Friday, October 9, 2015
How Much Do You Make?
I am not asking you a personal question. I actually do not wish to know how much you make. But you should.
Of course you know your salary. That is the money your employer pays you. Whether you are paid weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly you receive a monetary payment for your efforts.
Of course we all wish that we made more money. It seems like there is never enough. Perhaps you work for a business that gives periodic raises in pay. That helps because you know that you will have a little bit more money to use.
But there is more to your wages than you normally think.
Do you get paid vacation time each year? That is part of your wages. You are being paid to relax and renew yourself. Employers who are smart give you a vacation because they know that an employee who feels fresh will do a better job.
Paid breaks also give you a chance to get away from the work for a few moments. It provides a good work environment. Some employees even receive a paid lunch but that is not as common. Because you are paid this is part of your wage package.
Maternity and paternity leave is another part of your wage package. The ability to nurture a new baby in those important first days was not always allowed. At any rate the knowledge that you have a job to return to is a guarantee that you will be able to support your child.
Sick days and personal days are days that your employer pays you even when you are not at work. You do not lose your salary because you are ill or if you need to take care of personal business during work hours. Again this is part of your wage package.
If for some reason you are laid off from work for a while you are entitled to unemployment benefits. You are paid (even if it is less than your normal wages) while you either wait to be called back to work or while you look for a new job. The money for these payments comes from a fund that your employer pays into. Wage package.
Most employers pay for a life insurance policy for employees. Usually it is the equivalent of approximately one years salary. As long as you are employed your family will have a bit of a cushion if something happens to you. This is also a part of your wages.
The same thing applies for health insurance. These days employees usually pay a premium that is deducted from their paycheck. But that premium is a small fraction of what you would pay if you were to purchase health insurance on your own. Health insurance is one of the best parts of your wage package.
If bonuses are given at your place of business they are added into the rest of your salary on your W-2 forms. That is proof that bomuses are part of the wage package.
Retirement funds are another part of the wage package. You may pay into a part of a pension fund. Or you may have a 401K or something. Sometimes the employer matches funds. Either way they help facilitate the payments and often you get a better deal because it is a group program.
There may be other benefits offered by your employer that I did not include. And not all of these benefits are offered by all employers. I am making a point here.
This is an election year. I will not endorse or belittle any candidate here. But any politician who wants to cut back on any part of these is cutting your wages. It is the hidden items that can hurt you. Be informed when making your choices.