This is really quick and simple, but it can help you save thousands of dollars every year!
Most of us have monthly and annual expenses. Assuming you’re paying attention to your money, then you probably have some sort of monthly budget, which I’d hope would take into account saving for annual expenses. (For example, if you pay your $1,000/yr car insurance only once a year, you’d want to set aside $84/mo so you have the money each time the payment period rolls around.)
If you are paid bi-weekly, then you’re used to getting two paychecks each month. So, create that monthly budget based on those two paychecks.
For example, if your paychecks are each about $1,000, then create a monthly budget based on $2,000. And make sure that monthly budget also takes into account annual expenses.
Now, for the magic!
There are 52 weeks in a year. If you’re paid every other week, that’s 26 paychecks. But, two paychecks per month is 12 x 2, or 24 paychecks. With the way in which our calendar works, every six months or so you earn three paychecks in that month. Those months change depending on the year and your payday.
If you follow this method, you have an extra 7% of your salary that you haven’t budgeted for. This can help you catch up, save, or go towards a little fun!
The trick is to know when that extra paycheck occurs, and to react before you’ve spent it elsewhere.