Thursday, for most shows, is payday.1
It’s a wonderful time for payroll accountants, because they suddenly become the most popular people on the show. But for us in the production office, it’s a deluge of phone calls, asking the same question, over and over: “Are paychecks coming today?”
YES, PAY CHECKS ARE COMING TODAY! Paychecks come on Thursday. Today is Thursday. Ergo, paychecks are coming today.
The thing that really gets me are the people who immediately run off to the bank. I knew an accountant who regularly had to deposit her paychecks that day, or she’d be over drawn. This is not a situation an accountant of all people should be in.
But in a broader sense, if you’re a grown-ass adult, and you’re worried about overdraft fees every week, something has gone terribly wrong.2 You need to have a little money saved up. Waiting until the weekend to deposit your check should not make or break you.
“But I work freelance, TAPA! Sometimes I go for months between shows, and I need to get the money in my account right now!”
Oh, your job status is inconsistent? This is exactly why you should have money saved up. At the end of hiatus, yes, your bank account might be a little thin, but mid-season, this should not still be happening. If it is, you need to seriously look into cutting expenses. Don’t budget based on your weekly rate; budget based on your annual income, which is significantly less, when you account for hiatuses, show cancellations, and so on.
Then, payday won’t be such a big deal for you.
Of course, all of this is a non-issue with direct deposit or mobile banking.