The vein in my forehead is about to burst: a tale of the worst pay schedule ever. EVER.

It's not like the universe will implode. It's not like my life will fall off into this great dark void. My lungs will not suddenly gasp for air as I try to make the most of my last breath. No.

None of these things will happen. It's that time of year where I start holding my breath. Jake's last full paycheck was at the end of May, and he won't be getting another one until the end of September.

$1,453.47. That's the amount left in our checking account. Our savings is down from thousands to a little less than $200.

I used to feel really bad about my budgeting skills around this time of year. Where could I have shaved off a little or a lot? What did I buy that we didn't really need? Something has changed this year. Jake called our mortgage company today to see if we could delay our September payment. Jake Johnson who is who he is, and works the way that he does, and is as awesome as he is at what he does, and who wore the same pair of shoes everyday for two years in a row should NOT be calling the mortgage company to negotiate payment dates.

Our mortgage is really another blog post entirely. In May, you know, the month we descend into this madness of four months without a paycheck, we received a letter from our lender that the taxes had been miscalculated when we closed, so our escrow account was empty (our home's value magically doubled when we bought it - double value equals double taxes). Our payment was going up a little over three hundred dollars a month for a year to make up for it. So right off the bat this summer, we had about $1,500 in unexpected expenses.

Let me cut to the chase: every September, we are a rags to riches story. We go from barely being able to breathe because things are so tight to having more than we need to cover everything. We usually go out to eat to celebrate because we've been eating mostly lentils or beans or some other legume way more than anyone should. The real core of this problem, I've just discovered today, is not my ability to budget, nor is it the amount of money we make, it is the most absurd pay schedule in the history of the world. (Maybe.)

I get the waiting a pay period to get paid. It's happened at every job I've ever worked, except that the pay period is usually two weeks. Jake's pay period is once a month. So WHY does he start working mid August and not get paid until the end of September? That's 6 weeks! And then! In winter, he starts working the first week-ish of January and doesn't get paid until the end of February! That's 7 weeks! I would be so peeved if I had to work that long without getting paid. And you know what?!? I'm going to go ahead and say that my budgeting skills are pretty rock solid for making it this far with having to put up with such a stinky pay system.

If Jake got paid like most people do, even if he went the summer without a paycheck and started getting paid within a reasonable amount of time after the school year started, this would be a non-issue.

We got a credit card in 2006 when we went to Hawaii and needed to rent a car. I used it then to rent a car and once at Ross like four years ago when the card machine wasn't reading debit cards. The original one actually expired, and I have the new one in my wallet with the activation sticker still on it. I think I'm going to have to activate it and use it to make it through September. And then so ridiculously pay it off on the last day of the month when he gets paid because we will magically have a surplus. Just like that.


OCU: the pay schedule some of your employees are on puts them in really hard positions, and it's a SHAME! Especially when they work so hard for you.


  1. The University pay schedule is a hard pay schedule. Kyle teaches labs for the college here for extra money and were are in the same bind. Last paycheck in May and not another one until first of October. I hate it. I can't even imagine having it as our only pay schedule. Who thought up such a crazy pay schedule. Just have faith you will make it through. :)

  2. What does your husband do? You will get through this :)

    - alecia with

  3. My husband is a lecturer and musician at a university.

  4. Many universities have a similar schedule. It blows. However, OCU also has deplorable pay overall,especially for adjuncts. They haven't raised adjunct wages in almost 30 years, and they are consistently the lowest adjunct pay in the region.



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