Is it better to get paid every 2 weeks or twice a month?


Before making any decision about how often you pay employees, check your state’s payday requirements from the DOL as some states require more frequent pay intervals. That means that tracking your hours is a bit more complex, and you can’t count on the paycheck always being the same each month, even if your number of hours is consistent. The first records of the word bimonthly come from the 1800s. A bimonthly publication can come out two times a month or every two months .

How many biweekly are in a month?

We calculate an accelerated biweekly payment, for example, by taking your normal monthly payment and dividing it by two. Since you would pay 26 biweekly payments, by the end of a year you would have paid the equivalent of one extra monthly payment.

It seems to me that the confusion occurs because it is not clearly stated to which half of the equation the prefix refers. Given that the equation is occurrences per time period, if “bi” refers to occurrences, that is two occurrences per time period. If “bi” refers to time periods, then it is one occurrence per two time periods. If the barometer is “weekly,” then bi-weekly would seem to mean you’re meeting two times or twice each week.

The Bottom Line: Biweekly Mortgage Payments Can Be Worth It

Again with a “weekly” barometer, if you’re meeting half as frequently as weekly then you would be meeting every other week. You’re only partly meeting once a week, at every second week instead. Of course, to avoid ambiguity, one could go with semi-quad-weekly . It also applies analogously for the “semi” prefix and for the less common “tri” prefix and other numeric multiplier prefixes.

For more information on available products and services, and to discuss your options, please contact a Chase Home Lending Advisor. Erin Ellison is the former Content Marketing Manager for OnPay. She has more than 15 years of writing experience, is a former small business owner, and has managed payroll, scheduling, and HR for more than 75 employees. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each approach.

Drawbacks to biweekly payments

As a result of the frequency difference between semi-monthly and bi-weekly payroll, semi-monthly employees receive 24 paychecks each year, while biweekly employees receive 26. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 36.5% of employees are paid biweekly. On the other hand, only 19.8% of employees are paid using the semimonthly payroll frequency. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 43% of employees are paid biweekly.

A bicycle, for instance, has two wheels, and a bicameral legislature has two houses. Rachel Blakely-Gray is a writer for Patriot Software, a provider of semi monthly vs bi weeklyroll and human resources management solutions for small businesses. Get up and running with free payroll setup, and enjoy free expert support.

How to Calculate Wages & Salaries

For example, it can be more difficult to process the paychecks of hourly employees on a semi-monthly basis than on a bi-weekly basis. Because hourly wages are easier to calculate on a bi-weekly basis, as each paycheck accounts for the same number of days. Conversely, semi-monthly paychecks will vary in the number of days they include, making it more challenging for whoever handles the company’s payroll. From an organizational perspective, it is somewhat easier for the payroll staff to prepare a biweekly payroll, since processing steps always take place on the same day of each week . When a semimonthly payroll is used, processing steps constantly shift around among different days of the week, since the pay date is not fixed on a specific day of the week. The difference between a semimonthly and a biweekly payroll is that the semimonthly one is paid 24 times per year, and the biweekly one is paid 26 times per year.

latin meaning

A biweekly payroll schedule will typically be seen in the eyes of your employees as “dependable” and “consistent”. Also, your payroll clerk will be able to keep a consistent schedule and pace with how they distribute them. The one downside to biweekly payments is the inconsistency in how much money you are paying out each month. There will always be a couple of months where you will have three paydays instead of two.

The difference between semimonthly and biweekly payroll

I contend that using bi- infers the event occurs twice as often, i.e. twice per base period or twice per week. Semi- infers half, or that the event happens half as often, i.e. every two weeks. We did not identify any definition as “proper.” We reported what you will find if you look the words up in the dictionary. It is good that we inform our readers that these words can lead to confusion. We see the contradictions and have acknowledged them in the blog.


If you are paid semi-monthly, you will be paid $1,750 per paycheck before taxes . If you’re paid bi-weekly, you will receive $1,615.38 per paycheck before taxes . Although your total annual earnings will be $42,000 with either option, this is definitely a factor that is worth noting — especially when you’re creating your monthly budget. From an efficiency perspective, the semimonthly payroll is preferable, since there are two fewer payrolls per year to prepare. Also, it is somewhat easier to apportion salaries and wages among the correct months with the semimonthly method, since there is less need for month-end adjusting entries.

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