Making the most of your paycheck… A to Z Challenge

This post has been posted during the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  It’s letter…..


Of course M has to stand for money! It is after all a big part of my blog. Mainly how to live within the money you already earn. I am going to take this chance to talk about that money. Are you getting the most from your paycheck? Did you know most companies offer more than just your hourly wage? Perhaps your hourly wage is lower due to the added perks your employer offers? I will cover the 4 extras that are usually forgotten about.

CHECK YOUR PAYCHECK! (No not an extra earning but important all the same)

Do you check your paycheck? Making sure the hours you worked match the hours you were paid for? Also if there is overtime or stat holidays make sure it is paid out correctly? If the answer is no, than it’s time to start. Most companies have someone who deals with paychecks, and people can make mistakes.  It is your job to make sure you are being paid properly for your time.

Canadian money is pretty!

COMPANY BENEFITS

Do you have benefits through work for your extra medical expenses? These benefits would cover things like glasses, dentist, massage, prescriptions and more. Every employer does these differently, so you will have to check your own. If you pay for these benefits you should make sure you are paying for what you need. A single 20 year old male will not require the same plan as a 40 year old women with a family of 5. Some companies let you choose the coverage options.  If you have the benefits but pay nothing for them YAHH!!.  But if you are not making use of them you are throwing that “money” away. I have seen plans that cover 100% of things like massage, chiropractor and the like. If you can get $300 worth of “free” massage every year why aren’t you taking advantage of it? When you signed into the benefit program (usually after your 3 month probation) your employer should have given you a book with the details. If you have lost this book ask for another, find out what is covered and make use of what you can!    **NOTE: I live in Ontario not sure how any medical expenses work outside of the province. 

PENSION PLAN

Does your company offer a pension plan? If you don’t know the answer to this question you need to ask them NOW. If they offer to match your contributions you are throwing away that money! Even small companies sometimes offer this option to their employees. The plans that I have seen require you to take 4% off your pay to go into your pension plan then they will MATCH that 4%. When you leave due to retirement or other reasons that money stays with you. (Check your plan some require you to contribute for X# of years to keep the employer contributions).  So you save $20 for retirement and your employer adds an extra $20 to the account! Who likes “free” money?  One more thing to mention;  make sure your pension plan has a good interest rate. The standard plan your employer chooses might not reflect your savings goal. My fiancee had his plan in a very low interest plan, but with 40 years before retirement he could afford more risk. I just wish I would have found it sooner, think of all the interest we lost in the first 2 years!

COMPANY DISCOUNT

If you work in retail you will usually get an employee discount on items bought in the store. You need to factor this in when doing shopping, especially on items you buy regularly or when shopping around, factoring in that 10% (or whatever discount it is).

Remember if your employer offers any of these options you should be taking advantage of them. The dollar amount on your paycheck isn’t always the only payment you can get for the job you do.

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