Some of my coworkers are freaking out over a two week late paycheck. This is in direct contrast to the ones freaking out about getting paid early. I think they are being a bit dramatic because it does not happen for about 9 months in the future. Read on to see what I mean.

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In my current job we get paid every two weeks even though we are salaried. There is some crazy set up with the system where there is a change every 7 years.

HR claims it has something to do with the effect that makes one month have three paychecks instead of two. We actually get paid every two weeks instead of twice a month.

Because of the way the system is set up, it apparently causes extra days to be added to the payroll cycle. This gets caught up every 7 years and throws the dates off. Payroll therefore resets the system by delaying the first paycheck of every 7th year to the following two week period.

We received an email at the start of November, stating that NEXT YEAR, the first paycheck of September will be delayed until what was traditionally the second pay period.

The total compensation for the year will not be affected. We will simply start the official school year with a two week late paycheck and receive the last check for the year two weeks later into the end of the year.

Some of my coworkers are freaking out about late paychecks and complaining about how this will mess up their plans and budgets.


Here are the facts:

  • Total compensation does not change
  • It is only a 2 week delay
  • We get paid a healthy salary
  • We know about this NINE months in advance
  • Most of the complainers work and get paid over summer
  • We will get paid 2 weeks further into the summer than in previous years

Really, I do not understand why they are making such a big deal of this situation. I tried to reason with one of them but got snapped at because they ‘have bills to pay’.

The statement was amusing to me because I also have bills. We should all live within our means. This is to say that they should be able to keep their expenses within their income limits. In any case, I’ll tackle some of the facts.

We know about this nine months in advance.

Conventional wisdom says you should aim to have 3 to 6 months of living expenses saved up in an emergency fund. Now, I know this is not possible for everyone, but I have expectations of my coworkers. Our salaries are public information since we work for the state.

I know how much the renters pay because I had looked at the same housing options when I moved here. I am the newest hire and the last was 3 years before me. In my first year I was not able to teach over the summer so I started saving a portion of my salary every month starting in January. This was to have enough money to cover my expenses from July to September when I would not be paid. I was able to live well while saving money over 6 months. I am not sure why people who have been working for over 3 years are not able to save 3 months of income.

It is only a 2 week late paycheck.

To go along with the point above. This is only a 2 week delay. It is literally one paycheck out of the two that we get every month. Again, considering how much they make, I am confused why people at this income level are basically living paycheck to paycheck.

I currently save 50% of my income, which is a lesson learned from not being paid over the summer. This is the system I started using the first paycheck of the month to pay my bills and daily expenses and the second paycheck gets transferred to savings. I don’t scrimp or deny myself anything..and my housing cost is a bit high. It is about as high as a few mortgages I’ve seen in the area!

Now I’m not saying that everyone has to do the same and save so much. I’m just saying there is enough money to live well and save at the same time. The other argument I got is that some of them have families. To counter that argument, the other coworkers who have families also have a working spouse!

I just don’t see why having a two week late paycheck that you know of in advance should throw anyone off this much.

There is plenty of time to start saving to cover that extra two week period. They just need to take the equivalent of one paycheck and divide that by nine months. Then transfer that small amount every month into a savings account and do not touch it.

The savings will also earn interest so that is a bonus. Then when the late paycheck period happens you already have the money set aside.

Am I being unreasonable in thinking that people can save for this event 9 months in the future?