A Three Week Pay Period?

I got a comment today asking, “The next pay day deposit for navy federal is june 1st? thats a 3 week pay period!!”  Well, depending on what bank you use or what kind of bank account you have, it might just be a nearly three week pay period.  And if it isn’t a long pay period for you this time around, it will come to you at some point in time.  If money is tight, you really need to know when these long periods are going to come so that you can be prepared.

Under the regular military pay schedule, pay days are on the 1st and 15th of each month.   When the 1st or 15th fall on a weekend or a holiday, the pay day is moved to the previous business day.  This means that pay periods are rarely 15 days long.  They can be as short as 11 days, if the 1st is on a Monday and the 15th is a Monday holiday, pushing the pay back to the 12th.  Pay periods can also be as long as 19 days, if it is a 31 day month and the 15th is a Monday holiday.

However, the policies and practices of some banks and credit unions can mean that the long pay periods might be different for their customers.  Our current pay period (15 May 2012 to 1 June 2012) is a perfect example of this.  Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) customers who have an Active Duty checking account receive their deposits one business day earlier than the regular military payday.  Because NFCU posts overnight on business days, it actually posted the money overnight to be available for people to use on Saturday, 12 May 2012.  One business day early from Friday, 1 June 2012 means that those same customers will receive their next pay deposit to be available for use on Thursday, 31 May 2012.  Yes, that is 19 days – nearly three weeks.

The pay calendar is not likely to change.  However, you can choose to be paid only once a month.  This will not make all the pay periods the same length, but it does get them closer to the same length.  The shortest possible monthly pay period is 26 days and the longest possible pay period is 33 days.

The most important things are knowing when you are paid and planning ahead.  If you do those two things, long pay periods should not be as much of a problem.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.