College graduation is a major life event for every student. After 13 + years of studying, tests, quizzes, and papers, you’re finally ready to enter the “real” world, and probably get your first “real” job! While you should be a little nervous about starting your new job, you should also be very excited to get your first paycheck! This is a great opportunity to set yourself up for financial success in your adult life. Below you will find 5 things you should do in order to be prepared for your first paycheck.
- You should be comfortable with some basic payroll terms, including net pay, gross pay, deductions, and different taxes. If you need a refresher, check this helpful guide.
- Know if you are an independent contractor or an employee! This will make a huge difference in how you file your taxes, and how taxes are withheld from your paycheck.
- Accurately complete a Federal W-4. While a W-4 can be changed at any time, it is especially important that you change it if the amount of allowances you claim needs altering. Use the helpful W-4 Assistant on paycheckcity.com to determine how you should fill out your form.
- Understand how your state taxes differ from other state taxes! Some states have local and county taxes, while others do not even deduct state taxes. Quickly see how your state compares with this infographic.
- Understand specific deductions, including FICA (Social Security and Medicare Tax).
- Be familiar with what should be included in your offer letter. This includes things like your pay, pay frequency, and benefit information.
Do you think we missed something? Leave your tips and tricks for recent grads in the comments section!
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