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Posts tagged with: paycheck

Starting The Month Off Right

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Talk about starting the month off right! March is a 3-paycheck month for me (anyone else?)

In the past, we’ve been able to put the entire extra paycheck toward debt. But right now we’re still in a situation where we’re totally out of money before the month is over, and scrambling to pay bills that are due at the beginning of the next month. We’re still working on budgeting, in general.

It’s very stressful and not very fun. So I decided that with my third paycheck, instead of making extra debt payments, I’d create a bit of a buffer in our budget by pre-paying some of our bills that are due in early April. It may not be the most fun way to spend extra money, but it makes me feel good to be starting off April on the right foot!

I logged into my bank account’s bill pay center and paid for our phone (due 4/1), Citibank credit card (due 4/4), Wells Fargo credit card (due 4/5), and childcare (due 4/10).  I’ve also set a chunk of money aside because I plan to mail a large check to pay the remaining balance of our 2017 property taxes (payment must be post-marked by 5/1, but I’m planning to make the payment on 4/13).

The third paycheck month is coming just at the right time to help create some breathing room in our budget, especially with our property tax payment coming due. Usually, I get a lot of satisfaction out of making those extra debt payments, but I think this time the money is well spent in creating a bit of a buffer for us. It reminds me of when we used YNAB to live on last month’s income. It took awhile to build up the extra, but it helped alleviate so much stress due to budget and/or income fluctuations. I think this will be a goal we’ll have. Trying to get back to living on last month’s income again.

Was March a 3-paycheck month for you? What do you typically do with your third paycheck on 3-paycheck months?

 


Paycheck Blunder

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I was oh-so-excited for my very first 2-week paycheck that was direct deposited into my account on Friday. I was giddy as a child on Christmas morning opening up my bank account information online only to discover…

I got paid nearly the same for my TWO weeks of work as I did on my last check for ONE week of work (in full honesty, this check was about $80 more than last time’s check…but for a full extra WEEK of work!!!)

My jaw dropped when I saw the deposit.

IMMEDIATELY I logged into my school account to view my paycheck and find out what happened.

And, as it turns out, it’s a combination of things.

First, I hadn’t elected my benefits yet in time to have them withdrawn from my last check. The only withholding it contained was the mandatory 401(a) contribution and my taxes. In contrast, this check had OVER A THOUSAND DOLLARS of deductions (not even including taxes)!!! Ouch! I elected for a LOT of things to be withheld, including: my mandatory 7% 401(a) contribution plus an additional contribution to bring me up to 10% withheld; all our medical, dental, and vision insurances, taxes, and the BIG one is the FSA for dependent child care to the tune of $500/paycheck. That one will serve me in the long-run because it allows me to pay for childcare with pre-tax money. But it still hurts to have that all added up to be over half my paycheck!!! (also, side note: the max I can contribute to the FSA is $5,000/year. So this level of withholding allows me to use $5,000 pre-tax toward childcare in 2015, then I’ll start over again in 2016. Once I hit the $5,000 max limit these withholdings will disappear and I’ll have to pay remaining childcare costs with after-tax money)

Only…those deductions shouldn’t equate to half my paycheck!

After a more careful inspection of my paycheck I realized I’m getting paid the wrong amount!!!

I’d been hired at ($X) over a 9-month contract. That way I can either take summers off or, if there’s additional work, I can get paid extra to work over the summer (essentially securing a 25% “raise” by working over the summer). When I was hired the business manager said that most faculty members prefer to have their pay spread over a full 12 months so they don’t go without pay over the summer. She could show me how to do that. I said thanks, but never pursued it. In my own mind, I’d rather get my money up front within the 9 months. Hubs still gets paid over summer, we could set up some type of “savings” to set aside some money for summer, or I could just hustle and try to teach over the summer for additional income. But, no, I was not a huge fan of just letting them keep my money and divvy it up over 12 months. I want as much as I can get now, thank you very much.

So when I calculated what was going on it was easy to see. Apparently I’d somehow been opted into the 12-month pay cycle instead of getting paid over 9 months as I’d intended. That essentially makes my income drop 25% (since it’s being spread over an additional 3 months).

Soooo, what would you do?

My knee-jerk reaction is to go to the business office and ask them to correct it. I want to get paid over 9 months, not 12. But are there any great reasons to keep my pay over 12 months? Anything I’m overlooking?

One additional piece of information is that if I opt for 9 months of pay, then I get double-dinged for insurance payments in the Spring semester (in order to cover the unpaid summer months). If I stick with the 12-month cycle then the payments stay the same year-round.

Thoughts?


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