Outlawing bi-weekly paychecks, could it work?

this was inspired by a comment in another of my threads…

(caveat, yes, I know I will get the free marketeers up in arms that I am considering telling a private business what they can or can’t do. Just deal)

Most employees in the US are paid bi-weekly or semi-monthly, i.e. every ~14 days or so.

Do you think that shifting to a monthly pay period would be better for family budgeting? Obviously, we can come up with some mechanism to sync payable bills with the pay date (i.e. You’d get paid on the 1st, all bills payable on the 7th or something), and we could probably allow a bi-weekly payment for your first month of employment.


I can see this doing wonders for the budgeting process. If you only get paid once a month, and all of your bills are due shortly thereafter, it forces you to properly allocate your money.

With bi-weekly paychecks, I get the sense that your “middle” paycheck (i.e. the one that doesn’t happen right around the time your major bills are due) has a great propensity to be “improperly” spent since you probably don’t have current bills due or whatever


Could it potentially lead to shortfalls of money if people are truly that bad about budgeting?

If unforeseen expenses crop up, it’s a bit harder to accommodate them (but then again, is it any easier with a bi-weekly paycheck)?
To the people who can (and do) properly budget themselves on a 2-a-month pay system, it seems a bit unfair, I understand. But those who can properly budget their paychecks seem to be in the minority.

Or is this not going to do anything at all? discuss!

I had a job that paid on a monthly basis back when I was in my early 20s. It sucked ass and I would hate to go back to that. I got a second job because my budgeting wasn’t that good and it didn’t get all that better over the 1.5 years I was there.

One other thing you haven’t listed is that there would be waves of profitability/unprofitability for businesses and banks & ATMS would be swamped (assuming that everyone followed the same cycle).

Since you’ve already said this, I don’t know what else there is to debate.

Dear God, please tell me this isn’t serious in any way. I don’t see how anyone could ever argue that paying people less frequently is doing them a favor and to propose that it be done through law is just :confused::eek::rolleyes::smack::smack::smack:. Pay me daily for all I care. How bad do you have to be at math and budgeting so that this would be an actual help to anyone?

Plus, some of us operate on two 14 day pay periods a month like each month only has 28 days. Twice a year however, you get three paychecks in a month to create a type of bonus system if you treat it that way. Taking that away is an even bigger disadvantage to some of us than the benefits you propose.

If you’re good at budgeting, it doesn’t really matter how often the paychecks come in. If you’re bad at budgeting, I really don’t see this being very helpful. It’s just as likely to cause people to go “Hey, lookit all this money in my account! Hookers and blow for everyone!” as it is to cause them to go, “OK, time to pay my bills.” And my knee-jerk reaction is to be irritated at the idea of the government trying to teach us to be good little accountants by making our employers do this.

Frankly this sounds horrible. I do prefer semi-monthy to biweekly, but either way getting one paycheck per month would suck IMO.

My thought is that, if you’re bad at budgeting, it’s a whole lot easier to budget when your revenues and expenses are all in front of your face at the same time. It eliminates the necessity for planning for future expenses, since everything that you’re paying is happening close enough to when you’re getting the money to pay for it.

That was the crux of my thought.

Is that your honest rebuttal to any boneheaded idea you come with? Just deal? It lacks tact, pep, and has remarkably little substance so I think you need to work on that.

no, it’s not the rebuttal. it’s the preemptive dismissal of what will invariably fork the debate into an area that I don’t want it to go.

I don’t want to discuss the propriety of the system in terms of telling a free market what it can or can’t do. I’d rather just discuss the home budgeting effects of bi-weekly versus monthly paychecks.

get it?

What a great way to get a full month’s worth of work out of your employees before you hand them rubber checks and disappear!

Many distressed businesses already pay their employees in arrears, sadly.

but, the rubber check bit was funny

If all my bills came due on the same date it might help with budgeting, but not much. On the other hand, I think businesses would love it - they can make interest on the ‘float’ by waiting to pay. They might push to pay just every other month :wink:

True story: I was in a planning meeting with university administrators about upgrading their HR and payroll system. One of the items that came up was switching from biweekly (every other Friday) to bi-monthly (2 times a month). Some of the folks didn’t like that because they felt they were getting paid less. :smack: Somehow, they thought that $salary/2424 would be “less” than $salary/2626.

I want to remind again that these math-handicapped dissenters were college educated professors and were were part of the review committee for the new computer system. Any mastery of arithmetic learned in elementary school is completely useless when it comes to money. I withhold the name of the university to protect the innocent but I think this idiocy would be duplicated at any campus. People are just bat shit stupid when it comes to stuff like this.

If we have incompetence at this level, then I’m not convinced Rumor_Watkins’ idea would work for the lower level folks that punch a time clock. They’d still bounce checks and miss bills whether paid every day or once or month.

but wouldn’t limiting the times they had to perform this arithmetic enhance their abilities to properly budget?

like if you’re given 2 opportunities to make stupid mistakes with adding and stubtracting bills and whatnot, wouldn’t that be worse than only having one opportunity to do so?

My workplace does weekly pay, and it makes budgeting much easier. We switched from every two weeks about five years ago and the ease of budgeting was very apparent for everyone here. I don’t understand why monthly would aid in budgeting at all.

No, it couldn’t work. For the reasons already listed.

I’ve got one more: How much would retooling computerized payroll systems cost?

I imagine nothing? It’d be a simple selector box in a database, right?

People should get paid once a year, April 15, after the government has taken its cut. Think of the money we, as a nation, would save on paper and accounting services. Rent and mortgage payments would only need to be collected once a year too. And think of the parties that would become traditional on April 16. They would make Mardi Gras look like a kindergarten birthday party.


ok, if it’s wrong and it’s going to cost so much, then just don’t distribute the money but for every month. you can still generate the paycheck.

In payroll systems, money and paychecks are part of the same thing. Once you get the pay stub, the money should be headed to your account in one form or another. You are basically arguing holding people’s money hostage in a forced savings account and then releasing it to them in bulk because it might help someone somewhere figure out how to function in modern society a little better.

This is honestly the dumbest GD I have seen in a long time and I am including one from a long time ago where someone proposed outlawing agriculture. There has to be a joke in here somewhere.