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“Extra” Paycheck? Here’s What To Do With It

February 24, 2022
A family counting their coins

How It Works

Did you know that there are multiple months every year that provide the potential for an extra paycheck? That potential comes from each of those months containing 5 of certain days. For example, March may have 5 Wednesdays and July may have 5 Fridays. Depending on the day and frequency you are paid, it could mean that you receive an “extra” paycheck. That’s because the 52 weeks in a year aren’t spread out evenly among the 12 months.

Of course, this money isn’t really a freebie—you work hard for that paycheck! But if you plan accordingly (budget to use only your regular paychecks on usual expenses), you might be able to use this as an opportunity to contribute to your savings goals. How would you use an “extra” paycheck? Will you splurge on something special, or tuck it away in a savings account or emergency fund?

What To Do With the Extra Paycheck

Whether you get paid weekly or biweekly, you can count on anywhere from two to five additional paychecks a year. An extra paycheck can go a long way or be used up fast if you don’t have a plan. The first step is to find out exactly when the extra paychecks will come. Once you know that, you can mark your calendar or put a reminder on your phone. This will help with the budget planning process. The next step will depend largely on your personal financial goals.

Here are some ideas:

    Pay bills. After you pay off current bills that you have already budgeted for including rent, mortgage, cable, and internet, consider paying off some debt. Student loans, personal loans, and credit cards could potentially impact your credit score depending on your DTI (debt-to-income) ratio and if you carry a balance on revolving credit. A great way to utilize your additional paychecks is to pay toward your highest interest rate loans.

    Start a rainy-day fund. We’ve all heard about the importance of saving for a rainy day. What the phrase really means is saving for the unexpected curveballs in life – medical emergencies, job loss, car accidents – that can drain your savings if you don’t have money earmarked for such situations.

    Save for a big goal. If you feel good about the status of your bills and already have an emergency fund, it’s OK to have some fun with your extra paycheck. Maybe you’re dreaming of purchasing a new car or taking on a major home improvement project? Whatever your goal is, plan ahead and put your extra paycheck to good use.

Mark Your Calendar!

Look through the calendar and identify the months you could expect an extra paycheck based on when you’re paid. For example, if you get paid weekly, you can expect to see an extra paycheck in every month that contains 5 of your paydays. If you’re paid once every two weeks, you can also expect to have months when you’ll receive an extra paycheck, but you’ll have to check your calendar for

No matter what you plan on doing with your extra paycheck, DCU has an account that will help you to make the most of every dollar you earn. Check out our Primary Savings and Free Checking accounts.

*An interest rate of 0.10% will be paid on your daily balance up to and including the first $100,000.00. The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) for this tier will be 0.10%. Balances over $100,000.00 will not earn interest. The APY on balances over $100,000.00 will range from 0.10% to 0.01% depending on the total account balance. For example, a balance of $100,000.00 will earn an APY of 0.10% while a balance of $1,000,000.00 will earn an APY of 0.01%.  Rates are variable and may change from time to time and are subject to change weekly. APY range assumes a maximum account balance of $1,000,000.00 and is for illustration purposes only. Interest is compounded and credited monthly. The Earn More Feature is a sweep feature, which means that balances up to the Maximum Program Deposit Amount ($100,000.00) will be automatically swept to FDIC and/or NCUA insured accounts held at participating Receiving Financial Institutions. The Maximum Program Deposit Amount and Receiving Financial Institutions may be changed at any time. To review the list of the current Receiving Financial Institutions and the current Maximum Program Deposit Amount, click here. Rates effective  February 15, 2022.

Balances that exceed the Maximum Program Deposit Amount will remain in the DCU Free Checking Account at DCU. The Earn More Feature is activated the first of the month following the month enrollment took place and funds begin to earn interest on the first of the month following enrollment.  The Earn More Feature can only be added to one checking account per membership, excluding HSA Checking accounts. Fees or other conditions may reduce earnings. Please refer to DCU's Free Checking with Earn More Feature Terms and Conditions, Account Agreement for Consumers, and Schedule of Fees and Service Charges, for additional important information and disclosures.

Please note, membership is required to open a DCU Savings account. Visit our membership eligibility page for more information.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as legal, financial, investment or tax advice or indicate that a specific DCU product or service is right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a financial professional.