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Why Getting Paid on Wednesdays Instead of Fridays Makes You Feel Like You Earn More – Insights from Money Experts

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The Impact of Getting Paid on Wednesdays Instead of Fridays on Financial Well-being

When I opened a bank account in college, I didn't do any research. However, after more than a decade, I realized I was losing hundreds of dollars to hidden fees. This prompted me to switch to a new bank that better suited my needs. Not only does my new bank offer high-yield savings accounts, no overdraft or maintenance fees, and more accessible ATMs, but it also comes with an unexpected perk: early direct deposit. Now, my paychecks hit my account every other Wednesday instead of Friday.

Early Direct Deposit and Financial Strain

Many financial institutions, including Capital One, Ally, and Wells Fargo, provide early direct deposit. This service is usually automatic, meaning you don't have to opt into it. Initially, when I saw my full paycheck in my account on a Wednesday, I thought it was a mistake, but a very exciting one. Switching banks allowed me to get paid two days earlier than before. As time went on, I expected the excitement of Wednesday afternoons to fade, but it didn't. Even though I still receive my paychecks once every two weeks, I feel less financially strained.

The Influence of Paycheck Frequency on Spending Habits

According to Filipe Correia, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia's Department of Finance, the day of the week on which someone is paid can impact their spending and saving habits. Correia's research reveals that when people are paid towards the end of the week, they tend to spend more money. Regardless of income level, the percentage of income consumed increases throughout the week, leading to lower savings and more borrowing.

The Psychological Factors at Play

Nashira Lynton, a financial therapist, suggests that getting paid on Friday and immediately spending the money can lead to unnecessary shopping. This behavior may stem from the thought that the money quickly disappears, creating feelings of not having enough to last until the next paycheck. To cope with these anxious feelings, individuals may end up spending even more. Additionally, the "endowment effect," as explained by Hal Hershfield, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, may contribute to the perception of having more money when paid on Wednesday. When the money is received earlier, individuals feel a sense of ownership and become more reluctant to spend it. In conclusion, getting paid on Wednesdays instead of Fridays can have a significant impact on financial well-being. The early direct deposit, combined with the psychological factors at play, can create a sense of financial stability and reduce the feeling of living paycheck to paycheck. However, it is crucial to remember that the amount of money remains the same, regardless of the day it is received. Understanding the influence of paycheck frequency and being mindful of spending habits can contribute to better financial management and overall satisfaction.


The practice of paying employees earlier in the week, such as on Wednesdays instead of Fridays, could potentially have a significant impact on new businesses. This seemingly small change in payroll scheduling could influence employee financial well-being and satisfaction.

Implications for New Businesses

For new businesses, adopting an early direct deposit policy could help improve employee morale and reduce financial stress. Employees who feel less financially strained may be more productive and engaged at work, contributing to a healthier workplace environment and better business outcomes.
Lessons Learned
The key takeaway for new businesses is the importance of understanding the psychological and behavioral impacts of payroll practices. By considering factors such as paycheck frequency and timing, businesses can make informed decisions that benefit both the company and its employees. In conclusion, the practice of paying employees on Wednesdays instead of Fridays could potentially offer significant benefits for new businesses. By fostering a sense of financial stability and well-being among employees, businesses can create a more positive and productive work environment. As the business landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial for new businesses to consider innovative approaches to traditional practices, such as payroll, to achieve success.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/18/why-getting-paid-on-wednesdays-makes-me-feel-like-i-earn-more.html
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