How Often Do You Get A Paycheck? - The Options

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How often you receive a paycheck is determined by the contract you signed or agreed to and depends on the company you work for or are going to work for. Usually, the contract you read through will determine your salary and how often you’ll be getting a paycheck if you hadn’t already been informed via the job application itself, or directly through your employer. 

Your paycheck will also depend on what type of job you’re employed into, bar work and restaurant jobs usually work a little differently with paychecks compared to office jobs. However, long story short, there are four different options for paychecks usually. Weekly, Bi-weekly, Monthly, and Bi-monthly. And we’re going to go through them all so you can understand which paycheck you’ll be receiving.

When you start a new job, one of the first things you’ll check and be on top of is how much you will be getting paid and how often you’ll get paid, it’s extremely important when budgeting and organizing during the job transition. In most states, the state law determines how often you must be paid at a minimum, however, companies are able to pay more frequently if they want to so learn more below about the types of paychecks you could be getting and the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

Pay checks are also know as check stubs and these can be easily generated using our check stub generator

Also read: Required Information On A Pay Stub

Table Of Contents
 

 

Short History Lesson

Class distinction plays a part in pay frequencies still today, as late as the 1980’s, payrolls in England were different between the middle-class folks and the working-class folks. The middle class would receive monthly payments by direct deposit into their bank accounts and the working class would receive weekly payments via their boss physically handing them an envelope with their paycheck in. 

In the United States today, there's a general sense that middle-class folk needs to be paid monthly and the working class needs weekly to get paid more often so that they can budget better. 

Also read: Mandatory Deductions From Your Paycheck

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Weekly

Weekly paychecks are the kind of paycheck that sounds great based on your spending habits and the classic “I’ve just got paid, next round is on me!” but in reality, it’s kind of scary as it’s not ideal for people who pay rent and mortgages monthly. Suddenly that weekly paycheck doesn't cover the rent every month because you don’t get paid monthly and then things get out of hand. It can be great for people who can make this work, however. So if you’re someone who knows this can work based on their life and schedule, great!

 

Bi-weekly

Bi-weekly appears to be the most common form of payment, this is a situation where every two weeks you’ll get a paycheck which works for people who for example, pay for any car payments or other bills during one half of the month, and pay for their rent with the other two weeks rent. However, this can be a tricky situation as paychecks may take a few days to be cashed in and if they come early, this can result in the money being spent before your rent is due. So when the rent payment comes in at the beginning of the month, and you haven’t planned what the paycheck needed to be spent on, this can be an issue. 

It used to be that paychecks would arrive late, and that beginning of the monthly rent payment would almost not get paid on time, is early even more of a problem too? Perhaps.

Also read: Why Not to Use A Fake Pay Stub Generator?

 

Monthly

Monthly is usually the most beneficial form of paycheck payment because you get one big sum of money at the end of every month to pay your rent on time. So if you’re able to organize your finances well, this should be easy for you to keep on top of. With monthly you do have to budget, but at least you get all your money in one go so you can organize what it needs to be spent on.

woman on laptop

 

Bi-monthly

Bi-monthly is very similar to bi-weekly, however, you don't get the same benefits of bi-weekly. So, you’ll still get a first and second paycheck every month, but you miss out on the one benefit of having a bi-weekly paycheck, the two months a year that you get an extra paycheck. 

So, a 52 week year means that there will be 26 on average bi-weekly payments but only 24 bi-monthly ones if that makes sense. If you’re someone who can keep those finances under control, getting one or the other of these payments, so either 1/24th or 1/26th of your salary twice a month, shouldn’t be a massive issue, however, if you’re someone who needs every part of that check, then missing out on two paychecks could be an issue in the long run.

Also read: What Is Added On A Pay Stub?

 

Budgeting

Of course, these types of payments shouldn’t be a long-term issue to organize and keep under control. Learning to budget around your lifestyle and paychecks will result in any form of the above four paycheck options being achievable as long as you can find a way that works for you and your expenses. Once that’s all done, the money flows in when it flows in, and it flows out when those bills are due to be paid. 

Whilst you’re in the process of getting this organized you may be more aware of the paycheck being weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly. However once under control, you won’t be as affected by the number of times per month you get a paycheck or when the paycheck is due.

Also read: Use Your Pay Stubs To Build A Monthly Budget

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How many paychecks do you get in a month?

That will depend on whether you are paid weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly. Check out all of the types above in our guide to help you determine which paycheck you are getting and the benefits and drawbacks of each type. 

 

How many times do you get paid in a year?

If you get paid twice a month, exactly two weeks apart on the 15th and 30th for example, then you’ll be getting 24 paychecks a year. If you get paid every week, that works out as 26 paychecks a year. So, it’s just worth determining how often you get your paycheck to find out how many times you’ll be getting paid every year. 

 

Does getting paid 3 times a month help?

Yes! If you get three paychecks in one month, then two of those usual paychecks can be used for the usual finances like rent and car payments. And then that final paycheck can be used for extra expenses or used on whatever you want to help you achieve your goals. This is also a great way to organize what needs paying as you get three opportunities to pay your rent and other expenses every month. 

man pointing at a screen

 

What happens if you get paid every two weeks?

If you are an employee who gets paid every two weeks, you may see a month where you receive three paychecks instead of two based on if you get paid either bi-weekly or bi-monthly. Determine which you’re getting paid to find out. This will usually only occur if your paycheck falls on the first Friday of the month, and that month has five Fridays in total. 

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How Often Do You Get A Paycheck? - The Options
Samantha Clark

A Warrington College of Business graduate, Samantha handles all client relations with our top-tier partners. Read More

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