I’m Anxious To See What My Paycheck Will Look Like

Tomorrow is payday.  I’ve been at my current job for over five years and haven’t gotten a raise in three years running.  So, you’d think I would know exactly what my paycheck will look like…but I don’t.


Because we made two significant changes on our health care plan that will take effect beginning the first of the year.  Normally we get paid on the 15th and 31st, but because the 15th falls on a Sunday, payday is the Friday before…or tomorrow (yikes, just realized it’s Friday the 13th!).

The changes we made were both tied back to the fact that we are not anticipating any major health care expenditures in 2012.   While there is always the case of a major cost item taking place (for which we have an emergency fund), we had significantly higher costs in 2011 due to the planned birth of our baby daughter, which took place in June.  Knowing that we were going to incur that major expense, in 2011 we were on the highest tier plan and also contributed a significant amount to our Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to cover the projected out of pocket costs.

Since we aren’t anticipating a major cost, we went back down to the mid-range health plan and also reduced our FSA contribution signifcantly.

My guess is that this will result in a net paycheck increase of around $50.  Once the dust settle, I’ll put any extra towards a split of increased 401(k) contributions as well as beefing up a few saving categories that have been needing some attention.

It’s not a windfall by any means, but the fact that my paycheck will be going up slightly is something I haven’t seen in a very long time.  So, though the base salary amount is staying the same, I’m still a bit excited.

Is your paycheck amount changing for better or worse this year?


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28 thoughts on “I’m Anxious To See What My Paycheck Will Look Like

    • Good luck, sounds like you have a lot going on. I got my MBA in 2002 and the raises afterward were nice but the impact seems to have died down since for me.

  1. We don’t get wage increases until July 1st, but similar to you we haven’t seen any cost of living increases or merit increases in a couple of years. I expect a small increase this year.

  2. I just got laid off, so that pay check will have to wait a while. Though, I hope that companies will start to give cost of living increases again. The crash of 08 is already a couple years behind us and one would think that some of those corporate profits could be cycled back to the workers.

  3. My paycheck recently bumped up after I was promoted–it was exciting to factor in the increase with my current financial goals!

  4. You’re anxious, I’m dreading!!
    I’m getting eye corrective surgery this year because it’s the last year you can put the full $5,000 into a flex plan (next year the max will be $2500) so it’s taking some serious dough out of my paycheck…but we’ll see!

    • That’s great that you’re taking advantage of the tax savings. I had eye surgery years ago and this was way before FSA plans existed (or more likely, before I knew about them) so I paid it out of pocket. Lucky for me, I had one eye with perfect vision so the surgery was half the cost as most would pay!

  5. I was just paid for December, however I just learned I will be getting a stipend for being a master teacher. I will be responsible for another teacher who is getting their credential. It was a nice surprise!

  6. January through June are my only ‘normal’ cheques as well. the other months have different amounts taken off or not taken off. After contract…issues….last year, we were given a 2% raise x 2 for the two years of uncontracted time. It will be interesting to see what this will look like as a net amount. With my luck it bumped me into a higher bracket with larger deductions.

  7. That’s too funny… because at the beginning of the year, when the government has every tax coming off my pay check, I never know what to expect. Glad I’m not alone!

    • Yeah, our company actually works in technology and got pretty hard hit. They’ve turned things around so hopefully things start looking up. I’d be happy with either a raise or resuming the 401(k) match, which also got cancelled in 2008.

  8. My husband is changing job in 2 weeks so our paychecks are going to go all haywire. Can’t wait for that!

    I feel your pain on having no raise. Our first raise in 4 fiscal years was enacted on the 1st of this month. We did have our pay cut for all of FY10 (July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010). That was nice.

  9. I’m self-employed, so I hope my paychecks will be better. Winning!

    It stinks that you’ll find out on Friday the 13th….might not want to look until Saturday….

  10. My paycheck dropped by about half, but it’s expected. I upped my 401k contribution to 50% of the paycheck since I’m not sure if I will be working the whole year. I want to max out the 401k contribution in case I leave the company.
    It’s good practice for when I don’t have a paycheck at all. 🙂

    • That’s awesome and I’m thoroughly impressed that you have the flexibility to do that. Our budget is much more tighter where that type of contribution level would definitely be noticed quickly!

  11. I too was anxiously awaiting the mid-month payday because I am finally eligible for my company’s 401K plan. I contributed the maximum that my company matches and wanted to see what my new take home pay would be. It was a little less than I had expected, but that’s ok because I know that I’m putting that money away for a good cause.

    • That’s a great way to look at it! Good work on hitting that level of contribution, as it will definitely pay off for you down the road!

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