Why I Never Take My Paychecks Early

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • I've been given the choice to claim my paychecks early.
  • I've opted out of doing so, because getting paid early won't help my long-term financial situation.
  • If you prioritize saving for emergencies, it's possible to get out of the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. 

This service offered by payroll providers may not be the best option.

My payroll service offers a unique feature: early pay. Essentially, I have the option to access my paycheck ahead of the normal scheduled date when my money would typically come to me. 

Although this may seem like a nice way to gain early access to my funds, I've opted not to take advantage of it. Here's why. 

Getting my paycheck two days early wouldn't change my financial situation

The big reason why I have opted not to get my paycheck ahead of the regularly scheduled date is because doing so is not actually going to change my financial situation or provide me with extra money. 

Early pay services are generally touted by the payroll services offering them as an alternative to payday loans or a way to cover unexpected expenses without borrowing. But, what generally ends up happening, according to data from the National Consumer Law Center, is that people tend to start to rely on getting their money early every time. Once they've gotten their early paycheck once, the money doesn't last until their regular payday so they end up getting their money ahead of schedule every single time. 

Now, this isn't likely to happen to me because I am not living paycheck to paycheck. But since I don't want to fall into a cycle where I am relying on early access to my money to help me cover my bills, I don't want to ever start down that road. I don't want to spend money before I have actually earned it, even if it is my own money, since that would just make my life harder later -- and increase the likelihood that I would have to borrow more in the future. 

Should you get your paycheck ahead of schedule? 

If you are living paycheck to paycheck, early access to your money may seem like a lifesaver -- especially if you have bills due before your regularly scheduled paycheck would come.

But rather than relying on access to this service, which serves as nothing more than a temporary fix that's likely to make financial problems worse in the long run, it's better to break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle entirely. 

You can do this by prioritizing emergency savings, and by making a budget that enables you to spend less than you earn each pay cycle. This may mean making some cuts to the things you are currently spending on -- especially when you are working on building up your emergency fund. Or it may mean looking for ways to increase your income, such as by working more hours and/or taking on a side gig.

But once you have been able to save up money for emergencies and ensure you have money left over when your next paycheck comes, you won't need to worry as much about your financial situation -- and you won't have to rely on services like early access to paychecks that don't help you improve your overall financial security. 

If you haven't yet built up an emergency fund and you need to use this service once, it can be better than other methods of borrowing depending on what the terms and conditions are. But be sure you understand what you're committing to and vow not to make early access to your paychecks a habit. 

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow