I had hoped that this year would be different, but it’s not. I’m already getting questions about whether the military will receive their 1 December 2015 military pay deposit before Thanksgiving. Um, no. Not even close. Some years, when Thanksgiving is later, I can maybe see the confusion. I’m a little less sure this year, with Thanksgiving falling a full five days prior to payday. Regardless, people are asking about it, and I’m here to help everyone be un-confused. If you have been counting on one more paycheck to prepare for your Thanksgiving meal, or for shopping on Black Friday, then you’re going to have to shift your plans a little. If money is going to be tight because of this long pay period, there are a wide variety of things that you can do. First, look critically at your current situation.
- Where can you cut some expenses temporarily? In my case, I would cut out sodas (they’re a horrible habit anyway,) and ask my husband to take the bus to work instead of driving.
- What could you do to “make” some money? Redeem your credit card points, cash in your change jar, sell your excess stuff in Craigslist. There are a ton of ways to make some extra cash.
- If you’re in a true pinch and can’t take care of your basic living expenses (food, gas to get to work, diapers, etc.), check with your branch’s relief or aid society. These include Coast Guard Mutual Aid, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Army Emergency Relief, and the Air Force Aid Society. These organizations can help with a small, interest-free loan to help you get through a pinch. They might also be able to help you look at your spending plan and create a strategy to avoid getting stuck in this position again in the future.
There are usually a couple of long (17 or more days) pay periods each year. Being aware, and prepared for them, will make your life a lot less stressful.