What does "payday" mean to you?

Pay Day! What day that can bring more happiness or sorrow to anyone’s heart than “Pay Day?” The meaning of the day might seem self-evident, until you wonder where the word “pay” derives from. Just to enlighten you on some meaningless trivia, Dictionary.com describes the history of the word pay as follows:

The word pay ultimately derives from the Latin word pāx, “peace.” However, it is not the peace of the one who pays that is involved in this development of meaning. From pāx, meaning “peace” and also “a settlement of hostilities,” was derived the word pācāre, “to impose a settlement on peoples or territories.” In Late Latin, pācāre was extended in sense to mean “to appease.”

Thus, the word really means to enforce a settlement on a conquered people. Hopefully, today, our bosses do not impose a forced settlement on us and instead we get a bundle of loot. There are many who would disagree with this statement and with forced cutbacks and give backs becoming common, it would be hard to argue this point. Nevertheless, however it is received; it just goes from one hand in to the other hand out. Who among us does not have more bills than income? Until the “Great Recession,” the average American spent five percent more than they earned. This was true in much of the developed world. We were spending more than we were making. We have become a consumer driven world economy and it has become too extreme. We need a better balance between production and consumption and Green. Green is really a way of thinking about how our consumption and production will affect the world today and tomorrow. We cannot keep expecting other countries or other generations to shoulder the burden for our extravagance.

Come payday, you may be in the camp of happy people or sad people, depending on how much loot you have left over. Payday can be a relief in any case, if it keeps the debt collectors just one more week away. Sadly, it is harder to juggle bills than in the past. With electronic transfers and instant cash and all the other new ways of managing money, we often have very little time between the deposit of our pay checks and when we pay our bills. If you are doing on-line bill pay, you probably have your money taken out of your account in less than twenty four hours. Gone are the days when you could “float” a check for a week or so. In today’s world, paydays just don’t go as far as they used to.

How do you handle your pay check? Are you in the modern world of on-line bill pay or do you get cash and pay your bills with checks? Do you have direct deposit or do you still get to pretend that you are rich for a few hours? Do you look forward to paydays or do you dread the day?

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bgalbreath
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 20:31:18

    No matter what it has taken, I have always lived below my income. I am very cheap. I only buy second hand clothes and shop for food at a place that features out dated packages and dented cans. I use credit cards, but never pay interest because I pay the full balance every month (and both my cards have no annual fee and give me a “reward” of 1% on my purchases). Since I don't live paycheck to paycheck, payday doesn't carry too much emotional punch to me. I do as much on-line and direct deposit as I can (it saves on postage)

    I'm not bragging. I think my cheapness has held me back in some ways. I have long realized that if there were a lot of people like me that the economy would be in a permanent recession, or worse,



  2. John Persico
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 10:27:56

    Maybe the US would have missed the Great Recession if more people followed your budget and spending habits Bruce. I tend to favor your way of spending. One of my comments to my students is that you can always spend more than you make.



  3. bgalbreath
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 12:37:06

    One problem with my spending habits is that they are essentially parsitic. I can only buy used cars and second hand clothes atfer somebody else has bought new. Plus our monetary system is built on debt. The Federal Reserve creates money by issuing debt. In theory, if we ever paid off the national debt, our money would disappear. People and companies living beyond their means allows banks to create money (through issuing loans) and th resulting spending increases the velocity of money. By refusing to join in with the debt binge I am being positively un-American!



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