Don’t Feed the Alligators

A Personal Finance Blog from a Small-Scale Landlord’s Perspective
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Creative Commons License photo figure credit: The Sassafrassquatch

ScrapperMom gets paid every other Thursday, and I get paid on the first of every month. ScrapperMom’s paycheck is directly deposited into our Money Market account at Everbank via a 3rd party payroll service. This past Thursday was a payday, and I was especially interested in seeing what the take-home portion was. This would have been the first paycheck since her raise, and I wanted to see how accurately’s NetPay Calculator predicted take home pay.

I logged into my bank’s website to check on the payment and didn’t see it. I didn’t panic, since I know that while direct deposits often post the night before, or in the morning of the day they are supposed to, it’s not unusual to see them post later in the day. So I checked later, and still no payment. I checked on Friday, and the payment was still not there.

At this point, many people would have had a very serious problem on their hands, namely one of an empty bank account. This, however, was not, and is not the case for us. We don’t live paycheck to paycheck, and therefore usually have the equivalent of 2-4 times ScrapperMom’s biweekly paycheck amount in our account.

I told ScrapperMom that her check had not posted. She told her boss who started to look into it. Fast forward to yesterday: I finally had a chance to check again from the hotel room here in Ottawa where I am on business. There was still no check. ScrapperMom asked her boss about it again, and here’s where it gets interesting: The payroll service apparently had the person who handles this, and a number of other accounts, leave with no notice, and “mess up” the accounts on her way out.

So while this may be an interesting story, it once again points out how frequently we are at the mercy of any number of financial world mistakes, market conditions, and various other ways in which we can be wrongly separated from money that is rightly ours. If we were living paycheck to paycheck we would be in serious trouble by now, and so the lessons learned here are:

  • Realize that factors beyond your control can and will put you in a pickle from time to time
  • Make reasonable attempts to mitigate the consequences of these factors — not living paycheck to paycheck can cover a wide range of potentially detrimental factors
  • Don’t panic. It’s likely that eventually everything will get worked as long as you can weather a short term storm

We have been told that the next paycheck will be issued on this coming Thursday and will cover 3 weeks. Now I’ll have to adjust our forecast slightly, as well as our calendar. This also makes me want to find out when the next bonus 3 paycheck month will be…

2 Responses to “Missed Paycheck”

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