How often you get paid kinda determines what sort of budget you’ll be on. Crap, I know.
When I lived in the UK, monthly pay was pretty normal – I was even paid monthly from my waitressing job at Pizza Express (legit my favourite job I’ve ever had, honestly loved it), but when I moved to Australia, weekly and fortnightly pay was all the go.
Seriously, monthly pay is practically unheard of. If you do happen to find a maniac employer that dumps you on monthly pay, people seem to treat you like a wounded puppy and continually offer words of condolence at the shambles that your life will inevitably become.
Anyway, weekly, fortnightly, monthly…however often you get paid, it will mean you have a different approach to budgeting.
If you get paid weekly, your budgets are much more short-term. You have to buy one food shop, arrange one week of travel, pay one week of rent or mortgage – basically the numbers are all much lower. And if you fuck up, it’s less than 7 days until the salary gods come to bail you out. Decide amongst yourselves whether that’s a good thing or not!
If you’re paid monthly, you’re working with much bigger numbers, and have to plan much further into the future. Like what kind of person will I be in 3 weeks and 4 days time? I don’t know. That said, some may say monthly pay is easier if you have to make monthly payments for your rent or mortgage. When I got paid fortnightly, I seemed to have one really great fortnight, and one really crap one (because that was the one that my rent due date fell in). Of course, I was less savvy back then, so even when I tried to save half my rent from each fortnightly pay, I ended up spending it on something else. Probably almond milk cappuccinos and unnecessarily expensive gym classes and protein bars.
LOL at past me.
How To Get the Pay Frequency You Want
If you think your money mindset would be easier if you were paid more or less often, you can change how often you’re paid – it just takes a bit of planning and willpower. It might even be the day of the week you get paid that you want to change. If you’re sick of waiting ‘til Monday for payday, get paid on Friday. If you’re splashing cash like the Wolf of Wall Street because you are paid on Friday, change it to earlier in the week.
And no, it doesn’t involve asking your boss. Because frankly, you’re probably paid that way because of an internal system or super-important decision-maker. Don’t bother asking, unless you work for a very small, very flexible business.
It’s a lil thing I like to call the SELF-SALARY.
Here’s how it works.
If you’re paid monthly and you wish you were paid weekly, all you need to do is save up one month’s income. Then, change the account that your employer pays your salary into, and make it the same account that your month’s worth of money is chilling in.
Simply set up a direct debit from that account each week – on any day you bloomin’ well like – to send your weekly pay (your annual salary after tax divided by 52) into your transaction account. By the time you’ve depleted your weekly payments to yourself that month, your employer will be plonking your monthly salary right back in your account, and the cycle starts again.
GENIUS I KNOW. Lol not really but figured it was worth telling you when the idea crash landed in my brain this sunny Monday morning.
Likewise, if you wish you were paid monthly, save up one month’s salary, choose your payment day of the month, and have your employer deposit your weekly or fortnightly salary into the same account. Your employer will build up the lump sum payment for you week by week, and you’ll pay yourself on the day you choose.
If you’re a superstar budgeter and were probably the teacher’s pet at school, you may even want to self-salary 5 or 10% LESS than your official wage to generate some accidental savings. But that’s only if you’re a real dork.