The 9 Best Paychecks in the World 🏆

Let’s be honest, ANY paycheck is a good paycheck…

But sometimes, an extra special payday rolls around and the money makes you feel absolutely on top of the world! It’s not about the size of the check but rather *how and when* the money is received that makes it stand out.

Here’s a countdown of the best 9 paychecks in the world, ranked by how awesome they make you feel… 

9. Payday when you are on vacation

You’re sitting there, poolside, sipping on a pina colada… as you reach down to grab your cell phone, a message pops up on your banking app: “Cha-ching! You just got PAID!” You’d forgotten all about what day it was because you were too busy relaxing on vacation.

The feeling of getting paid while doing nothing on vacation is awesome (even though you know in the back of your head that you busted your ass to earn time off and that paycheck) because it’s a glimpse into what future financial independence feels like!

8. Payday falling on your birthday

It’s always fun when it’s Friday, your birthday, AND payday all at the same time. Three separate celebrations, all coming together on one glorious day!

(What are the chances of having a payday on your actual birthday? 🤔  I thought the answer would be about 1 in every 14 years… But after researching a bit more, this is actually a really complex problem to solve given the weirdness of a perpetual calendar and the doomsday rule. Any math nerds out there care to figure this problem out?)

7. A random cash bonus (or tip!)

One of my old bosses stopped by my cubicle on a random Friday afternoon. He pulled out a crisp $100 bill from his pocket, placed it on my desk and said, “Thanks for all your hard work this week, Joel. Why don’t you knock off early and take your girlfriend out for a nice dinner.” I’ll never forget how appreciated I felt that day.

Teacher appreciation cash, thank you gift cards, large tips in the service industry… Random acts of kindness combined with cash = A GREAT DAY!

(Not to mention when you get a CASH gift – usually you don’t pay any taxes. Double bonus!)

6. The paycheck you forget about 🤦‍♂️

You know when you do contract work for someone, or maybe you lend money to a friend that’s hard to collect on… After chasing payment for a few months, you kind of write off the money and put the whole experience out of your mind…

Then out of nowhere one day, a check shows up! You think to yourself, “Dang! I’d forgotten all about that!” What a great feeling that all is right in the world again.

5. First paycheck from a new side hustle

Whether it’s making your first $1 online or picking up a new side gig to increase savings, getting that first initial paycheck is such an empowering feeling.

No matter the size, first paychecks are proof that your ideas and efforts are paying off. Hustling can be hard (which is why most people don’t do it!), so the rewards are truly well earned and they taste sweeter because you’re earning money on your own terms.

4. The biggest, baddest paycheck you’ve ever received

I know I said size didn’t matter, but in this case it does. Massive paychecks are memorable moments!

I remember the first massive commission check I ever made. It was like $30k, paid in a lump sum after finally bringing in a huge new client for my company. The sale took ~18 months, countless client meetings and problems to solve, but all my effort was worth it in the end.

Selling a house, your business, or another big investment has the same big paycheck feeling. When the money hits your account, you have to do a double-take because the balance is so unusually high… What a great feeling! (Until you “spend” the money a few days later by moving it into your brokerage account. 😉)

3. First rent check from a rental property

Buying a rental property takes a TON of time and effort. Not to mention a pretty hefty down payment saved up from years of hard work.

There’s a lot to be excited about when real estate investing, but there’s no better feeling than the day your first incoming rent check hits your bank account. Ideally, tenants are paying down your mortgage, as well as giving you some excess cash flow for the month. It’s time to celebrate!

2. Your final debt payment!

Being in debt means a portion of everything you earn is going to someone else. Credit cards, auto loans, student loans, etc. all have interest payments that can hold you back and make you feel trapped.

Well, when that last paycheck rolls in and it’s applied to your final debt payment, the freedom feeling is euphoric. It makes you want to SCREAM with joy. In fact, Dave Ramsey built an entire show about having people share their feelings and give a debt free scream!

Congrats to all of you who have achieved and felt this. Truly, you are amazing.

1. Any PASSIVE paychecks after achieving FIRE 🔥

And the No. 1 best paycheck you can receive is ANY and ALL paychecks that come to you passively, fully covering your cost of living.

The road to financial independence is loooooong. It requires hard work, sacrifice, and consistency. But all that hard work pays off when you’ve built enough investments to provide a passive income stream for the rest of your life. At that point, you never have to work for money again — if you don’t want to.

What did I miss? Any of you guys celebrating any of these right now!!?!?!

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Love, Joel

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  1. Nita December 17, 2021 at 2:14 AM

    I get the birthday pay almost every year ^^
    I’m paid monthly and we get paid either on the 29th of the month or the last working day before that (except Feb obviously). I was born on a 29th, so either it’s a weekend or payday.

    1. Joel December 17, 2021 at 10:36 AM

      Lucky!!! On the flip side, there are those poor people that have a birthday on a national holiday (like Dec 25th) and they will never experience the joy that you recieve almost every year. :(. But they do get a holiday so all their friends have the day off. Not bad i guess!

  2. Liz December 17, 2021 at 7:18 AM

    The vacation Friday one…but I took 2 weeks off between jobs. I also knew I had a vacation payout check coming!

    Another tip, if you’ve got the PTO take your birthday off! Then you can combo birthday and vacation day paycheck.

    One of my banks the paycheck funds show up Wednesday which adds an interesting layer to some of the above options. Or the holiday on a Friday hopefully pays the Thursday and not the following Monday.

    I’ve worked different places and experienced 15th & 30th, paid 2x a month (24 paychecks), every 2 weeks (26 paychecks). The 3rd paycheck 2x a year feels like a bonus! With switching jobs this year the Friday pay day switched but for a sooner check not a larger gap between. I think one place paid Thursday instead of Fridays. As long as the money arrives when its supposed to!!

    Happy Pay Day Friday!

    1. Joel December 17, 2021 at 10:39 AM

      You just gave me an idea… Since i’m a contractor, technically I can request which day I get paid at the end of each month. And since my birthday is on Dec 30th, maybe I’ll request pay on that day every year :). Or, maybe I’ll tell them to hold ALL of my paychecks throughotu the year, and then dump EVERYTHING into 1 glorios paycheck on Dec 30th. That would be fun :)

  3. Jason Brown December 17, 2021 at 10:17 AM

    I’ve always said that found money is the best money! Although this doesn’t fall under your “paycheck” bucket, the other day I found a lottery scratch off ticket on the ground in front of our community dumpster. I picked it up and just before I tossed it into the dumpster I decided to check it — just in case. Well, it was a ticket that had won $15 on it! I paid it forward and used the money to buy a gift for the office’s annual holiday toy drive donation for the kids!

    1. Joel December 17, 2021 at 10:40 AM

      That is AWESOME! I see tickets on the ground all the time and never check them. Maybe I need to be more optimistic!

      Love that you paid it forward :) Good karma Jason!!

  4. Dragon Guy December 17, 2021 at 10:21 AM

    I’d add the third paycheck of the month for those that get paid every other week. It only happens twice a year, but it is also often higher because medical insurance benefits are usually not taken out from that paycheck (at least in my experience)!

    1. Joel December 17, 2021 at 10:41 AM

      Good call!! I forgot about those. And I love that it’s a ‘higher value’ check because of less deductions.

  5. David Hunter December 17, 2021 at 10:41 PM

    My best paycheck is… #5: First paycheck from a new side hustle! Back in 2014 I started affiliate marketing and got my first check in the mail for $39.60. It literally felt like I won the lottery! I still have it framed and hung up on my wall. I don’t do too much in the affiliate marketing world anymore, but it was a huge eye opener that I could really do things on my own.

    1. Joel December 17, 2021 at 11:21 PM

      Proud of you David. That’s an awesome story. Whenever I see a $1 bill framed or a paycheck hanging on someone’s wall, I like to ask about it… usually their face lights up as they recall an amazing turning point in life.

      It’s not about the money — it’s the *feeling* you never forget.

      Thanks for sharing!! That’s awesome you got it in the mail too :)

  6. steveark December 19, 2021 at 12:17 PM

    I had emotionally written off $12,000 in consulting for a group that had hit hard times and I was OK with it. I’m past needing to get paid anything, I just did it to stay sharp and because I believed in their mission. However they needed me to do one other little job and their accounts were better than they expected so they paid me in full out of the blue. Its not huge but getting twelve large as a total surprise was pretty fun!

    1. Joel December 19, 2021 at 12:53 PM

      Daaaang! That’s a nice pay day. But it’s even better feeling that they paid their dues and are in good financial standing.

      Love that you are staying sharp Steve :)

  7. Anonymous December 20, 2021 at 9:04 PM

    It’s not a paycheck, but finding unclaimed property is fun. Your Florida readers can visit

    1. Joel December 20, 2021 at 10:02 PM

      YES!!! Everyone in all US states should check out this –> missing money!! Last year about 20 people wrote me saying they found $$ owed to them, I think it was like $5k in total that people found. GREAT payday!

  8. NZ Muse December 21, 2021 at 4:23 AM

    Sooo good! Love this take

  9. Dividend Power December 21, 2021 at 9:39 AM

    I like No. 2 the best. We just paid off your car this month and it was a great feeling. One more debt payment to go.

    1. Joel December 21, 2021 at 12:27 PM

      CONGRATS! And now all paychecks going forward are that tiny bit sweeter because without the debt payments there’s more for investing! :)

  10. TB from the Midwest December 21, 2021 at 3:31 PM

    One of my favorite paychecks to receive is the first paycheck after a significant promotion and corresponding pay raise. I always try to estimate the change in my take-home pay before I receive the first paycheck with the increased salary. It’s fun to see how close I was and what the true take-home pay increase actually is. Then, the 2nd best part is allocating the increase to our budget…although it seems anymore that everything goes to savings (either short term needs, or most likely retirement savings).

    1. Joel December 21, 2021 at 3:44 PM

      That’s an awesome game to play… “Guess your raise”!

      Glad to hear all your extra pay goes to savings. I know it’s boring, but boring is good! :)

  11. Mrs. FCB @financialchainbreakers December 29, 2021 at 3:52 AM

    Yes to all of these. I’ve experienced most of them, and they all feel good. But the most exhilarating was side hustle income — specifically from some DoorDash driving my husband and I did early on during COVID lockdowns because we were bored. As mid-career professionals, the money paled in comparison to our salaries, but it felt so much better. We actually worked for that money! And the amount was directly tied to how hard we worked. It was a feeling we hadn’t had since waiting tables decades ago. Of course, we’re obviously not giving up our day jobs to go do that, but it was eye-opening!

    1. Joel December 29, 2021 at 10:06 AM

      Great example!!! Money *feels* different depending on how it comes into your life. I’m proud of you guys for doing that during the pandemic and helping people with groceries. Well deserved side income!!!