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What Do You Do With a Third Paycheck?


November is a month of extras. Extra hour of sleep, extra layers of clothes (for those of us in Michigan), extra food at holiday gatherings, and for my husband and I — an extra paycheck! Our monthly budget accounts for bi-weekly paychecks but June and November brought a third check this year. There are endless options of what this extra income can be used for. If you haven’t already incorporated the extra income into your budget, here are a few ideas.

Catch up on Bills

Are you behind on any payments? If winter is approaching in your area, you could even plan ahead with the extra paycheck to prepare for the rise in your energy bills if you crank up the heat.

Make an extra payment on your mortgage

Say you took out a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for $250,000 at 4%. If you only paid an extra $50/month toward your mortgage, you’d shave off 26 months of payments and save $15,000 that would have been thrown away to interest! Imagine how much time and money you could save with an entire 3rd paycheck? Or even half of that 3rd paycheck?

Take a vacation

Maybe you’d consider this a selfish route, but when is the last time you got to go away or did something fun? My husband and I are very driven when it comes to our financial goals (as evidenced by paying of $30,000 of student loans in 9 months!) so we set aside an amount each month that goes toward vacations. If we didn’t intentionally set money aside then we’d probably never get away. Being zealous in pursuing financial goals is great but being zealous in enriching our marriage is also worth the extra money we could be putting toward our financial goals.

Christmas shopping

The holidays are quickly approaching and unless you’ve been putting away a little here and there to save for gifts then this paycheck may be your Christmas shopping money.

Budget for Health’s plans

Super boring but super helpful; our third paycheck is going right toward our “home-sweet-home” savings account. We made the same boring decision with paycheck #3 in June and put it toward our savings for a second car we may need depending where we move. Our apartment lease will be up this May and we hope to have a fat down payment to put toward our first home. We’re almost halfway there!

What do you do with the extra money after a triple-paycheck month?



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. This month mine is going towards student loans!

  2. I get paid twice a month so this doesn’t happen to me anymore. I used to put the extra.check toward one of my savings goals in my past jobs though.

  3. Student loans for me, just broke the $10k mark!

  4. Interesting list of things to do if you get an extra paycheck. If you do not have to pay for anything else, you might as well save a portion of it for rainy days. Although, I think because there are a lot of important occasions coming up, you’ll always find something useful for it.

    • It would be wise to support an emergency fund if you didn’t have one or at least an extra $1,000 padding.

  5. Our budget is more weekly based than monthly, so months with an extra paycheck aren’t really obvious to us.

    My parents, however, are perennially behind on bills and use their “extra” check to pay late bills.

    • I never thought of doing a weekly budget. Our expenses don’t change that much that it would seem redundant to plan that much detail. Do your expenses really fluctuate from week to week?

  6. I just put it into savings always. Do not spend it unless I need to. I think I need a dentist appmnt and contacts but those are needs and not wants. Save it for a rainy day. If I had debt, I would pay it off.

    • It never hurts to save a little extra for the unknown. It’s wise to evaluate what counts as a need versus a want or else I’d have a giant TV by now!

  7. I pay my taxes on my house with the 3rd check twice a year.

    • Smart idea to have it planned. I’m sure our third paycheck will go toward house savings/mortgage until it’s paid off…then probably saving for a family vacation…or kids’ college

    • That’s funny, because that’s where most of the 2 of our extra paychecks go also.
      Strangely enough, I did calculate my per paycheck withdrawal into an account whose sole purpose is to pay the mortgage. That account carries an extra balance up until the paycheck just before the next “extra” paycheck arrives to slightly overfund the mortgage payment account.

  8. My extra paycheck typically goes to our home mortgage. I’ll have to use some of it on fun though – maybe some tickets to a Detroit Tiger game for next year? 🙂

    • That’s a good idea- use MOST of the extra check toward something important like debt/savings and live a little by doing something fun with the rest. Dave made it to a Tigers game this year but I didn’t get a chance. We really want to check out the Henry Ford Museum!

  9. We are renovating a rental property so we’re using our 3rd paycheck to help pay for that. Can’t wait to get it done and get some renters in there! This will be our 1st intentional rental. Our rental now is accidental – our original home that came back to us through a failed land contract. That was fun. 🙂

    • oh boy sounds fun haha that’s a good idea to keep in mind when we finally have a home if we need some renovations done.

  10. I don’t get an extra paycheck because we’re only paid twice a monthly regardless of the days. But, based on business this year, I should be getting a bonus check which I treat just like any normal check. Part save and part fun.

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