Ever known anyone who, upon getting a new job, freaked out after finding out the company works on a monthly pay cycle?
I get that budgeting is a deeply personal thing and managing your finances when money is coming in on a relatively infrequent basis can be tough. It seems that as a rule, most of us would prefer to be paid more frequently (in smaller amounts, obviously) whenever possible.
At a previous job, one colleague learned that most of us were getting paid on a fortnightly basis, and after finding out, tried to negotiate with HR to get on the same cycle. Given that this was months and months after said colleague had joined the company, the answer was unsurprisingly no (if you’ve coped that long, you can keep coping!). I’m not sure how this works as a general rule – most companies, especially smaller ones, operate on one single pay frequency, but this particular organisation had a lot of unionised employees and as a result, pay cycles for different staff ranged from weekly to fortnightly to monthly.
I’ve been paid on pretty much every kind of cycle there is over the years (including monthly in arrears for mystery shopping assignments – always fun) and I’m pretty confident I could cope with any pay frequency today.
Here’s a little rundown of my pay vs rent (my biggest expense) history
- Weekly pay / weekly rent
- Fortnightly pay / weekly rent
- Fortnightly pay / fortnightly rent (on opposite weeks!)
- Monthly pay / fortnightly rent
- Monthly pay/ weekly rent
Every new adjustment took a little bit of work. But eventually, I got used to it and made it work, largely because I like to operate on a weekly cycle. Even when rent wasn’t weekly, groceries, petrol, etc still were. Every pay day I transfer my money into my savings account, then transfer out money in weekly increments to cover that week’s outgoings. (And because rent is pretty much never paid monthly by anyone in New Zealand, I don’t get these ‘bonus’ paycheques in the two five-week months of the year that you Americans always go on about. Sadface.)
If I had the choice, I honestly don’t know what my preference would be today. Ideally, I guess it would be one that matched up with my rent payments – aligning your income with your biggest expense is always handy.