Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: bigozzy on March 06, 2012, 05:39:20 AM

Title: Pay
Post by: bigozzy on March 06, 2012, 05:39:20 AM
I was just looking at a thread in the Special Snowflake topic where there was an issue with picking up pay checks in the US.

I was then watching an old episode of 'Big Bang Theory' where Sheldon has a drawer full of un-cashed pay checks.

This made me think. For the last 30 years or so my pay (In Oz and the UK workplaces) has been paid directly into my account.

Out of interest: How common is it in other countries to physically pick up a cheque or be paid elctronically?
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: iridaceae on March 06, 2012, 05:45:53 AM
The US is going more and more to direct deposit. The hotel I work at was recently bought by a different company and they do not believe in paper paychecks anymore except for special circumstances (I got paper checks until my direct deposit was set up, for example).  Or you can get a refillable VISA card. Those are your choices. 

I'd hazard a guess that most if not all big businesses here in the US will go to direct deposit in the next 10 years or so.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: bigozzy on March 06, 2012, 05:59:33 AM
Thanks.

I wonder if there would be any advantage to either employer or employee to stick with paper check payment?
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: iridaceae on March 06, 2012, 06:04:37 AM
We have a couple of anti-government conspiracy types working here who are all up in arms over their paycheck choices since apparently it's Evil and Big Brother will do..something; I have no idea what- if they get direct deposit. 
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Jones on March 06, 2012, 08:14:20 AM
My last job and my current job are 99.9% direct deposit.

At my last job one of my coworkers closed his account and insisted on a papercheck because "I must've got hacked; they took my money." Come to find out he was in debt with the IRS and they took what they could find. So now he was trying to hide/spend anything he could so they wouldn't find it.

Another coworker from another branch stated she was unable to get an account in which she could get direct deposit, due to her poor credit. I'm not sure how they resolved that; sounded fishy to me.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: cicero on March 06, 2012, 08:31:50 AM
I live in israel.

we've had direct deposits for... years and years. i think since the 1980s.

I do't know anyone here who gets paid in any other way.

Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Outdoor Girl on March 06, 2012, 08:37:30 AM
When I started my first job in 1990, I had no choice but to have my pay direct deposited.  The company still issued cheques to those who wanted them but encouraged people to switch to DD.  It was much cheaper and less labour intensive for them.

One of my coworkers who was close to retirement refused to switch.  I think he was finally forced to accept DD because the equipment used to print the cheques died and wasn't replaced.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: dawbs on March 06, 2012, 08:47:11 AM
Thanks.

I wonder if there would be any advantage to either employer or employee to stick with paper check payment?
I worked for a company that 'accidentally' reversed deposits taht had been made into employees accounts REPEATEDLY.
I got nagged as to why I, as one of the tecchy people working in a tecchy place insisted on getting a paper check..
oh, probably because the people who looked at their online accounts on Friday and spent the $ that had bee deposited in them had overdrafts by monday.  More than once.

So I've been a little suspicious since then.
(there is the time/money savings for the employer to direct deposit)

The whole 'need credit to have an account' can indeed be true, it can be hard to direct-deposit to a savings account and not everyone is allowed a checking account.

There's also the reprehensible practice of putting the paycheck onto a debit card that's becoming increasingly common http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_financial_services/000920.html
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Lynnv on March 06, 2012, 08:49:34 AM
Direct Deposit has been common since (at least) the 80s, when I first worked in banking.

There are, however, always going to be holdouts who do not want or cannot use direct deposit.  The reasons range from just being a bit stubborn and old-fashioned and liking to SEE the check to having some garnishment in place and fearing the agency holding the levy/garnishment will find the funds before they can be withdrawn, to having such horrid credit that no institution will open even a savings account.  There are folks who don't want a spouse (or ex-spouse) to see how much their paycheck is-either because they are hiding assets and income or because they are putting money away in savings on the sly.  And then there are the cases where the company has a record of messing up direct deposits and causing problems in the account-having a paper check in those cases means that (assuming the money actually exists) the recipient can go to the issuing bank and get cash and KNOW that there isn't going to be a problem down the road.

By the time I left banking (1999/2000), direct deposit was the most common way of getting paychecks from medium sized or large companies, regular retirement payments and Social Security.  Smaller companies, however, were still doing paper checks, for the most part.

My current company strongly encourages direct deposit.  When I was originally hired, about 65% of our employees were "Road" workers (fly home every weekend, otherwise on the road) and paper checks would be a huge hassle for the employees-so pretty much everyone had it.  The company was one of the very early adopters of direct deposit, according to the folks who have been with the company 20 and 30 years.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Thipu1 on March 06, 2012, 10:30:11 AM
Direct deposit has been available for many years here but, until my retirement I never made use of it. 
The HR area where I worked was notorious for 'forgetting' or 'misplacing' time sheets.  Several times I was short changed on the hours I worked and had to get the time sheets from our area to prove that I had worked the entire pay period instead of only half of it. A paper check received from RH and opened in their office made these problems much quicker to resolve.

In the early days of direct deposit there were also problems with banks.  These no longer exist although I still miss getting that check and making the deposit at the ATM.

Title: Re: Pay
Post by: WillyNilly on March 06, 2012, 10:35:17 AM
I have gotten direct deposit for at least the last decade (in the US).  My first office job didn't offer it though, as it was a very small office and the owners were very resistant to change.

I pretty much need DD now though as for the last 5+ years banks will only offer free checking if you have a very big balance at all times (like over $1k) or direct deposit.  Since I don't tend to hold $1k+ in my checking account at all times, and I refuse to pay for checking, I need direct deposit.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on March 06, 2012, 11:14:10 AM
I work for a large corporation that has had the direct deposit option available for the last 10 years. My bank allows for a fee free checking account if I have direct deposit so it works out nicely.

Whenever I get checks now (for odd things) I cringe because I have to go to the bank to deposit it.  Most checks have a "not valid unless cashed within 180 days rule" so if I fail to cash it in a timely manner, the check pretty much is worthless. I'd need to contact the company who wrote me the check to resissue a new one.

The government has a ton of money in reserves from companies that had outstanding checks that people didn't cash. All the people need to do is request it from the government, if they know it exists, which many don't.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: camlan on March 06, 2012, 11:35:07 AM
In some states, you can't get a bank account if you don't have good credit. Most of those states require that employers have both the DD and paycheck option for their employees. You can't force someone to use DD if they have no bank account. An issue with lower, minimum wage employees and bank accounts is that many banks charge you to have an account--there's a small (around 10$ monthly fee). So some employees don't want to pay that--and a company can't force someone to get an account that will cost them money, just so the company can do DD. There are some Federal laws in place about paying employees that factor into this. The key thing is that companies have to have a payment method for their employees that does not cost the employee anything.

One small company I worked for didn't have DD because the payroll company they used charged 75 cents extra for each and every DD. When enough employees started complaining, they proposed to offer DD, at a 1$ charge per week per employee (we got paid weekly). No explanation as to where the extra 25 cents would go, so no one opted for that.

Most banks in the US offer some sort of benefit for using DD--a free checking account is the most common--but not all of them do.   

And of course, if you are hiding money because you owe back taxes or child support, DD is not the way you want to go.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: #borecore on March 06, 2012, 12:58:41 PM
I use direct deposit (U.S.) and in my department of up to 40 people (smaller now), only one person chose to get a paper check -- he'd been burned by direct deposit at a previous job and refused to switch. Now that he's gone, they only offer DD for full-time or part-time employees. I don't think contractors or freelancers have to do DD.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: hobish on March 06, 2012, 01:14:31 PM

There are lots of reasons to not want direct deposit that has nothing to do with conspiracy theories or defrauding the government or your employer. Having their money exist only in electronic form is an issue for a lot of people - electrons and numbers on a screen are far from legal tender.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: #borecore on March 06, 2012, 01:21:41 PM

There are lots of reasons to not want direct deposit that has nothing to do with conspiracy theories or defrauding the government or your employer. Having their money exist only in electronic form is an issue for a lot of people - electrons and numbers on a screen are far from legal tender.

That's one political perspective, but I think this thread was doing pretty well without getting into politics up to now.

I was referring to a specific person, and I don't think I was doing so critically or negatively (if I'm misinterpreting your post, I apologize, but I made an assumption from the fact that it followed mine). I liked that person very much and would have been inclined to behave similarly if I were him; I'm not, though, and I've never had any DD issues.

If your employer ONLY offers DD, that's a compelling reason to use it.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: hobish on March 06, 2012, 01:28:47 PM
Oh, not at all - i actually didn't think your comment was political, either, and i wasn't aiming at it - it just seems to be an overall misconception everywhere (in the US) that if you don't want all your financial doings done electronically you must be a Luddite or doing something dishonest.  I don't know if that is true in other places, but i find it to be more and more so here.

ETA: So to answer the original question in a roundabout way - yes, it is used by employers more and more here; and correspondingly people have become more likely to look at you askance if you want to use an "old fashioned" paper check.

 :)
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: HorseFreak on March 06, 2012, 01:51:46 PM
I'm in the US and my last full time employer was switching to entirely DD, but people were grandfathered in. New hires were told up front that it was DD or nothing and they had to provide the information before starting work. Unfortunately, with banks charging all sorts of crazy fees in excess of hundreds of dollars a year just to have an account it's more difficult to maintain one at a brick & mortar bank. Some will waive the fees if you have DD, however.

At my current job a LOT of people get paper checks, but this is a pretty poor area and there may not be a lot of trust in banks or government due to some pretty heinous history. The problem is that at Christmas time they were only distributing December checks for a 20 minute period right before the holiday because the payroll admin of our department was going on vacation. We get paid only once per month which also isn't quite legal in some states (OK in the one).
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: magicdomino on March 06, 2012, 02:14:18 PM
We have a couple of anti-government conspiracy types working here who are all up in arms over their paycheck choices since apparently it's Evil and Big Brother will do..something; I have no idea what- if they get direct deposit.

When the feds insisted that federal workers move to direct deposit, I know of at least one person who was very unhappy.  You see, he cashed his paycheck at a liquor store owned by his brother, then deposited part of the cash in his checking account.  That way, his wife never knew exactly how much overtime money he made.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Elfmama on March 06, 2012, 11:43:53 PM
I have gotten direct deposit for at least the last decade (in the US).  My first office job didn't offer it though, as it was a very small office and the owners were very resistant to change.

I pretty much need DD now though as for the last 5+ years banks will only offer free checking if you have a very big balance at all times (like over $1k) or direct deposit.  Since I don't tend to hold $1k+ in my checking account at all times, and I refuse to pay for checking, I need direct deposit.
Look into credit unions. Ours requires a balance of $5 in your savings.  Yes, five dollars.

Re the OP, the US government has been doing direct deposit for a long time, I think when DH was still active duty Air Force, which would put it in the early '80's.  They mandated DD a while later. 
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: bigozzy on March 07, 2012, 04:38:38 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I find the differences in approaches and attitudes interesting.

In Australia I was paid fortnightly but here in the UK I ahve always been paid monthly. I used to find the wait for the end of the month hard but now I am used to it a (try) to budget appropriately.

The tricky months are when there is 5 weeks between pays!
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: iridaceae on March 07, 2012, 04:58:12 AM
We have a couple of anti-government conspiracy types working here who are all up in arms over their paycheck choices since apparently it's Evil and Big Brother will do..something; I have no idea what- if they get direct deposit.

When the feds insisted that federal workers move to direct deposit, I know of at least one person who was very unhappy.  You see, he cashed his paycheck at a liquor store owned by his brother, then deposited part of the cash in his checking account.  That way, his wife never knew exactly how much overtime money he made.

These are actual consipracy theorists. You know, the type that believe that your flu shot contains microchips (different person, but same mindset; I've worked with some very odd people), and that The Government is Watching Their Every Move and they tie direct deposit into that somehow. 

They tend to make my head hurt, so I don't ask too many questions.

Title: Re: Pay
Post by: toontownnutter on March 10, 2012, 01:04:34 AM
In Australia we can claim the bank account keeping fee on our taxes because our employers only pay via direct debt so we require a bank account.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: shhh its me on March 10, 2012, 01:30:58 AM
  I like getting an actual check for a few reasons. I know the second the money is available, don't have to check if it was deposited before 3 pm and I can't forget that it's a bank holiday and the money won;t be available for an extra day(there are about 10 days banks are closed that I work) I work on commission , if I get a check I don't have to print anything the companies accounting is included,( part 2) I don't have to deal with the company website being down.  It's really easy to save money for 2 or 3 weeks if you simply wait to cash a check.  It's really easy for me to change my banks.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Gwywnnydd on March 10, 2012, 09:17:54 PM
I've had DD as an option for the last 15 years, but I was working in IT. Previous to that, I only had a paper check as an option.

Now I'm remembering my Dad talking about his first job, and the furor caused when his employer went from cash pay packets to a paper check. Apparently, with a bit of practice, you can caaarrreeeffuuulllyyy peel up the edge of the pay envelope, stick a pencil in the end, twirl the pencil until a pound note wraps around it, and slide out your weekly pub money, without the missus knowing about it.
There were a number of his coworkers who had to suddenly explain why they were bringing home more money, and incidentally why they needed some pub money this week...
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: SisJackson on March 11, 2012, 04:08:30 AM
In Australia I was paid fortnightly but here in the UK I ahve always been paid monthly.

Is this a standard in each country?

Thinking back on all my jobs over the years, I've had everything from weekly pay to twice monthly (1st and 15th) to biweekly to once per month.  I don't think there is such a standard here in the U.S.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: sammycat on March 11, 2012, 05:00:13 AM

In Australia I was paid fortnightly but here in the UK I have always been paid monthly.

Is this a standard in each country?

In Australia, workers are paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly.  It just comes down to what the individual business/employer prefers.  I'd hazzard a guess and say that fortnightly would be the most commom, with monthly the least.  Some businesses may also have certain dates within the month (eg. 1st and 15th) that they do pays on, but I've never personally known anyone who was paid that way.

Government payments such as pensions, unemployment benefits, family allowance etc are all paid by DD fortnightly.

Direct deposit seems to be the most common payment method.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Margo on March 11, 2012, 12:54:49 PM
In the UK I think historically it used to be that 'blue collar' workers would be paid weekly and 'white collar' workers monthly (perhaps reflecting who was likely to hold bank accounts?) but monthly is the norm for most people.

So far as cheques vs. Direct Debit is concerned, here in the UK most personal bank accounts are free ( banks do offer accounts which you have to pay for, but these are marketed as being better than the standard ones) also, you need a bank account in order to cash a cheque, you can't just endorse it to someone else, (a cheque can be made out to "cash" but I think you would need to go to a branch of the issuing bank to cash it, and of course it's not secure) so for those reasons I guess that paycheques as opposed to DD have fewer benefits.

There are 'basic' bank accounts available which don't have overdraft facilities etc which even someone who has been made bankrupt or who has poor credit can hold.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Teenyweeny on March 13, 2012, 07:08:59 AM
Yes, I've never heard of anyone who was working legitimately who didn't have their pay directly deposited into their account. I'm in the UK.

Banks here cannot refuse to give someone a basic account. A basic account has no overdraft facility, and your bank card only functions as an ATM card, not as a debit card (which most people's bank cards function as). If you have very very poor credit, that's the kind of bank account you will have. Even state benefits are paid by direct deposit here, so every adult needs a bank account.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Irishkitty on March 13, 2012, 07:25:20 AM
Ireland here. DD is the norm I believe, and most workers are paid monthly.
I'm paid on the last Thursday of every month. The only exception is December, where we are often paid the week before Christmas. Which is great for December, but a big ol pain for Jan which becomes a 5 - 6 week stretch between paydays.

Just recently there was uproar from Civil Servants as the powers that be were going to take away the 1/2 hour every friday they received for cashing their paychecks. Despite the fact that most were paid by DD for years...  ::)
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: camlan on March 13, 2012, 07:33:43 AM
Yes, I've never heard of anyone who was working legitimately who didn't have their pay directly deposited into their account. I'm in the UK.

Banks here cannot refuse to give someone a basic account. A basic account has no overdraft facility, and your bank card only functions as an ATM card, not as a debit card (which most people's bank cards function as). If you have very very poor credit, that's the kind of bank account you will have. Even state benefits are paid by direct deposit here, so every adult needs a bank account.

This thread is a constant reminder of just how different things are in the US vs. other countries.

Here, there's no guarantee that you can get a bank account. The most basic accounts usually carry monthly fees just to have the account, or you need to keep a minimum balance in the account at all times. Overdraft protection is not standard--usually you have to pay a monthly fee or have direct deposit or keep a certain amount of money in the bank at all times, usually in a couple of different accounts. State benefits can still come as a check, but sometimes they are a card, but the card is linked to a state account, not the individuals.

Pondering the whole issue of why some people in the US resist things like DD and some people still like to write checks, there may be a couple of reasons. One, the media loves to highlight stories where electronic banking or on-line shopping with a credit card is dangerous--identity theft, crooks cleaning out your bank account, etc. Many people simply feel it is unsafe to switch to electronic banking. Even if there's no real, hard, fast evidence for this, the feeling is there.

Two, we don't have a standard banking system for the country. Different states have different rules and regulations about banks and what they can do. Fifty states, fifty different sets of rules. Nothing like Post Office savings accounts here.

Three, the banks themselves don't always make electronic banking easy. One bank I used charged 25 cents every time you used your ATM card as a debit card. Guess what? I never used it as a debit card. Some banks have on-line bill pay, but there's either a monthly fee or you have to keep a minimum balance. There seems to be a fee or some other cost for just about everything. Most banks still advertise free checking as if it's some big deal, when it's been around for decades, as long as you have DD or a certain minimum balance.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Teenyweeny on March 13, 2012, 08:50:01 AM
Charging for a bank account just seems nuts to me. The bank is already making money off your money! You can get bank accounts that have a monthly fee in the UK, but for the fee you'll get extras like free travel insurance, free breakdown cover for you car, etc. So basically that fee covers the cost of another bill that you would pay anyway, and is really just an incentive to open an account.

I've never heard of a bank charging for online banking. In fact, most banks here are trying to push people to online banking, and discouraging paper bank statements. I haven't had a bank statement in years.

 As far as security goes, banks here are obligated to refund you any money you lose from fraudulent transactions. If it's found out that you reclaimed the money dishonestly, then obviously you would be in trouble  ;D I know of a few people (myself included) who have had to get money refunded in this fashion, and whilst it's a pain to be out money for a day or two, that's all it ever is.

I think there's probably a status quo in the US that has established that banks *can* charge people for basic services, and now, of course, they don't want to stop getting that income from their customers.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Anniissa on March 13, 2012, 09:42:59 AM
Yes, I've never heard of anyone who was working legitimately who didn't have their pay directly deposited into their account. I'm in the UK.

Whilst it is true that the vast majority of people are paid by DD, there are still small businesses that pay via cheque or even sometimes cash. These tend to be small independent businesses usually those with less than five staff members and often in cases where the work is not necessarily office based and where the hours per week/month might vary. They are still legitimate businesses who pay tax and NI contributions though. Of course, I'm sure there are non-legitimate businesses who pay cash as well.

In terms of free banking in the UK, the banks have traditionally been willing to forgo payment for accounts but make the money from customers by charging for going overdrawn (or over agreed overdraft limits) and for bouncing cheques etc. Thereby, in theory, only charging the customers who are not using their bank accounts prudently. However, with increased cuts being forced to this type of charging, I think we will certainly see a reduction in the free services from the banks (and potentially the end of free banking to a some extent).
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: RubyCat on March 13, 2012, 09:48:13 AM
Things seem also seem to vary very much from bank to bank as well as from state to state.  I'm in Massachusetts and have two checking accounts (one from before I married and the joint one with dh).  Because I have $ direct deposited into each of them, they are free.  They pay no interest, but any interest earned would be minimal anyway.  I've had better luck with the smaller community banks.  Some of the really large banks have high fees and minimum balance requirements.

One of my employers recently stopped issuing checks due to the costs involved.  A debit card is an option.  Not sure how that's working out for them.  My other job still issues live checks if you want them.  Considering that they are kept in the secretary's top drawer and we go fetch our own check or statement (they look the same), I'm more comfortable with the direct deposit.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Elfmama on March 13, 2012, 09:49:16 AM
The fees that banks charge is the reason that we switched to a credit union 30 years ago.  Yes, we do have to have a minimum balance in the savings account. It's five dollars. Everything is free.  Some out-of-network ATMs do charge us a fee, but most are part of a network where we do not have to pay.  We commonly go to a nearby convenience store (7-11) to withdraw cash, as there is no fee there.  And since there are 7-11 stores all over the country, we have ready access to cash.

We do still maintain a checkbook, because there are a few bills that cannot be paid online.  The checkbook register is handy so that we know how much money is available at any time, without having to go online.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Judah on March 16, 2012, 09:18:05 AM
In Australia I was paid fortnightly but here in the UK I ahve always been paid monthly.

Is this a standard in each country?

Thinking back on all my jobs over the years, I've had everything from weekly pay to twice monthly (1st and 15th) to biweekly to once per month.  I don't think there is such a standard here in the U.S.

I don't know how it works in the rest of the country, but in California it is illegal for a company to not pay it's employees at least twice per month (commission only employees are an exception).  Unless, of course, you are the government; then you can pay only once per month. 
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Dindrane on March 16, 2012, 09:44:38 AM
I've been paid in any number of different ways -- every week when I worked for a temp agency, every two weeks when I worked for my university while in college, and once a month now.  Once a month can be kind of fun, because the check is so much bigger than a weekly or bi-weekly check would be. :)  It was a little bit hard to adjust to, but I've always been in the habit of spending money after I earn it rather than in anticipation of my paycheck (and I've been fortunate enough to be able to do that).

The one thing that really bugs me about the once a month paycheck is that, because I am an hourly employee and because of the specific payroll practices of my employer, I get paid for a different number of hours each month.  Depending upon the number of possible work days, I can get paid for as few as 160 hours or as much as 184.  I understand why they do things that way, mostly, but it does make budgeting more of a challenge.  I can never be sure of the exact amount I will actually be paid, because things like taxes vary based on my gross pay.

As far as direct deposit, I've had it ever since I started working in college.  My checking account now (through a credit union) gives me incredible interest if I fulfill 4 requirements each month, one of which is having an ACH transaction (for which direct deposit counts), but I'd have set it up regardless.  The money is deposited and available the morning of payday, so I actually have access to it faster than if I received a paper check.  My employer will provide me with a paper earnings statement, or I have the option of going paperless and viewing the exact same thing online through a secure database thing (I can also see my tax information, change my direct deposit, and see how much leave I have available).

I also personally have gone electronic for just about everything.  I only write checks to pay rent and for the occasional purchase which is cash or check only.  If I didn't make a special point of getting cash periodically, I'd never have any, and I can hold on to a $20 for weeks without ever thinking to spend it.  Paper checks are definitely less convenient, because I almost never go to an actual branch of my credit union, so depositing them pretty much always requires a special trip.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Outdoor Girl on March 16, 2012, 09:51:54 AM
The one thing that really bugs me about the once a month paycheck is that, because I am an hourly employee and because of the specific payroll practices of my employer, I get paid for a different number of hours each month.  Depending upon the number of possible work days, I can get paid for as few as 160 hours or as much as 184.  I understand why they do things that way, mostly, but it does make budgeting more of a challenge.  I can never be sure of the exact amount I will actually be paid, because things like taxes vary based on my gross pay.

Maybe this would work for you:  I budget based on my smallest take home pay each month.  So when I get a third pay cheque in a month twice a year (I'm paid every two weeks), that is 'bonus' money that gets set aside to deal with surprise or big expenses.  March's extra pay will be going towards new tires, a tune up and replacing the motor on my rear windshield wiper.  The only unexpectd part of that is the wiper.

So if you budgeted based on your February pay check, the extra from the other months would go to things like that or for saving for Christmas.

Years ago, when my Dad first started teaching, he was only paid once a month at the end of the month.  And he was only paid for the school year, September through June.  So the last pay cheque in June had to last until the end of September!
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Dindrane on March 16, 2012, 04:10:52 PM
The one thing that really bugs me about the once a month paycheck is that, because I am an hourly employee and because of the specific payroll practices of my employer, I get paid for a different number of hours each month.  Depending upon the number of possible work days, I can get paid for as few as 160 hours or as much as 184.  I understand why they do things that way, mostly, but it does make budgeting more of a challenge.  I can never be sure of the exact amount I will actually be paid, because things like taxes vary based on my gross pay.

Maybe this would work for you:  I budget based on my smallest take home pay each month.  So when I get a third pay cheque in a month twice a year (I'm paid every two weeks), that is 'bonus' money that gets set aside to deal with surprise or big expenses.  March's extra pay will be going towards new tires, a tune up and replacing the motor on my rear windshield wiper.  The only unexpectd part of that is the wiper.

So if you budgeted based on your February pay check, the extra from the other months would go to things like that or for saving for Christmas.

Years ago, when my Dad first started teaching, he was only paid once a month at the end of the month.  And he was only paid for the school year, September through June.  So the last pay cheque in June had to last until the end of September!

That's pretty much what I do, but it would still be nice to have a consistent amount of money deposited each month (and/or to just get paid every 4 weeks, but since that would make for 13 pay periods instead of 12, there's no way that's happening!).  It would also be a lot easier to actually budget for saving a certain percentage of my salary (or having it taken out of my paycheck for retirement) if it didn't fluctuate every month, but it's certainly not impossible to deal with by any means.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Dr. F. on March 16, 2012, 06:41:57 PM
In Australia I was paid fortnightly but here in the UK I ahve always been paid monthly.

Is this a standard in each country?

Thinking back on all my jobs over the years, I've had everything from weekly pay to twice monthly (1st and 15th) to biweekly to once per month.  I don't think there is such a standard here in the U.S.

I don't know how it works in the rest of the country, but in California it is illegal for a company to not pay it's employees at least twice per month (commission only employees are an exception).  Unless, of course, you are the government; then you can pay only once per month.

I worked for a non-profit in CA, and got paid monthly. I found it vastly easier than being paid every other week!
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: PastryGoddess on March 16, 2012, 11:41:42 PM
Reading all of these stories about banks charging fees makes me very happy that I'm at a credit union, not at a bank  ;D


I get paid every two weeks by my full time job.  I'm paid weekly in one of my part time jobs, and once a month for my other part time job. I don't prefer any of them.



Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Ereine on March 17, 2012, 03:02:11 AM
In Finland everyone has a right to a bank account according to law but I'm not sure if there are any free accounts, unless you have a lot of debt or deposits or things like that or are under a certain age (27 with some banks) or meet some other conditions (I have accounts in two banks, one with fees and one without but it's also my insurance company who rewards their customers based on if they have services from different categories so my renter's insurance, accident insurance, savings account and normal bank account gives me free banking and discounts on the insurance, which I like since I'm too poor to get any rewards with other banks). The fees aren't horribly high (and are probably controlled by some law) but can be too much for some people, I guess, though I haven't heard of any discussion about that. You can get an assistance if your income is really low that covers certain things that are considered necessary and I think that bank accounts are probably covered.

You do have to have a bank account here to live any sort of normal life. Checks haven't really been used here for maybe 30 years and you can't get benefits in other ways, though being paid cash for work is possible in some industries but it always (or I can't think of any exceptions) means that taxes aren't being paid. I assume that most people get paid monthly, I haven't heard of anything else and for some reason it's often the 15th but can probably be any day.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Aggiesque on March 20, 2012, 02:36:39 PM
The vet clinic I worked at- all 4 employees, including the DR/owner, were paid by a physical check which needed to be deposited or cashed each payday!
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Saffy on March 24, 2012, 05:27:42 PM
I'm a freelancer in the US and my clients always pay with cheque. When I arrived in the US I didn't know how to fill out a cheque! I had to Google it.  :-[ And when a friend in another state bought something on my behalf, I told her I'd transfer the money electronically (this has been possible in NZ and the UK, so long as I have the correct bank account number, for as long as I can remember). Nope, not possible, or it would be a wire transfer, cost $30 and take days to process. I wrote her a cheque, put it in an envelope, walked to the Post Office, posted it, and grumbled to myself all the way home.  ;)
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Isometric on March 28, 2012, 07:26:33 PM
Wow, interesting thread. I always thought a "paycheck" was now just a figure of speech. You learn something new every day!
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: KenveeB on March 28, 2012, 11:39:28 PM
I didn't realize it was so hard for some folks to get a bank account. I didn't have to have a credit check or anything for mine, it's free checking with no minimum balance as long as you do a certain number of direct deposits a year. That was one of several similar offers at local banks at the time I signed up. Is this a recent change, a regional one, or what? (For reference, I signed up for my current account about 8 years ago.)
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: camlan on March 29, 2012, 09:21:44 AM
I didn't realize it was so hard for some folks to get a bank account. I didn't have to have a credit check or anything for mine, it's free checking with no minimum balance as long as you do a certain number of direct deposits a year. That was one of several similar offers at local banks at the time I signed up. Is this a recent change, a regional one, or what? (For reference, I signed up for my current account about 8 years ago.)

I think it depends on a couple of things. The banking laws in your state are a major factor. What the bank's own policy is. What type of bank--a savings bank, a credit union, a commercial bank, a local vs. national bank.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: sasha on March 29, 2012, 10:06:50 AM
I didn't realize it was so hard for some folks to get a bank account. I didn't have to have a credit check or anything for mine, it's free checking with no minimum balance as long as you do a certain number of direct deposits a year. That was one of several similar offers at local banks at the time I signed up. Is this a recent change, a regional one, or what? (For reference, I signed up for my current account about 8 years ago.)

Since I've seen several people refer to credit checks, here's some clarification. In the US, it is really ChexSystems that determines whether you get a bank account or not, not your credit/credit score. ChexSystems is a type of credit agency, but limited to bank account activity and not the wider credit activities that would be on an Experian, Transunion, or Equifax report (credit cards, loans). ChexSystems is a reporting company that monitors "bad" activity on checking accounts. So if you have had multiple bounced checks, overdrafts that haven't been taken care of, etc., then you could find it hard to open a new checking account.

https://www.consumerdebit.com/consumerinfo/us/en/mishandlingaccts.htm

Sasha

Title: Re: Pay
Post by: dawbs on March 29, 2012, 10:30:28 AM
I didn't realize it was so hard for some folks to get a bank account. I didn't have to have a credit check or anything for mine, it's free checking with no minimum balance as long as you do a certain number of direct deposits a year. That was one of several similar offers at local banks at the time I signed up. Is this a recent change, a regional one, or what? (For reference, I signed up for my current account about 8 years ago.)

I think it depends on a couple of things. The banking laws in your state are a major factor. What the bank's own policy is. What type of bank--a savings bank, a credit union, a commercial bank, a local vs. national bank.
And it can be easy to get an account when you start out--but if you screw up (and get busted at it), it's hard to get an account again later--you basically get put on a (shared among banks) 'do not give this person an account' list.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Lynnv on March 29, 2012, 11:06:37 AM
I didn't realize it was so hard for some folks to get a bank account. I didn't have to have a credit check or anything for mine, it's free checking with no minimum balance as long as you do a certain number of direct deposits a year. That was one of several similar offers at local banks at the time I signed up. Is this a recent change, a regional one, or what? (For reference, I signed up for my current account about 8 years ago.)

Since I've seen several people refer to credit checks, here's some clarification. In the US, it is really ChexSystems that determines whether you get a bank account or not, not your credit/credit score. ChexSystems is a type of credit agency, but limited to bank account activity and not the wider credit activities that would be on an Experian, Transunion, or Equifax report (credit cards, loans). ChexSystems is a reporting company that monitors "bad" activity on checking accounts. So if you have had multiple bounced checks, overdrafts that haven't been taken care of, etc., then you could find it hard to open a new checking account.

https://www.consumerdebit.com/consumerinfo/us/en/mishandlingaccts.htm

Sasha

I worked in 4 different banks, starting as a teller and ending up as an internal auditor, over a period of 12 years.  All 4 used ChexSystems, of course.  But each one also had us run full credit reports and accept/deny accounts based on those as well.  So at some banks it DOES depend on your credit report (my first bank used TRW, the next one used TransUnion and the last two both used Equifax).  Some banks/credit unions/savings banks may choose not to run credit reports-but many others do.

My current bank (a credit union) only ran the ChexSystems check when we moved our accounts there.  They only pulled a credit report when I applied for overdraft protection. 

At least I think they called ChexSystems-a former employee of mine opened our accounts and we were so busy yammering talking about the 'good old days' before our bank got bought out that she might not have gotten around to it.   ;)
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: cattlekid on March 29, 2012, 11:50:51 AM
DH just started a new job.  He is now paid by paper check on a weekly basis.  I swear, the owner of the company is stuck in 1950.  So now every week he has to truck to the bank on his lunch hour and deposit his check.  It wouldn't be so bad - except now he gets hounded by the bank tellers weekly on how we need to open a savings account with them, refinance our mortgage, blah blah blah.  They also now call me weekly and annoy the living daylights out of me as well.   The only reason that we have this account is to auto pay our home equity loan and it happened to be a convenient place for DH to deposit his checks.  Everything else is done with an online only bank that pays interest on both checking and savings. 

The reason why he can't get direct deposit?  They tried it a few years ago but only offered it at one bank - the bank where the owner of the business banks.  No one took advantage of it so it was dropped.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: alkira6 on March 29, 2012, 12:06:39 PM
I finally made my DH get direct deposit a couple of years ago. Our story goes like this:

Me: Hey honey, did you deposit your check?
DH: (short pause) Uh, yeah, did it this morning.
Me: Ok, great. (tootles along, pays bills, hmmm, our balance is really low)

Two weeks later...
Me: Hey honey, did you deposit your check?
DH: (short pause) Uh, yeah, did it this morning.
Me: Ok, great. (tootles along, pays bills, hmmm, our balance is really low)

This goes on for a couple of months, I notice a massive deposit and freak.  Finally check the register portion online and notice that 4 checks have been deposited at once.

Me: Did you just deposit two months worth of checks at once?
DH: Um, no?  :-[
Me: rant about eating rice and noodles because we have no money, blah blah, blah
DH: Sorry, i won't do it again. (liar!)

Finally ended when I visited him at work and his boss handed me a hand full of envelopes and asked me to please deposit them because corporate is getting really tired of reissuing expired paychecks.  >:(

He had direct deposit that afternoon.

***** Just for those wondering, this was (well) over a decade ago and we were both in college. This was his first paying job and he was still learning how to be a grownup.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: KenveeB on March 29, 2012, 08:03:47 PM
DH just started a new job.  He is now paid by paper check on a weekly basis.  I swear, the owner of the company is stuck in 1950.  So now every week he has to truck to the bank on his lunch hour and deposit his check.  It wouldn't be so bad - except now he gets hounded by the bank tellers weekly on how we need to open a savings account with them, refinance our mortgage, blah blah blah.  They also now call me weekly and annoy the living daylights out of me as well.   The only reason that we have this account is to auto pay our home equity loan and it happened to be a convenient place for DH to deposit his checks.  Everything else is done with an online only bank that pays interest on both checking and savings. 

The reason why he can't get direct deposit?  They tried it a few years ago but only offered it at one bank - the bank where the owner of the business banks.  No one took advantage of it so it was dropped.

Can he deposit at the ATM with your bank? That's how I deposit all my checks. No teller chats required. :)
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Dindrane on March 29, 2012, 09:20:18 PM
I don't know if this would still be the case, but I actually had a bit of a hard time opening my first checking account.  I wanted to open one during my last year of high school, so I was 17 and had no steady source of income.  I worked over the summers and babysat, so I had money, but I didn't have income.  The first bank I went to (one where my parents had an account) wouldn't allow me to open a checking account, even with one of my parents as cosigner, because I didn't have regular income.  They'd let me open a savings account, but that would have severely limited how often I could withdraw money.

Another bank I went to was one where I already had a savings account.  I forget the specifics of the situation, but because one of my parents had cosigned a checking account at that bank for my brother, and because they had other accounts there, there was no way for either of them to cosign on an account for me without paying a fee.

I did finally manage to open a free checking account with no minimum balance at Washington Mutual, so it wasn't impossible.  But it was far more of a pain than I thought it would be -- I figured the only issue was being a minor, but it turns out that income matters (or mattered) to some banks as well.

Granted, this was all 10 years ago, so things could be different now.  I also don't have that bank account anymore (I bank with a local credit union these days) and WaMu has ceased to exist. :)
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Ereine on March 29, 2012, 10:13:58 PM
Is it uncommon then for children to have bank accounts? I've had one of my accounts as long as I can remember, in the beginning my parents controlled it but it was in my name. When I was 15 I got an ATM card and could do what I wanted with it (which wasn't much as I didn't work). At least then it was encouraged to open accounts for children, banks had all sorts of programs for children, like mine gave me a piggy bank and a magazine.

There's lately been debate about banking here. The law guarantees basic bank services to everyone at a reasonable cost but doesn't specify what "basic" means. So people with bad credit may not be able to get online banking (I don't know why because they wouldn't be able to do any more damage to the bank) which can make their lives difficult as banks are moving towards only online. Teller services may be open for only a few hours a day (also a problem for older people in rural areas wihout cars, the one bus a day may arrive in town just as the bank closes) and the bill paying machines that used to be everywhere are disappearing. And you can't live without a bank account here.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Dindrane on March 29, 2012, 11:48:10 PM
Is it uncommon then for children to have bank accounts? I've had one of my accounts as long as I can remember, in the beginning my parents controlled it but it was in my name. When I was 15 I got an ATM card and could do what I wanted with it (which wasn't much as I didn't work). At least then it was encouraged to open accounts for children, banks had all sorts of programs for children, like mine gave me a piggy bank and a magazine.

There's lately been debate about banking here. The law guarantees basic bank services to everyone at a reasonable cost but doesn't specify what "basic" means. So people with bad credit may not be able to get online banking (I don't know why because they wouldn't be able to do any more damage to the bank) which can make their lives difficult as banks are moving towards only online. Teller services may be open for only a few hours a day (also a problem for older people in rural areas wihout cars, the one bus a day may arrive in town just as the bank closes) and the bill paying machines that used to be everywhere are disappearing. And you can't live without a bank account here.

There was some deal that a local bank had with my elementary school where they let all the students open accounts if they wanted to, and we could deposit truly tiny amounts of money.  I think they had us keeping track of it with some sort of ledger or something, but I was only 6 or 7 when they did this, and I don't know that they kept it up for long.

Mostly, my parents put a lot of their savings for my college education in my name (it lowered the taxes, because my income was basically zero for a long time, and was quite low even when I was working during summers).  So I definitely had savings accounts that were "mine," but I didn't know about many of them until I was moving out on my own, and by then, most of that money had been spent on my college education anyway.  The first bank account that I really had sole control over was the checking account I opened at 17.  My dad cosigned it, so he technically had as much ability to access that money as I did, but I was the one who managed it, and the only one to put money in or take it out.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: cattlekid on March 30, 2012, 07:48:15 AM
Unfortunately no, it's a smaller bank and they haven't gotten on board with the check deposits through ATMs yet.

DH just started a new job.  He is now paid by paper check on a weekly basis.  I swear, the owner of the company is stuck in 1950.  So now every week he has to truck to the bank on his lunch hour and deposit his check.  It wouldn't be so bad - except now he gets hounded by the bank tellers weekly on how we need to open a savings account with them, refinance our mortgage, blah blah blah.  They also now call me weekly and annoy the living daylights out of me as well.   The only reason that we have this account is to auto pay our home equity loan and it happened to be a convenient place for DH to deposit his checks.  Everything else is done with an online only bank that pays interest on both checking and savings. 

The reason why he can't get direct deposit?  They tried it a few years ago but only offered it at one bank - the bank where the owner of the business banks.  No one took advantage of it so it was dropped.

Can he deposit at the ATM with your bank? That's how I deposit all my checks. No teller chats required. :)
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Gwywnnydd on March 30, 2012, 12:37:46 PM
Is it uncommon then for children to have bank accounts?

I think it's pretty common for children to have savings accounts, but as has been mentioned by previous posters, there are restrictions on what activity you can do with a savings account. A very common example of those restrictions is a maximum number of withdrawals in a month.
Most of what we think of as 'banking transactions' require a checking account, and there are more stringent guidelines for opening one of those.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: camlan on March 30, 2012, 12:49:49 PM
There are special savings accounts for children in the US. There were issues some years back, because a lot of savings accounts started charging a monthly fee to have the account, if you didn't have a certain minimum balance in the account.

Many, if not most, children didn't have the minimum balance. As a result, their accounts were being charged $5-$10 a month and eventually many children found themselves with no money left in the account and a bank that wanted it's fees.

I'm not sure if it's on the state or federal level, but regulations were passed and now there are special accounts for children that don't have the fees or minimum balance.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Ereine on March 30, 2012, 02:09:43 PM
Some children have savings accounts here but at least the account I got was just a regular account with no restrictions, a checking account if we used checks :) Fees and minimum balances aren't a problem as banking tends to be free for young people (below 27 at my bank but it depends on the bank).
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Margo on May 24, 2012, 08:09:54 AM
I've found this interesting - I'm in the UK and most banks have accounts designed for children/teens. Typically they provide an ATM card, and there are no restrictions on how often money can be taken in or out. You can't have a chequebook, overdraft or credit card until you are 18, I think because all of those are forms of credit and you can't enforce debts against someone under 18.

I remeber being really surprised when I read teen books set in the USA and they often had kids using a parent's credit card - I couldn't work out how that would work, as over here, you had to sign the slip to use a credit card (now they are mostly chip and pin, so it could work if the parent was willing to give their child the PIN)
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: Dindrane on May 24, 2012, 09:29:53 AM
The only time I've ever borrowed one of my parents' credit cards was when I bought gas in high school.  Sometimes it was easier to send me on my own, and nobody checks ID when you pay at the pump (at most, you enter a billing zip code).  Otherwise, my parents would give me cash or come with me when I wanted to buy things they agreed to pay for.

They did also, when I was in college, make me a cardholder on one of their credit card accounts.  I wasn't responsible for the account in any way (so it didn't affect my credit history either positively or negatively), but I had a card with my own name on it.  My parents got the statement with their own statements.

That was pretty convenient, largely because I was responsible about it and my parents trusted me.  I always asked permission to use it to buy anything we hadn't already agreed upon.  But it meant that even when I didn't have a credit card of my own, I was always going to have access to ready money in an emergency.  It also just made it easier for my parents to pay for certain things they were willing to pay for.

I actually still have that card, although I only use it every once in a blue moon (occasionally, my parents will tell my DH and I that we can have a meal out on them).  I'll probably tell my parents to just take me off the account when the current card expires -- it's not all that useful anymore, and it's one more thing to carry around in my wallet.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: KenveeB on May 24, 2012, 01:31:01 PM
Yup, Dindrane, that's the first kind of card I had too. It was issued on my parents' account, meaning their credit, but my name was on the card and I paid the bills so I got experience using it while my parents were still responsible. After about a year, I got my own card so I could build up my own credit history.
Title: Re: Pay
Post by: kitty-cat on May 27, 2012, 10:37:45 AM
I got my account my senior year of HS and got direct deposit set up at my summer job then. Lets see- file clerk, cashier, bookstore sticker remover, outside lead generator, bookkeeper. (a very short summary of my job history).

The best job I've had moneywise now is the only one with no DD offered. My boss HAND WRITES the checks on the 15th and the end of the month. Seeing as how she's a lawyer, it got really dicey once when she had a court appearance on payday, and I had to leave early for class. (and I was low on gas, groceries, and had bills due). It also causes problems when I can't get off in time to go to the bank- once I wanted to go by and use Wal-Mart's money center, but they don't cash hand written checks.