Friday | August 31 | 2018


Trying to understand our paycheck like…

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*Market indexes are the value of certain stocks which represent the overall stock market. Learn more here.*

S&P 500  (Standard’s & Poor 500): Made up of the 500 most widely-traded stocks in the U.S. -12.91 (-0.44%)

Investors continue to pick sides in the hot-ticket debate over whether the market will continue rising or come crashing down. One sassy market watcher mapped out the divide in this chart of shame.


Nobody likes being duped - and that's exactly how U.S. civilian federal workers (non-military, non-elected, public sector) are feeling right now. This week, President Trump announced he is invoking his emergency authority to eliminate the pay raises these workers are set to receive beginning on Jan 1, 2019 - citing that federal budgets are too strained. In total, 2 million workers are eligible for a 2.1% increase under the current law. Congress can fight back, but only by passing a budget increase in the next spending bill, which would still have to be signed into law by Donald J. himself.

In completely unrelated news (cough, cough) corporate profits are booming. After-tax profits in the U.S. are up 16% over last year, the biggest gain in six years (wowee!). One reason for the huge payload is the massive tax cut championed by Trump earlier this year, which left a lot more money in corporation’s pockets. Reason two is the booming U.S. economy. It has been zipping along at a 4.2% growth rate, and last quarter was especially hott, with companies in the S&P 500 growing at 9.5%. This means U.S. consumers are feeling good, and spending lots. Here’s to hoping our budgets look as healthy as our economy.

*Do you have money tricks to add to the pile? Drop us a line.*

Films for Free: Everyone knows that the library is a great place to get free books, but UniFi-er Cris points out that it’s also a great place to pick up movies. Most libraries let you reserve films online, and you can order several at once. This is a great way to save $$ on movie night - since films at the theater can cost upwards of $17 a ticket these days! Head to your local library (or their website) to save those funds. Happy (free) watching!



Net pay: Also called “take home” pay, this is the amount of money you actually get to keep from your paycheck.

Do you ever feel like your paycheck is a little lite? Like your salary is higher than what actually lands in your account?

Today, we look at who’s taking bites from your paycheck, and why.

  1. First, let’s get our terms straight. The salary you are quoted when you accept a job is your “gross” pay (ooh, gross!). That’s the amount before anything is taken out. Then all the little bites are called “deductions,” and the money that’s left over for you to take home is your “net pay”.

  2. The biggest deductions are your federal, state, and local income taxes. Federal taxes are the biggest hit, typically between 12% and 24% of your gross pay (AHH!). 43 of the fifty nifty have state income taxes as well, ranging from 13% (CA) to 3% (ND). And 16 states also have local income taxes imposed by specific municipalities or counties. So, depending on where you live, you could have up to three different tax deductions from your paycheck before it even reaches your bank account. Woof!

  3. Next up is your FICA deduction. The Federal Insurance Contributions Act hails from 1935, and it’s two things together: 6.2% of your gross wages are taken for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare.

  4. The last big standard category is voluntary stuff (what you sign up for through your employer). If you get health insurance from your job, your monthly contribution (aka your premium) comes out of your paycheck. So does your retirement contribution and any other benefits you pay for through your employer.

  5. Last, but not least - if you aren’t paid up on taxes, student loans or child support, payments for these things can sometimes be taken directly from your paycheck.

*This section is not sponsored by any third parties. These are our pure, honest opinions on what we think is easy and works best!*

Curious what you’re getting charged for taxes? Check out this income tax calculator. Plug in your zipcode and salary and get all the hairy details on who’s skimmin’ off your check.

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