3 Paycheck Months 2023: A Guide to Unlocking Your Extra Payday

If you get paid biweekly, there are two months every year when you get three paychecks instead of two.

My current employer pays out my annual salary biweekly or every other week on Friday. My husband is not a regular employee, but he’s contracting with a software company. The company pays employees and contract workers semimonthly, meaning he gets paid twice monthly on the 15th and 30th (or the last day of the month).

Here’s how our differing pay periods break down:

  • Biweekly Pay: 52 weeks per year ÷ 2 = 26 Paychecks
  • Bimonthly aka Semimonthly Payroll: 12 months per year x 2 = 24 paychecks

People getting biweekly paychecks get a third paycheck twice yearly due to 26 checks over 12 months. Below is your guide to 3 paycheck months 2023? 

3 Paycheck Months 2023

Identifying the months when you get a third paycheck is a matter of pulling out a calendar and highlighting your paydays for the year. For people who get paid every other Friday:

  • If your first paycheck of 2023 is Friday, January 6, your three paycheck months are March and September.
  • If your first paycheck of 2023 is Friday, January 13, your three paycheck months are June and December.

Knowing when the three paycheck months in 2023 occur helps you plan how to use the extra cash. You can improve your financial future by saving or investing the money, establishing an emergency fund if you don’t have one, or making additional mortgage payments to pay off your home faster.

2023 Three Paycheck Months Starting January 6

Here is a payroll calendar with the three paycheck months in 2023 highlighted when your first paycheck is on January 6, 2023:

Payroll calendar for 2023 with the 3 paycheck months highlighted when your first payday is January 6.
Three paycheck months 2023 when you get your first paycheck on January 6.

2023 Three Paycheck Months Starting January 13

And here is a payroll calendar with the three paycheck months in 2023 highlighted when your first paycheck is on January 13, 2023:

Payday calendar for 2023 with the 3 paycheck months highlighted when your first payday is January 13.
Months with 3 paychecks 2023 when your first check is January 13.

Friday Biweekly Paydays in 2023

The table below contains a pay schedule with all the biweekly paydays in 2023 for employees paid every other Friday. That’s twenty-six checks for the year. The two extra paycheck months are in bold.

Paycheck Number First 2023 Paycheck – Friday, January 6 First 2023 Paycheck – Friday, January 13
1 January 6 January 13
2 January 20 January 27
3 February 3 February 10
4 February 17 February 24
5 March 3 March 10
6 March 17 March 24
7 March 31 April 7
8 April 14 April 21
9 April 28 May 5
10 May 12 May 19
11 May 26 June 2
12 June 9 June 16
13 June 23 June 30
14 July 7 July 14
15 July 21 July 28
16 August 4 August 11
17 August 18 August 25
18 September 1 September 8
19 September 15 September 22
20 September 29 October 6
21 October 13 October 20
22 October 27 November 3
23 November 10 November 17
24 November 24 December 1
25 December 8 December 15
26 December 22 December 29

What if I Don’t Get Paid on Fridays?

Calculating your three paycheck months in 2023 is simple if you get biweekly paychecks but not on Fridays. All you need is a calendar and a pen. Circle your paydays and find the months with three paychecks in 2023.

How to Take Advantage of a Three-Paycheck Month

Here’s a simple monthly budgeting technique to make that third check like a windfall: create your monthly budget based on your usual two monthly paychecks.

If you don’t change your budget with an extra paycheck, all your expenses for the calendar month will be covered since you budgeted for them based on an average two-paycheck month. When that third paycheck arrives, you’ll find yourself with extra cash. If you haven’t started budgeting, a three-paycheck month is perfect for creating your first budget.

What to Do With the Money From Your Extra Paychecks

Treat that money like a cash bonus. You can do whatever you want with your extra paycheck, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Start an Emergency Fund – Try to put aside at least $1,000 to use in case an unplanned expense arises. Ideally, you have three to six months’ worth of expenses in case of financial emergencies like job loss or an unexpected car repair. If you don’t have money set aside in case of emergencies, months with three pay periods are the perfect time to start building an emergency fund.
  2. Pay Down Debt – Use the additional funds for a loan or credit card payment. Paying down any outstanding credit card debt or loan balances with that extra paycheck will save you on interest and help you retire your debt earlier. If you’re using the debt snowball or debt avalanche to get out of debt faster, the extra cash will get it rolling.
  3. Make Extra Mortgage Payments – Put those extra paychecks toward your mortgage if you’re not planning to leave your home soon. With an additional payment once or twice a year, you’ll pay off your home early and reduce the interest you pay over the life of the loan. Ensure the money is applied toward the principal instead of next month’s payment. Check with your mortgage lender first, as some charge prepayment penalties.
  4. Save it for Upcoming Expenses – Earmark the cash for any large upcoming expenses you anticipate. Knock out your insurance premiums for the year, take care of any car or home repairs you’ve been putting off, or save it for a down payment on a house.
  5. Save for Retirement – If you have a Roth or a traditional IRA for your retirement savings, a three-check month is the perfect time to contribute. If you don’t have a retirement account, use the extra checks to open one and save for the future.
  6. Splurge a Little – It’s OK to treat yourself a bit since you won’t be going into debt or missing any payments to do it. Grab a new outfit or vacation, or buy Christmas gifts for others during that three-check month. If your bills are paid, and you’re taking care of your savings, using the extra funds like bonus money won’t hurt you during the triple paycheck months. Frugal fatigue can occur when you live on a tight budget for weeks or months. If you have an emergency fund and your financial house is in order, I don’t see anything wrong with spending a little cash on yourself.
  7. Get Ahead of Your Bills – You can use the third check to transition your budget to the half-payment method to even out your bill payments. Or you could use that extra paycheck to get one month ahead on bills and break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.

Getting Three Paychecks in a Month

Three paycheck months offer you many options to better your financial situation. You can pay down credit card balances, get ahead on your bills or other regular expenses, take care of a significant expense, or use it to build financial security by making financially sound investments.

Taking a trip or buying a new outfit with a portion of the extra check won’t wreck your budget. That third check is a good opportunity. When those three paycheck months roll around, be intentional with your money no matter how you decide to use it, whether saving it or spending it.


Frequently asked questions about three paycheck months and biweekly pay periods.

What months do you get paid three times in 2023?

If you receive your first paycheck of 2023 on Friday, January 6, March and September are your three paycheck months. If you get your first 2023 paycheck on Friday, January 13, your three paycheck months in 2023 are June and December.

Is a third paycheck really extra?

The third paycheck you get isn’t really extra money. Your annual salary is the same. However, your monthly take-home pay differs during the two months you get three paychecks. You can save the extra money you earn, pay down debt, or put it toward one of your financial goals.

Does getting paid three times in a month help?

Yes, getting paid three times a month helps. If you base your monthly budget on two paychecks, you can use the third check for whatever you want during a three-paycheck month. You can save or use that extra paycheck to help you reach your financial goals.

How Many Paychecks Do You Get in a Year?

If you get paid bi-weekly, you receive 26 paychecks per year. Since bi-weekly payroll cycles happen once every two weeks, there will be three pay periods in a month twice a year.

How Many Paychecks Do You Get In 2023?

2023 will have 26 pay periods for those being paid biweekly. There will be two months with three pay periods.

Image Credits: Unsplash and KindaFrugal.com