Frugal Friday: Would you be able to handle a pay shift?

 Are your finances on the [knife] edge of disaster????

Are your finances on the [knife] edge of disaster????

Recently, my employer was going to switch our pay schedule.  We currently get paid once a month (which apparently is very odd) and they were going to switch us to bi-monthly.  Now apparently there is a difference between bi-weekly and bi-monthly.  You get paid every 2 weeks on both pay plans but on a bi-monthly schedule there is a month or two where you only get one paycheck.  People were in FULL PANIC MODE over the change. I've been working for the same overarching employer for almost 4 years now and they have been sending warning emails about the proposed pay schedule change since I started working and when it looked like the change was getting close we received a weekly "stay calm and save some gosh darn money so you don't end up in debtors prison that one week you don't get a paycheck."

This was serious, people's livelihoods were at stake because of a shift in how often they would get paid.  In other words, a lot of people who work for my employer (which employs thousands of people) live paycheck to paycheck.  I have heard the same stats about how 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck but I really assumed that that was exaggerated. Would 8 out of 10 people in America really not be able to pay their bills if they missed one paycheck? Apparently, yes.  And apparently my office is no exception.

Now, hilariously, the change in paycheck schedule never even happened and we still get paid monthly.  My employer is controlled by statute and they forgot to get the bill passed. 

LOL OOPS. 

A few weeks ago, we all received the following email:  

Budget Your Way to Personal Financial Success!

Would you like to ditch debt and have better strategies for saving? Is stress about your personal finance affecting you in a negative way? Do you worry a little when you think about your financial obligations for the month? Did you sweat a bit when there was consideration about switching to bi-weekly pay? Maybe you have a few financial goals that you can’t quite seem to execute? Perhaps you used to live by a budget but fell out of practice and you need a catalyst to get going again? If any of these apply, this is the class for you!

Come join XXXXX, Adjunct Professor for XXXX University, for expert tips on taking control of your money.

In this interactive two-hour class you will learn about personal money topics that include discovering eight budget methods, identifying online budget platforms that work for you, pinpointing some of your spending behaviors, and examining three ways to pay down debt. At the end of this class, you will have the tools to create a budget that will ensure monetary goals and fiscal self-confidence.

If you are excited to ditch debt and start saving and want to be able to take these general principles and apply them to your life as soon as possible, please bring two pieces of information to class that will give you a head start. Completing these items is entirely optional, and can be done after the class instead.

1.            The balance and interest rate of three of your debts

2.            Your spending for the next few weeks using a free online spending tracker such as Mint.com or EveryDollar.com

In the words of Mark Twain, the secret to getting ahead is getting started! Sign-up today!

Two-hour class on personal budgeting presented in lecture format with multimedia and handout material. Participants will learn the following:

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I love that my office is actually responding the the stress a prospective change in pay schedule caused by trying to help employees learn how to budget. This is so important! I would imagine that going to financial literacy training about budgeting and managing debt that is held in your place of work with your co-workers is somewhat intimidating, and, unfortunately, maybe even embarrassing.  

I am very passionate about sharing knowledge, of any type.  No one has a problem with asking a friend to teach them how to lead climb or help with biking skills. But talking about money is still awkward and even shameful.  When 8/10 of us are living paycheck to paycheck we need to talk about money.  So ask yourself right now, if you didn't get your next paycheck would you be okay? If not go talk to someone about it! There are tons of online resources but I also think we need to be open with each other and share money management knowledge. Tell a money savvy friend how much money you make and how much you are spending and ask them if they have any suggestions. 

If they judge you for how much you make, they are not your friend.

If they judge you for how much you spend, hang out with them more. 

If you want to chat about your personal finances but don't know who to talk to, feel free to drop me a line in the contact form! The best way to start getting your finances in shape is to start tracking your expenses and income with Personal Capital (don't waste your time with Mint, PC is wayyyyyy better!). If you use this link to sign up for Personal Capital they give you $20 apparently! Happy Frugal Friday!