Make the Most of Five-Paycheck Months
If you get paid weekly, you'll usually take home four paychecks a month, but occasionally there's a month with five Fridays, and that means an extra check for you. Here are some ways to make the most of those five-paycheck months.
Build Up Your Emergency Fund
Drop those extra paychecks into your emergency fund, and you'll have an extra month's pay in the bank by the end of the year. Talk about a painless way to save!
Pay Down Debts
Speed up your debt pay off by applying all of your fifth-week paychecks to your debt with the highest interest rate. This should be on top of whatever you would normally put towards your debts.
Make an Extra Mortgage Payment
Save tens of thousands of dollars by using your fifth-week paychecks to make an extra mortgage payment (or three). If you make just one extra payment a year, you'll shave two to three years off of your mortgage. Not too shabby, eh?
Tip: When you send in your payment, be sure to mark it, "to be applied to principal only." This will ensure that none of it gets gobbled up by interest.
Add to Your Retirement Account
If you're not already in the habit of maxing out your retirement contributions, start using your extra paychecks to make it happen.
Save for Something You Need or Want
Planning ahead makes it possible to afford all sorts of things. Make a list of all of your current financial goals -- both short and long-term. Then, start using your fifth-week paychecks to fund them.
Things to Consider Saving For: a home, home repairs, car repairs/replacement, gifts, vacations, dental work, college
Stocking up on groceries when they're on sale is a great way to get your grocery bill down, but it's not always easy to find extra money in the budget for bulk buying. Use some of your extra paychecks to start filling up your pantry and freezer, and before you know it, you'll have a well-stocked kitchen.
If you're debt-free, and both your emergency fund and retirement accounts are fully funded, use those four or five extra paychecks a year to build wealth. Financial independence is the ultimate reward for living a frugal lifestyle.
Ready to Start Putting Those Five-Paycheck Months to Work for You?
Here's a list of all of the five-paycheck months this year. Get them on the calendar. Then, start planning how you'll use the extra money.