Back when I still had a day job, I once took a couple minutes to think about how I felt about paydays.
At the time, I felt lucky that I had paydays because that meant I have a job which was an accomplishment for many in the then recovering economy.
I think the result of my reflection was a bit different than the average employee.
I don’t think I was quite normal when it came to how I felt about paydays. It led me to ponder, what is the normal feeling about paydays?
What Do Most People Feel on Payday?
What do you feel when it is payday? Are you happy? Excited? Relieved? Indifferent? It isn’t something I had thought about at all.
I think most people would assume everyone feels the same way they do about payday but I don’t think that was the case for me.
I know people feel different about their paydays and I think I’m one of the weird ones. Let’s take a look at some of the feelings that are likely common for the average person when they get their usual paycheck.
WOO! It’s Payday! (Happy/Excited)
I think there is a large group of people that are happy when it is payday. Why are they happy?
Some are happy that their bank balance increased because they paid themselves first. Others are happy because they now have money in their checking account to go spend on the hottest gadget of the month.
There is another group that’d likely be happy to pay an overdue bill or make another extra payment on their student loans. There are lots of reasons to be happy on payday.
Are you generally happy when you get paid? Why do you feel this way?
It Is Finally Payday… PHEW! (Relieved)
I’d say there is another group that is relieved that it is payday. Actually, the more I think about it the more I think this group is larger than I’d hope.
My bet would be that this group barely stretched their budget to make it to the next payday. Okay, maybe that is just a hopeful thought, too.
More likely this group is relieved because they finally have some money in the bank account again to pay a debt collector or past due bill.
This group could also feel relieved because they stress out about everything. They may have dipped $500 into their $25,000 emergency fund to get new tires. Payday means they can put that money back.
Do you fall into this group? If you’re relieved on payday what makes you feel this way? Are you working to change your situation or are you happy feeling relieved on payday?
Meh… It’s Payday (Indifference)
I have no clue how many people feel indifferent about payday, but I think they’re out there. Why would people feel indifferent?
They might not have to worry about bills because they have a full emergency fund and some extra slack in their bank account to cover an extra month of budget.
Others might feel indifferent because they’re either doing well for themselves and have a secure financial picture or simply don’t care.
Then, of course, there are the people who feel indifferent because they don’t even realize it is payday. Again, these people are likely oblivious or are financially secure.
Are you one of the people that feel indifferent? Why aren’t you happy or excited? Why do you think you feel this way?
Where Did I Fall?
Some paydays I was happy because it meant we got to put even more money toward our goals.
I got to make an investment into my Roth IRA, put money into my Roth 401(k), contribute money into my “Pay off my (then) girlfriend’s student loans” fund and add more money to my spending money fund.
Most paydays I felt indifferent. Why would I feel indifferent? We were and still are doing decently financially but a paycheck didn’t significantly change anything for us.
It was nice to have but it didn’t allow me to do anything I couldn’t do before. It just added to my super long term goals that I’ll eventually get to. Of course, if I quit getting paychecks altogether, that’d be a different story.
Where I Fall Now
I no longer have a traditional job that gives me a paycheck so my feelings toward getting paid have slightly changed. I work for several clients who pay me on a regular basis, but I definitely don’t get a paycheck.
Today, how I feel when I’m paid usually depends on what’s going on with my finances and how promptly I’m paid.
Sometimes my clients are late paying me and I feel relieved when I finally receive a payment. Other clients pay almost instantly, which always makes me happy.
In the end, I’m always thankful that I get to work from home, raise my son and still earn money. Each payment allows me to continue living this lifestyle even though I no longer receive a traditional paycheck.
Which group do you fit in with? Are you happy, excited, relieved, indifferent or some other feeling whenever you get a paycheck? Let us know how you normally feel and more importantly WHY you feel that way in the comments below.
I really look forward to seeing the discussion on this one!