When was the last time you looked at your pay stub? Did you really look at the numbers besides what you made?
Those other numbers are worth paying attention to. They have an impact on your retirement, taxes, and health care.
There are so many people who rely on direct deposit that it’s easy to overlook these things and just focus on what you get in your bank account.
Check out these pay stub examples that will help you uncover what is being withheld from your paycheck and where that money goes.
What Is a Pay Stub?
A pay stub is simply a printed readout attached to a check (except for direct deposit) that has an itemized breakdown of withholdings.
Employers have to give pay stubs to their employees that detail how much they were paid, the hours worked, the pay period the check covers, and what was withheld from earnings. They aren’t hard to create. This website can show you how to do so.
Common Codes in Pay Stub Examples
When you look at pay stub examples, you’ll find that the information is primarily the same. There may be slight variations which will be covered below.
Pay Period: The dates your earnings cover. This can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Gross Pay: This is the total amount of money you earned in a pay period.
YTD: Year to date. Whenever you see YTD, it means the total amount earned, paid, or withheld for the year.
REG: The number of standard hours worked, usually within a 40-hour workweek.
OT: The number of overtime hours worked.
HOL: The number of holiday hours worked.
VAC, SICK, FL: You may have been paid for vacation days, sick time or family leave time.
FED, FIT, FITW: This is related to how much federal tax was withheld from your check. FIT and FITW mean Federal Income Tax Withheld. That will depend on your income and how many allowances you have on your W-4 form.
Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many taxpayers were caught off guard because they didn’t have enough taxes withheld by their employers. You want to check the amount withheld to avoid any surprises.
STATE, SIT, or SITW: This line item lets you know how much state taxes were withheld from your check.
OASDI: Old-age, survivors, and disability insurance, otherwise known as social security. This is a 6.2% deduction from your paycheck.
MED: You are obligated to make a 1.45% contribution to Medicare, which you can enroll in just before you turn 65.
401(k): How much was withheld for your retirement contribution.
GARNISH: If you owe taxes or child support, you may have your wages garnished. That money is withheld from your check and given right to the tax authorities or the courts.
NET: This is the amount of money that you get deposited into your bank account. It’s your gross pay minus all of the withholdings.
Understand Your Pay Stubs
Your pay stubs have a lot of important information in them. They contain items that tell you about taxes, retirement planning, and more.
Your pay stub requires decoding, but when you look at pay stub examples, it’s easy to figure out what they mean.
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