Drum Roll Please…What Was The Paycheck Like?

Last week I wrote about how I was curious what the first paycheck of the year would look like in light of the fact that things changed, primarily on the health care cost (unfortunately, there was no salary increase involved *sigh*).

To recap, we changed the plan option and also reduced our FSA contribution level, both as a result of the fact that we are not planning on having a baby, which was why costs were higher in 2011, and hopefully not having any other unplanned major medical expenses.  I wanted to see what the net effect would be on the paycheck and the results are in.

It basically resulted in around a 2% net increase in pay.

Which is sort of what I was expecting.

Not very exciting.

Unfortunately, what we’re spending it on is as equally un-exciting.  We’re really not spending it.

I haven’t bumped up my retirement contribution level in over three years, since we haven’t had any raises in that long.  This doubly hurts because the company used to match, but cut that out at the same time they froze salaries.  Especially in light of Sam’s recent article on where people should be in terms of retirement savings (note: we’re not close to Sam’s numbers), I wanted to increase our contribution.

So I did.  From ten to eleven percent.  This eats up about 70% of the ‘extra’ money.

The rest I want to use as a backup savings to our FSA card, in the event we go over for any reason, that we have money to back this up if we run out of dollars before the end of the year.

So, while I was excited to see what the paycheck would be, in the end it turned out pretty much on spot what I had expected, and the results are kind of a yawner, unless you are excited by extra savings and retirement contributions.

Which I guess I am and hopefully a few readers are too 🙂

What changes have you seen in your first paychecks of the year?

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22 thoughts on “Drum Roll Please…What Was The Paycheck Like?

  1. My first check of the year was down 1.2% due to a small increase in our health insurance premiums. Next month I’ll find out if I’m getting a raise to offset that and hopefully a little more. We’ve been fortunate that our company has still given raises the last 2 years. I’m cautiously optimistic about a 3% raise.

    • I’m hoping one of these days a raise comes through. They will have to otherwise they’re going to start losing top talent now that the job market is opening back up.

  2. 2%? Better than nothing! CPI-E was over 3% for the last year though, but it inflation hits everyone unevenly.

    My paycheck was wild – this year it went up because I had been doubling up on my HSA contributions after I got married in August. I’m also tryiong to figure out the proper number of allowances since I bought a house in June. Basically, my paycheck will likely change again, a few times, haha!

  3. I have been very fortunate to get a raise again this year. Also, our health care plan changed and the premiums are lower which is nice since employees are responsible for 10% of the cost (and the plan is pretty much the same and even a little better in some ways!). Most of the increase went into our flexible spending account since we have two girls in braces. Another chunk went into our c ar budget since our vehicles are getting older and our getting repaired more often 🙁 . Not exciting, but very helpful.

  4. I will get my first cheque of the year next week and I am anxious to see what our long fought for 2% looks like in net pay. I have this sinking feeling that with the increases in deductions, the net pay won’t look much different.

  5. 2% is great! Maybe not a huge jump, but adding it to your retirement account is a good idea – I can only contribute about 2% of my pay to my RRSP until I graduate and don’t have to pay tuition anymore, so I think you’re on the right track.

    • It’s not a huge jump and technically it’s not even really a jump at all since it was more to do with the deductions than anything else, but hey, I’ll take it…

  6. I haven’t seen much of a difference, thankfully. I hope the change doesn’t affect me too hard — considering I am getting married this year! Hope you all fair all right.

  7. Ugh, they took away raises AND retirement matches? I would take retirement matches over a raise any day, but to lose both? Yikes.

    My husband just got his first paycheck at his new job. We were expecting it to be very low because of the expense of health care, 8% deduction for retirement and FSA deductions. I was delighted to realize it was about $500 more than we expected. The problem? The employer did not deduct for health insurance or FSA. Now we have to clear up the problem AND face a smaller paycheck next time.

    • That does not sound like fun. I hope it all gets worked out and soon because that’s just extra stress that you don’t need.

    • That’s the way I look at it. If I ‘beat’ the allowable annual increase, eventually I’ll close the gap and be at the max level.

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