Getting Three Paychecks in a Month
If you get paid biweekly, there are two months every year when you get three paychecks instead of two.
My current employer pays out my annual salary biweekly, or every other week on Friday. My husband is not a regular employee, but he’s contracting with a software company. The company pays employees and contractors semi-monthly, meaning he gets paid twice per month on the 15th and 30th (or last day of the month).
Here’s how our differing pay periods break down:
- Biweekly Pay: 52 weeks per year ÷ 2 = 26 Paychecks
- Bimonthly aka Semimonthly Payroll: 12 months per year x 2 = 24 paychecks
People who get biweekly paychecks get a third paycheck twice a year due to getting 26 checks over a 12 month period. So which months are the 2023 three paycheck months?
Three Paycheck Months in 2023
Knowing when the three paycheck months in 2023 occur helps you plan ahead for how you’ll use the extra cash. You can improve your financial future by saving or investing the money, establish an emergency fund if you don’t have one, or make extra mortgage payments to pay off your home faster.
Identifying the months when you get a third paycheck is a matter of pulling out a calendar and highlighting your paydays for the year. For people who get paid every other Friday:
- If your first paycheck of 2023 is Friday, January 6, your three paycheck months are March and September.
- If your first paycheck of 2023 is Friday, January 13, your three paycheck months are June and December.
2023 Three Paycheck Months Starting January 6
Here is a payroll calendar with the 3 paycheck months in 2023 highlighted when your first paycheck is on January 6, 2023:
2023 Three Paycheck Months Starting January 13
And here is a payroll calendar with the 3 paycheck months in 2023 highlighted when your first paycheck is on January 13, 2023:
Friday Biweekly Paydays in 2023
The table below contains a pay schedule with all the biweekly paydays in 2023 for employees being paid every other Friday. That’s twenty-six checks for the year. The two extra pay check months are in bold.
|Paycheck Number||First 2023 Paycheck – Friday, January 6||First 2023 Paycheck – Friday, January 13|
|1||January 6||January 13|
|2||January 20||January 27|
|3||February 3||February 10|
|4||February 17||February 24|
|5||March 3||March 10|
|6||March 17||March 24|
|7||March 31||April 7|
|8||April 14||April 21|
|9||April 28||May 5|
|10||May 12||May 19|
|11||May 26||June 2|
|12||June 9||June 16|
|13||June 23||June 30|
|14||July 7||July 14|
|15||July 21||July 28|
|16||August 4||August 11|
|17||August 18||August 25|
|18||September 1||September 8|
|19||September 15||September 22|
|20||September 29||October 6|
|21||October 13||October 20|
|22||October 27||November 3|
|23||November 10||November 17|
|24||November 24||December 1|
|25||December 8||December 15|
|26||December 22||December 29|
What If I Don’t Get Paid on Fridays?
If you get biweekly paychecks, but not on Fridays, calculating your three paycheck months in 2023 is pretty simple. All you need is a calendar and a pen. Circle your paydays and find the months with three paychecks in 2023.
How to Take Advantage of a 3-Paycheck Month
Employers aren’t in the habit of just handing out extra paychecks a couple of times a year, unfortunately. But here’s a simple monthly budgeting technique that will make that third check feel like a windfall: create your monthly budget based on your usual two paychecks a month.
If you do that, all your expenses for the calendar month will be covered since you budgeted for them based on a normal, two paycheck month. When that third paycheck arrives, you’ll find yourself with extra cash. If you haven’t started budgeting yet, a three paycheck month is a perfect time to create your first budget.
Treat that money like a cash bonus. You can do whatever you want with your extra paycheck, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- Start an Emergency Fund – Try to put aside at least $1,000 to use in case an unplanned expense comes up. Ideally, you have three to six months worth of expenses stashed away in case of financial emergencies like job loss or an unexpected car repair. If you don’t have money set aside in case of emergencies, consider using that third paycheck to start building an emergency fund.
- Pay Down Debt – Use the additional funds for an extra loan or credit card payment. Getting out of debt is always a good plan. Paying down any outstanding credit card debt or loan balances with that extra paycheck will save you on interest and help you retire your debt earlier.
- Make Extra Mortgage Payments – Put those extra paychecks toward your mortgage if you’re not planning on leaving your home any time soon. With an extra payment once or twice a year, you’ll pay off your home early and reduce the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan. Make sure the money is applied toward the principal instead of next month’s payment. Check with your mortgage lender first as some charge prepayment penalties.
- Save it for Upcoming Expenses – Earmark the cash for any large upcoming expenses you anticipate. Knock out your insurance premiums for the year, take care of any car or home repairs you’ve been putting off, or save it for a down payment on a house.
- Save for Retirement – If you have a Roth or a traditional IRA for your retirement savings, a three check month is the perfect time to make a contribution. If you don’t have a retirement account, use the extra checks to open one and start saving for the future.
- Splurge a Little – It’s OK to treat yourself a bit since you won’t be going into debt or missing any payments to do it. Grab a new outfit, take a vacation, or buy Christmas gifts for others during that three check month. If your bills are paid and you’re taking care of your savings, using the extra funds like bonus money won’t hurt you during the triple paycheck months. Frugal fatigue can set in when you’ve been living on a tight budget for weeks or months at a time. If you have an emergency fund and your financial house is in order, I don’t see anything wrong with spending a little cash on yourself.
- Get Ahead of Your Bills – You can use the third check to transition your budget to the half payment method to even out your bill payments. Or you could use that extra paycheck to get one month ahead on bills and break the paycheck to paycheck cycle.
Getting Three Paychecks in a Month
Three paycheck months offer you many options to better your financial situation. You can pay down credit card balances, get ahead on your bills or other regular expenses, take care of a major expense, or use it to build financial security by making financially sound investments.
Taking a trip or buying a new outfit with a portion of the extra check won’t wreck your budget. That third check is a good opportunity. When those three paycheck months roll around, be intentional with your money no matter how you decide to use it, whether that means saving it or spending it.
Frequently asked questions about 3 paycheck months and biweekly pay periods.
What Months Do We Get 3 paychecks in 2023?
If you receive your first paycheck of 2023 on Friday, January 6, March and September are your three paycheck months. If you get your first 2023 paycheck on Friday, January 13, your three paycheck months in 2023 are June and December.
The 3rd paycheck you get isn’t really extra money. Your annual salary is the same. Your monthly take home pay is different during the two months when you get three paychecks, however. You can save the extra money you get, use it to pay down debt, or put it toward one of your financial goals.
Does Getting Paid 3 Times in a Month Help?
Yes, getting paid 3 times in a month helps. If you base your monthly budget on two paychecks, during a three paycheck month you can use the third check for whatever you want. You can save that extra paycheck or use it to help reach your financial goals.
How Many Paychecks Do You Get in a Year?
If you get paid bi-weekly, you receive 26 paychecks per year. Since bi-weekly payroll cycles happen once every two weeks, there will be three pay periods in a month twice a year.
How Many Paychecks Do You Get in 2023?
2023 will have 26 pay periods for those being paid biweekly.