on your bills. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself using that extra money to pay for things like dining out or entertainment instead of putting it towards your bills. This can lead to interest charges and late fees, which can quickly eat into your three paycheck windfall.
Finally, three paycheck months can give you a false sense of security. It’s easy to become complacent when you know you have an extra paycheck coming in, but what happens when the three paycheck month ends and you’re back to your normal two paycheck budget? You may find yourself in a financial bind if you’ve been living beyond your means.
So while a three paycheck month may seem like a godsend, it’s important to be mindful of the potential downsides. Keep your spending in check and make sure you’re still putting money aside for savings and emergencies. That way, you can enjoy the extra money without putting your finances at risk.
There’s a more reliable, consistent way to take your “extra paycheck”
There’s one more drawback to the 3 paycheck month. It doesn’t work.
Here’s where many people get into trouble with the 3 paycheck month. Let’s say you’re paid on the 3rd, 17th, and 31st of a month.
Immediately we look and think, “3 paychecks! That check on the 31st is a bonus!”
Here’s where it gets tricky. Your next paycheck doesn’t arrive until the 14th of the following month. If you take that 31st check as a bonus check, the first half of your next month is going to be in jeopardy.
So what can you do? Plan ahead.
We know you should get 2 extra paychecks per year. Go through your calendar and decide which check will cover the first half of the month, and which check will cover the 2nd half of the month.
As you go through the calendar, you’ll find some times where it makes sense for you to get the bonus paycheck without throwing off your monthly budget. Mark these dates in your calendar so you’ll be prepared when they come up.
We know how frustrating it can be budgeting on a bi-weekly income. Our coaches specialize in helping you get organized so you can use those extra checks toward your goals.
Schedule a free call with one of our personal finances coaches now.
Let’s Talk About Your Money
Looking to improve the cash flow in your business?
Book a free consultation and we’ll help you tame that money monster.
Ready to kick the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle?
On this free call, Alicia will help you crush your personal finance goals!