monthly en-US Best Money Tips: Save $200 a Month <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-200-a-month" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on saving $200 a month, unexpected wedding venues, and ways to save on jewelry.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">5 Ways to Save $200 a Month</a> &mdash; You can save money each month by getting a new homeowners insurance quote. [The Dollar Stretcher]</p> <p><a href="">Unexpected Wedding Venues That Are Easy on the Wallet</a> &mdash; Need a cheap wedding venue? Consider a zoo or a carnival. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Save Money on Jewelry</a> &mdash; If you want to save money on jewelry, look online and consider alternatives to diamonds. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="">Advantages and Disadvantages of a Roth 401(k)</a> &mdash; One of the disadvantages of a Roth 401(k) is that you have fewer investing choices than with an IRA. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="">Looking for More Ways to Save? Try Asking for Discounts</a> &mdash; When shopping at the grocery store, ask for discounts on food items at their expiration date. [Beating Broke]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">10 Hot IKEA Deals</a> &mdash; Did you know IKEA has great deals on artwork and kids toys? [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="">Mother's Day Gift ideas she'll love</a> &mdash; This Mother's Day, get your mom a manicure and a pedicure. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="">Why you Should Always Keep Cash on Hand</a> &mdash; It is a good idea to keep cash on hand in the event an emergency causes a power outage and businesses can't take credit cards. [Free Money Wisdom]</p> <p><a href="">7 Vital Steps to Take Before Becoming Your Own Boss</a> &mdash; Before you become your own boss, reach out to your network and let them know about your plans. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="">How to Keep Kids Motivated Through the End of the School Year</a> &mdash; To keep kids motivated through the end of the school year, allow for lots of active time outdoors. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save $200 a Month" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living best money tips monthly saving Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:48:44 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 973629 at How often do you get your paycheck? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Bumble-bee on a thistle flower" title="Bumble-bee on Thistle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the BlogHer featured posts (Mrs. Micah&#39;s <a href="" title=" Billing Cycles and Bimonthly Paychecks">Credit Cards: Billing Cycles and Bimonthly Paychecks</a>) talked about a mis-match between pay dates and credit card due dates. It reminded me of just how much I used to agonize over this issue, back before I had my finances under control.</p> <p>Over the years, I&#39;ve been paid on just about every paycheck schedule: weekly, biweekly, half-monthly, and monthly. </p> <h2>The schedules</h2> <p><strong>Biweekly</strong> seems to be the most common, at least in the United States. I know a lot of people who figure that one check goes for the rent or mortgage and the other check goes for a car payment or some other major expense. The pay dates tend to shift around in the month, though. Someone who counts on, let&#39;s say, the second paycheck of the month to pay their next month&#39;s rent, can get burned if the check comes unusually early and the money gets spent before the rent check gets written. (It used to be that getting the check unusually late could also be a problem--a check that arrived the last day of the month might well not have cleared before rent was due on the first. Direct deposit and ACH has probably made that a non-issue for most people.)</p> <p><strong>Half-monthly</strong> is almost like biweekly--you still get a first and a second paycheck every month--except that you miss out on the best thing about biweekly paychecks: the two months a year when you get an &quot;extra&quot; paycheck, because a 52-week year means that there are 26 biweekly pay periods but only 24 half-monthly ones. If your finances are under control, there&#39;s really no difference between getting 1/24th of your annual salary twice a month or 1/26th of it every two weeks. But for a person who&#39;s living paycheck-to-paycheck, those three-paycheck months can cover all manner of careless spending.</p> <p><strong>Weekly</strong> sounds great to someone who&#39;s gotten a bit too used to saying, &quot;Wait until we get paid and <strong>then</strong> we can buy that.&quot; In practice, though, it&#39;s kind of scary, because there are ordinary monthly expenses that can&#39;t be covered by a single paycheck. Where one <em>biweekly</em> paycheck will commonly cover rent or the mortgage, one <em>weekly</em> paycheck probably won&#39;t (unless you&#39;re living in a very cheap apartment). All of a sudden, that simple budgeting scheme (first paycheck covers the car payment, second paycheck covers next month&#39;s rent) doesn&#39;t cut it any more. All of a sudden, you&#39;re having to save and budget just to get your bills paid.</p> <p><strong>Monthly</strong> has the advantage that it&#39;s the same frequency as most of your bills. Times when I&#39;ve been paid monthly, the payment typically comes a few days before the end of the month--early enough that the check had cleared in time to pay the rent on the first. In my experience, it was actually better than weekly. With monthly you have to budget, but at least you have the whole month&#39;s money in one big lump.</p> <h2>Personal history</h2> <p>I got paid biweekly at my first full-time job. Then, my second employer was an old-line industrial firm that ran a weekly payroll for all the factory workers, and found it easier to just include us software types in that payroll.</p> <p>With a biweekly paycheck, my bill paying was pretty simple. I&#39;d let bills pile up as they came in, and then I&#39;d pay them all when I got paid. It was pretty unusual for two weeks worth of bills to come to more than one paycheck. Once I moved to weekly paychecks, though, that changed. It was perfectly ordinary for one weeks worth of bills to be more than one paycheck--it happened at least twice a month.</p> <p>I think that experience was what first prompted me to get my finances under control. I cut back a bit on spending, got my credit cards paid off, let some money accumulate in my checking account. When my next job turned out to pay monthly, it was not only no big deal, it was actually kind of a relief--I didn&#39;t need to do nearly as much figuring and planning ahead. I got my money, and then I paid my bills over the course of the month. It was easy.</p> <h2>A matter of class</h2> <p>There&#39;s some degree of class distinction in pay frequencies. I don&#39;t know if it&#39;s still true, but as late as the mid-1980s, payrolls in England were strictly divided between the middle-class folks (who got paid monthly by direct deposit to their bank account) and the working-class folks (who got paid weekly by their boss handing them an envelope with actual cash money inside). Even in the US there&#39;s a general sense that the working-class folks need to get paid more often (because they can&#39;t be expected to budget wisely), with the implication that people who get paid less often must be of a higher class.</p> <h2>Under control</h2> <p>Of course, none of it matters, once your finances are under control. The money flows in whenever it flows in, it flows out when the bills are due--and the surplus goes into whatever savings or investment vehicles you&#39;ve selected. A large fraction of my income is now paid either annually (mutual funds that pay dividends just once a year) or semi-annual (interest payments on <a href="/treasury-bills-for-ordinary-folks">treasury securities</a>). It&#39;s all the same to me.</p> <p>I remember vividly the shifts from biweekly to weekly to monthly, because they made a huge difference in the way I managed my money. Since then, I&#39;ve had several different payroll schedules--biweekly, half-monthly, back to biweekly--but I scarcely remember, because it never really made a difference after that.</p> <p>Of course, while you&#39;re <em>in the process</em> of getting your finances under control, you&#39;re likely to be especially aware of these matters. It&#39;s necessary to pay close attention to the flow of money into and out of your life, in order to get a handle on your finances. It may be of some comfort to know that, once you do, it turns out not to matter so much any more.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How often do you get your paycheck?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Philip Brewer</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Finance Budgeting General Tips ach biweekly budgeting half-monthly monthly monthly expenses paychecks scheduling weekly Tue, 15 Jan 2008 17:37:23 +0000 Philip Brewer 1634 at