Paycheck Basics

Understanding the Basics

The first things you want to know even before you get your paycheck are:

  1. How often are you going to be paid?
    This will affect how you plan your budget and spend your money. Find out if you are going to be paid weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. If you are only getting paid monthly, you don’t want to use all your money during the half of the month. 
  2. Does your company offer direct deposit or will you be given a check each pay period?
    Direct deposit offers convenience. For those of you who do have a hard time saving money direct deposit is the way to go. Since you’ll probably be less likely to spend the money if you don’t actually see it.
  3. If you get direct deposit, how do you view youw pay stub?
    Whether you’re hourly or salary, always check your pay stub each period to ensure everything was correctly entered by payroll.

Pay Type

When you get a job offer, it will list your Gross Pay. Keep in mind that, that amount listed is not what you’ll actually bring home. The average person takes home about 66%-75% of their salary (Net Pay), sometimes that percentage is even less depending on the person’s deductions.

Gross Pay

This is the total amount of pay you actually earned. This can include your:

  • Base Salary
  • Overtime Pay
  • Commission Pay
  • Tips & Bonuses
  • Pay for Vacation/Sick Days
Net Pay

This is your “Take Home Pay.” This is the amount of pay remaining after deductions have been taken from your gross pay. Deductions can include:

  • Taxes
  • Benefits
  • Retirement