Paycheck Chronicles

From The Mailbag: Military Pay Once A Month

It is interesting how different things work for different people.  That's why it is called personal finance, not just finance, or this-is-how-everyone-should-do-it-finance.  (Okay, that's not the only reason, but it is one of them, and it just sounds good.)

Today's question is an excellent example of something that works for some people, but not all people.

Dear Kate,

My neighbor says he only gets paid once a month.  How can I get that pay schedule?


This question thrills me because it shows that people are thinking about their money!

Dear Jim,

Well, that depends.  For reasons I don't know, the once-a-month pay option is only available to service members in the Army or the Air Force.  It's not available to those in the Navy or Marine Corps; I don't know why.

If you are in the Army or the Air Force, it should be a simple switch but it must be done through your finance folks.  The Army uses DA Form 3685, I don't know the equivalent form for the Air Force.  It can not be done via myPay.

Keep in mind that you will "miss" a paycheck when you switch to being paid once a month.  It won't really be missed, but it will seem like it.  The next mid-month pay won't be disbursed, and you'll receive the full amount in your end-of-month pay on the first of the following month (or the previous business day, if that falls on a weekend or holiday.)

If you end up switching, I'd love to hear how that works out for you.  I find it fascinating and wish that my husband had that option!

Thanks for writing in,


There are many things to like about being paid once a month.  It's great for people who have their bills bunched together and have difficulty saving money from one half of the month to the next, it helps balance out those sometimes extra long-pay periods, and it is good practice for retirement paychecks that come once a month.  It's not for everyone, but it is a good choice for many.

Do you get paid once a month?  I'd love to hear about it!

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