Money Smart Monday- Earn

Happy Monday and welcome to our first Money Smart post, with resources related to the first of the My Money Five principles: Earn.

MyMoney FiveWhat do you need to know about earning money? It’s not all about that hourly or yearly number. To be Money Smart it’s important to understand all the details of your paycheck, workplace benefits, and what steps you can take to increase your pay through training and education.

Key terms from the IRS:

  • Wages- Compensation received by employees for services performed. Usually, wages are computed by multiplying an hourly pay rate by the number of hours worked.
  • Salary- Compensation received by an employee for services performed. A salary is a fixed sum paid for a specific period of time worked, such as weekly or monthly.
  • Taxes- Required payments of money to governments that are used to provide public goods and services for the benefit of the community as a whole.
  • Payroll taxes- Include Social Security (or FICA) and Medicare taxes
  • Withholding- Money, for example, that employers withhold from employees paychecks. This money is deposited for the government. (It will be credited against the employees’ tax liability when they file their returns.) Employers withhold money for federal income taxes, Social Security taxes and state and local income taxes in some states and localities.

Online resources:
(Resources with * require you to enter your SWAN username and password for off-campus access)

About your paycheck
Tax Withholding Calculator
Jobs & Making money
Salary comparison tools: and
When your income drops

Calculators available on library resource RIA Checkpoint*:

  • Payroll deduction analyzer
  • 1040EZ estimator
  • How important is Social Security?
  • Net Worth Calculator

(To access these, start at the library homepage, click “R” in the alphabetical list, scroll down and click RIA Checkpoint, then click “Tools”)

Workplace benefits
Top 10 Ways to Make your Health Benefits Work for You
Social Security, Medicare, and Pensions: Get the most out of your retirement and medical benefits (ebook) *

Job training and education
Get Help Paying for College
Lifelong Learning (streaming video) *
Career LibGuide

What else do you need to know about your earnings? Post your questions in the comments here, or on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.


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