How the timing of your Social Security check impacts your financial health

Personal Finance

Your financial wellness could hinge on the timing of your Social Security check every month, according to new research.

For 28 million beneficiaries, Social Security checks are issued on the second, third or fourth Wednesday of every month according to birth date. Other beneficiaries get their checks at other times of the month.

The timing of those checks and how they correspond to the due dates for your bills can make a big difference whether you are cash rich or cash strapped, research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found.

For every one week increase in the timing between when the money comes in and when bills are due, there is an 18 percent increase in the likelihood you will come up short, the research found.

A one-week discrepancy in timing between checks and bills also leads to 42 percent more bounced checks, 37 percent more online payday loans and 13 percent more overdrafts.

“If you have these big recurring bills due right when you get your check, there’s going to be less opportunity to squander your cash,” said Brian Baugh, assistant professor of finance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a co-author of the research.

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