The Diary of a Budgeter – Day 5

Bobbi Olson Articles, The Diary of a Budgeter

Pay Day Services – beneficial or dangerous?

It hurts my heart to see some of the financial services/features that are gaining popularity right now – two that I really need to vent about.

The first is this get paid early feature. I really need someone to explain the benefit of this. If I’m running out of money before I get another paycheck, how is getting paid early going to benefit me? I can see it the first time – if I came up short one time and needed to cover an anomaly. But if I’m consistently coming up short at the end of the month, getting paid early will simply mean that I come up short even earlier in the month! Am I missing something?

I used to come up short all the time. Why? Because I was spending too much too fast, and I couldn’t keep track of everything I still needed to spend money on. I would go out with friends, then realize I needed groceries, but had no more money. It wasn’t that I needed my check earlier in the month, it was that I needed to reign in my spending, create a system to keep track of what I had and what I needed. Simply put – I needed a budget.

The second thing that’s bugging me is this idea of getting paid as you go. It’s bad enough we’re spoon fed the idea of paying as we go for things we buy, but now we’re going to get paid as we work?

I remember when I got my first job, working at Burger King. For some reason, I thought I’d get paid every day. I was dismayed to learn I’d have to wait two whole weeks! But as time went on, I was so thankful! I can’t imagine getting paid every day! If people think keeping track of their money is tough on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, try tracking a daily income!

What would happen if you got paid every day, but didn’t track your daily income?

There would be days you’d feel rich! A couple hundred bucks in your pocket and no bills to pay! Woo hoo! But what happens when rent comes due? Or you need to buy groceries and gas on the same day – will there be enough? If you have a good budgeting system, it is possible to track this and be successful, but it would be a lot of extra work!

Again, I’m failing to see the upside of this – and the downside looks dangerous! I get it – we’re human, and we want an easy fix, when we’re strapped for cash – and most of us have been strapped for cash at one time or another! But it seems to me these features are like trying to plug a dam with a toothpick!

I’m much happier having a system to categorize, monitor and track my spending and saving. I always know how much money I have for necessities, as well as play – so I can spend with confidence, and know I’m still on track to reach my financial goals.

Budgeting ROCKS!

Does the “get paid early” or “get paid as you work” feature work for you? Share your story with me! Email: