If you get paid weekly, there are normally four months out of the year when you receive five paychecks instead of four.
I pulled out a 2021 calendar to determine the months with five paychecks for people who are paid every Friday. I realized that 2021 will not be a typical year for some workers.
The reason? There are actually 53 Fridays in 2021, not 52 like a normal year.
Paid Every Week? These Months Have 5 Paychecks in 2021
However, since Friday, January 1, 2021 is a bank holiday, many employers will process payroll a day earlier on Thursday, December 31, 2020. That means January will not be a five paycheck month for everyone.
But the other months with five Fridays in 2021 are April, July, October and December.
Budgeting Tips for 5-Paycheck Months
If you only use four weeks of pay to set your monthly budget, these “extra paychecks” can help you get ahead financially.
Take a look at it this way:
If you build a monthly budget based on four weekly paychecks and nothing else, that’s a total of 48 checks per year. But since there are 52 weeks in a year, that leaves four paychecks!
My suggestion is that you treat your extra paychecks as bonus money! Use them to pay off credit card debt, save for a down payment on a new car or work toward building an emergency fund.
Although I don’t get paid weekly myself, I used this budgeting tip when I was paid biweekly instead of twice a month — it really works!
The key is to make a plan for your extra paychecks ahead of time so that they go toward your money goals and aren’t wasted.
Don’t know what to do with your fifth paycheck? Here are some ideas:
- Get out of debt faster (credit cards, student loans, etc.)
- Save for a down payment on a home
- Build your rainy day or emergency fund
- Take a short vacation
- Pay for Christmas or birthday presents
- Put it toward a 6-month auto insurance premium
- Save up for a new car (or a used one!)
- Donate some of it to charity
- Contribute to a Roth IRA
- Save for your child’s college education
What’s your strategy for your five paycheck months in 2021? Let me know in the comments below and see this step-by-step guide to learn about my personal budgeting method.