Author Topic: Pay  (Read 8945 times)

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camlan

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Re: Pay
« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2012, 08:33:43 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.
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Teenyweeny

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Re: Pay
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2012, 09:50:01 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.



Anniissa

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Re: Pay
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2012, 10:42:59 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).

RubyCat

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Re: Pay
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2012, 10:48:13 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.

Elfmama

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Re: Pay
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2012, 10:49:16 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.
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Judah

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Re: Pay
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2012, 10:18:05 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. 
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Dindrane

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Re: Pay
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2012, 10:44:38 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.


Outdoor Girl

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Re: Pay
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2012, 10:51:54 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!
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Dindrane

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Re: Pay
« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2012, 05:10:52 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.


Dr. F.

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Re: Pay
« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2012, 07:41:57 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!

PastryGoddess

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Re: Pay
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2012, 12:41:42 AM »
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.




Ereine

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Re: Pay
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2012, 04:02:11 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.

Aggiesque

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Re: Pay
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2012, 03:36:39 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!
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Saffy

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Re: Pay
« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2012, 06:27:42 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.  ;)

Isometric

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Re: Pay
« Reply #44 on: March 28, 2012, 08:26:33 PM »
Wow, interesting thread. I always thought a "paycheck" was now just a figure of speech. You learn something new every day!