This May 2022 end-of-month pay period is going to be long for all military service members. Every time we have a long pay period, Facebook explodes with conversations on this subject, and they provide a fascinating look into how people handle their money.
Actual Military Paydays
Because every month is not 28 days long, and because banks don’t work on weekends and holidays, military pay doesn’t always come on the 1st and 15th of the month. Any time that the 1st or the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday, the actual military payday is pushed to the previous business day. If there is a weekend and a holiday together, the actual military payday can be up to three days earlier than the 1st or the 15th. Usually, these things sort of balance themselves out over the course of the year, with military paydays usually coming 14-17 days apart. But every once in a while, the calendar falls in a crazy sort of way and the paydays come a lot closer together or a lot further apart.
This May 2022 End-of-Month Pay Period
So why is this one long?
Well, the March mid-month payday is two days early because the 15th falls on a Saturday. That makes the regular payday Friday the 13th. (Good luck? Bad luck? Depends on your situation.)
But the next regular payday isn’t until Wednesday, 1 June 2022. That’s 19 days from 13 May 2022.
Now, sometimes when this happens, it only affects people who get paid on the regular payday, or it only affects people who get paid early. But because of the way this one falls on the calendar, it’s going to affect *almost* everyone.
Navy Federal Credit Union members who use anything other than an Active Duty Checking accounts, who will get paid on Friday, 13 May 2022 and won’t have their next paycheck until Wednesday, 1 June 2022.
In an unusual turn of events, Navy Federal Credit Union members who use an Active Duty Checking account won’t have this pay period be excessively long, but the NEXT pay period will be quite long for them. NFCU members using AD Checking will receive their May end-of-month pay deposit on Saturday, 28 May 2022, but their next paycheck won’t be until Wednesday, 15 June 2022.
What’s The Big Drama?
On one hand, it isn’t a big deal. You’re still getting the same amount of pay and allowances for a month.
On the flip side, situations like these tend to identify who is struggling and who has a good handle on their financial situation.
There are valid arguments on both sides, with some folks saying that there is no way that even good money managers can stretch a paycheck for three weeks, and with other folks saying that any issues are solely a problem with your spending. Neither side is 100% right or 100% wrong, but It can be useful to see how a long pay period impacts your finances, and use what you learn to make little improvements for the future. Click To Tweet.
From a long viewpoint, there shouldn’t be a financial problem with a long pay period. Regardless of how the paychecks fall in a year, the year is still 365 (or 366) days long and there are still 24 paychecks in those same number of days. You have the same number of rent payments, and car payments, and credit card payments whether your pay comes 10 days apart or 20 days apart. Either you have the financial capacity to make it through a 31 day month, or you don’t – when the paychecks come shouldn’t matter.
But when you drill down, there can be some individual difficulties. Let’s say your grocery budget only covers 16 days of groceries – how are you going to eat for those 3 extra days? Logically, it is easy to say that you should have some left over from the last time we had a shorter pay period. But when you’re pinching pennies, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.
A long pay period is a great way to measure how you are doing with your finances. If you don’t even notice, you’re probably doing a good job. If it is a bother but not a big deal, you are probably doing OK but have room for improvement. If it is an emergency, you need to make some major changes.
What You Can Do For This March
If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, start planning now to get through this March. Cut back your spending, and use the tips in 85 Ways To Get Through A Long Pay Period to ensure that you won’t be short on any essentials at the end of the month.
What You Can Do For The Future
If this month is going to be tight for you, get through the month and then start planning now to avoid problems during future long pay periods. Build up your emergency fund, build a spending plan around a 31 day month, pay off debt, and do all the other basic things that build a solid financial foundation. Meet with the financial educators available at your installation’s family readiness center. Take a class. Read a book. I promise you that your life will be so much easier!
Other Long Pay Periods in 2022
This isn’t the only long pay period in 2022. Depending on your bank or credit union’s pay posting processes, you may have a long pay period in August, October or November of this year. Improving your financial footing now can prevent unexpected difficulties when those long pay periods happen again.
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