Guest Blog: Shannon-Things to Avoid on Pay Day
Blogger Biography: Shannon is a fun-loving, sarcastic, Florida girl, who met her military man during college. With a few years of marriage under their belt, Shannon and her husband navigate through deployments, PCS moves, and their goal of becoming debt-free with the perfect recipe of determination, a pinch of humor, and a big glass of sweet tea, topped off with a little dog slobber from their Labrador mix, Macy!
Until I married a military man in 2009, I had no idea my favorite numbers were one and fifteen. I was pretty sure my favorite number was twenty-one, since it was the number on my high school volleyball jersey. But it wasn’t until I said my vows, moved across the country to a new duty station, and dove into our finances with my husband, that I realized how much I love the numbers one and fifteen. The first, and fifteenth, that is.
While payday is always warmly welcomed, I still find myself a little stressed with my new favorite numbers – which is why I’ve come up with a few tips on some of the stressful things you should avoid on payday.
Avoid the commissary. Yes, I know we all need to eat – food is practically my middle name. But let’s be honest: stalking potential parking spots, watching the person in front of you take the last box of your favorite cereal, and waiting in the seemingly endless maze of shopping carts at the checkout line is just plain NO FUN.
I like to go to the commissary a few days after payday. It gives those wonderful workers time to restock my favorite cereal, plus, I don’t have to walk five miles up hill both ways from my terrible parking spot. And as someone who’s a little impatient, not having to wait in a long checkout line is the cherry on the sundae! However, if you do have to venture to the commissary on payday, you might consider going as soon as it opens, or perhaps in the early afternoon. I have found that those tend to be the less crowded times.
Avoid the bank. Avoid the bank?! Wait, wait. Hear me out. You see, in my family, we use a cash budget, which is exactly that. Cash only. This requires me to make a trip to our local military-friendly bank to withdraw money on my favorite days of the month – or around those days, depending on what day payday actually falls on.
Some banks tend to close later in the evening, but most do not, so I try to avoid what I like to call, “the bewitching hours,” which are middle afternoon and early evening hours. Generally, people visiting the bank during those hours are either making a quick stop during their lunch hour, or are those service members or family members who are stopping by after leaving their “9 to 5” job.
The easy solution is making a quick stop at the ATM. But if you cannot avoid saying hello to your favorite teller inside your local bank branch, visiting the bank in the morning, when it may be less busy, is a great option. For those of us with the unfortunate luck of only being able to make it to the bank during those “bewitching hours,” be prepared by having your identification card out, as well as any required forms filled out and ready to go. This way, your favorite teller can assist you quickly and efficiently.
In military families, time together is so valuable. Using these simple tricks to navigate around those time consuming “bewitching hours” and endless checkout lines, will help make the first and fifteenth less stressful. And who knows? Perhaps one and fifteen will be YOUR new favorite numbers!