1. Keep Your Eyes Open CentsAble Chat 5:10

Keep Your Eyes Open What you don’t know can cost you! A first paycheck garners a lot of excitement, until the reality of taxes sets in, which usually leads to shock. But fear not, because there are benefits and perks that many young employees don’t know to ask about and/or aren’t explained. It’s important to remember that salaries and benefits can be negotiated, in many cases, so it’s important to consider more than just base pay.

Consider What You Want From A Job Interview the company, while they’re interviewing you Employment is a mutually beneficial relationship. Yes, you want the job, or you wouldn’t be sitting in an interview, but they need you, or you wouldn’t be sitting in an interview, so let them know how you can benefit them. It’s important to keep your eyes open to potential by being sure to ask about all the ways they can benefit you.

Benefits Have Monetary Value How to benefit your budgetWhat can your employer offer you, besides a paycheck? Things like discounts on products & services you already use, including health insurance, leaves more money to budget elsewhere. A 401K helps you save for Retirement and lowers your tax bill. And a lot of companies offer a match, which is free money!

Vacation Time, Or Emergency Fund?A way to start your emergency fund without cashMany states require an employer to pay for any unused vacation time if the company has layoffs. Keeping a portion of vacation time on the books is a great way to beef up a job loss or 6-month emergency fund, while trying to save cash. This way, there’s a little cash immediately, regardless of how much or little you’ve managed to save.

Give Yourself A Raise!Using taxes to balance your incomeYou dictate how much of your paycheck is withheld to pay federal income tax. Withhold too much, and there’s a good chance for a bigger return at tax time; too little, and it’s time to pay up. Finding the magic number is confusing, but it’s worth learning about, especially for someone who struggles to make ends meet, all year long, but gets a hefty tax return. A visit to the IRS’ Federal Tax Withholding Calculator can help you balance it out and cut the stress! You can also cut the amount you owe by contributing to your 401K or Health Savings Account (HSA).

Bottom Line What’s in a job?When it’s time to look for a new job, consider more than the salary. The benefits and perks could do wonders for your budget, that’s why it’s important to keep your eyes open.

Bobbi Olson Budget Coach & Host of the CentsAble Chat Podcast

After years of producing a financial radio show focused on managing million dollar portfolios, I realized that the strategies, concepts and ideas would work for any budget, and learned the basics of managing money.

It was easier than I ever thought it could be, and I’m now debt–free! I’m excited to share what I’ve learned and hear your stories, as we all strive to lead CentsAble lives!​