Waiting (or Paying) to Access a Paycheck?

One of my sons and I were recently discussing the benefits of setting up his weekly paycheck for direct deposit.

He happens to work for a large fast-food franchise that employs numerous teenagers and young adults. He had asked his boss about direct deposit and she said: “Just bring me your bank information and I’ll take care of getting you setup.” He brought that with him to work today.

But, I’m confused: Why wouldn’t they have promoted this to (even PUSHED this on) their employees? It would seem that setting EVERY employee up for direct deposit would be a win-win, for ALL!

“The company” would reduce the expenses associated with printing paychecks and (in the case of my son’s employer) distributing these checks to their thousands of locations. Instead, send email to notify the employees that the direct deposit has been scheduled.

An individual serves to benefit by gaining “immediate” access to ALL their funds on payday vs. waiting 2-3 business days for the check to clear.

Someone might ask: “What if someone doesn’t have a bank account?” There is a real simple answer to that: Get one, RIGHT NOW! The alternative is to pay a fee to access our hard-earned money. Absolutely ridiculous. There are no-fee checking accounts available. Try CapitalOne (previously ING Direct). By clicking on this link they will pay you $50 for signing up! BONUS (FREE MONEY)!!!

I just visited a highly popular establishment (there is one near you too) that offers a check cashing service:

  • The “small fee” of $3.00 for checks up to and including $1000.

So, if our young adult doesn’t have a bank account but goes to this particular establishment they will pay $3.00 per week just to gain access to their paycheck. Given the hourly rate, they are actually working more than 1/3 of an hour just to cash the check! Not to mention the time it took to go there, wait in line and complete this (painful) transaction. Painful in that this person is giving away a portion of their hard-earned paycheck just to get at the remainder. I HATE that 🙂

When considering the cost over a year, it amounts to a waste of $156. What young adult wouldn’t like a bonus of $156? And, if they continued this way for 10 years: $1,560. Ouch!

In closing, if you are not setup for direct deposit discuss this with your manager. Even a small firm with few employees can do this! While they may not actively promote this, most will have (or could make) this option available. You just need to ask – and, maybe push a little.

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