Leap Year Financial Planning
Dolores Kong

If you're one of the lucky employees getting an
extra paycheck this leap year because there will be
an extra Thursday and Friday payday, you might think
about taking that money and getting a jump on your
personal finances. If you get paid on a weekly or
biweekly basis, the extra day in February, falling
this Sunday, will mean you could get a 53rd or 27th
paycheck for 2004 at the end of December. (That's
presuming your employer won't do what some employers
did in the 1992 leap year: Reduce your weekly pay by
1/53, or your biweekly pay by 1/27, so that your
annual pay is the same despite the extra day, as
noted by the American Payroll Association.) But this
windfall won't go to workers who are on a fixed
salary, or who get paid monthly or bimonthly. If you
do get an extra paycheck, take advantage of it! Why
not use some of that money to make an extra payment
on your mortgage, fund a retirement account, or save
for some other long-term financial goal?