It’s the small things you do that count. Here are some little things you can change about the way you’re paid to tap into the power of your paycheck. While you’re at it, enter to win a bonus paycheck from the American Payroll Association in honor of National Payroll Week, September 2-6.
1. Not Saving Enough
It’s no secret that most of us aren’t putting enough away for a rainy day. Make saving a priority and EASY with the help of your payroll department by requesting split direct deposit into multiple bank accounts. Have them transfer a set amount, say $100, from each paycheck into a savings account while the rest goes into your checking account for expenses. Just set it and forget it!
2. Not Preparing for the Future
Many Americans (and we’re not just looking at you Millennials) aren’t fully taking advantage of retirement savings programs at work. One dollar put aside today can grow exponentially more valuable by the time you retire. Find out if your employer gives a percentage match to your retirement contributions. If they do and you’re not taking advantage you’re throwing away free money!
3. Not Evaluating Your Withholdings
Remember that federal Form W-4 you had to fill out when you first started your job? This form is what tells your employer how much money to take out of each paycheck for federal income taxes. If you haven’t thought about it since your first day on the job, it may be time to review it to make sure your withholdings still meet your current tax and financial situation. For help, use the IRS’s Tax Withholding Estimator.
4. Not Planning for Doctor Visits
Medical costs are expensive, and UNEXPECTED medical costs can pack a heavy punch. Plan ahead and find out if your employer offers a Health Care Flexible Spending Account, in addition to your basic health and benefits plan. If they do, you’ll be able to allocate a portion of your paycheck to save specifically for medical costs while saving valuable tax dollars.
5. Not Exploring Different Payment Methods
There are several different ways to receive your hard-earned wages. Ask your payroll department what electronic payment options your employer offers. Electronic payments offer an environmentally friendly, more guaranteed form of payment than your old-school paper paychecks. From direct deposit, payroll cards, and even on-demand pay – there’s a perfect fit out there for you and your finances.
6. Not Being Smart With Your Work Commute
Did you know that many employers offer transportation and commuting benefits? If your employer does, you might be able to pay for all or a portion of your commuting expenses on a tax exempt basis! Check to see if your employer offers a program and how it works.
7. Not Thinking of Your Dependents
Ask your employer if they offer Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. If you have dependent care costs, like day care and summer day camp, deducted from your pre-tax paycheck then you can save money by lowering your tax bill!
After taking a close look at how your paycheck is being calculated be sure to take the “Getting Paid In America” survey, available through September 6. You’ll be automatically entered to win a bonus paycheck and your dream vacation from the American Payroll Association.