Take-Home Pay

What is a ‘Take-Home Pay’

Take-home pay is the money that an employee actually receives from working after employment taxes and the cost of benefits and retirement contributions are subtracted. Take-home pay is calculated by taking the monthly gross income and subtracting federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare contributions, any state or local income taxes, monthly health and dental insurance premiums, 401(k) contributions and contributions to flexible spending accounts. The money that remains is what an employee takes home and has available for expenses, such as paying a mortgage, buying groceries and making discretionary purchases. Next Up Gross Earnings Gross Income Base Pay Gross Up

Explaining ‘Take-Home Pay’

Because of all these payroll deductions, your take-home pay or net pay often differs significantly from your gross pay. When considering a salary offer for a job, raise or promotion, consider your take-home pay as well as your gross pay.

How to Calculate Take-Home Pay as a Percentage of Gross Pay

To calculate your take-home pay as a percentage of gross pay, figure out your gross pay. Use the gross pay noted on your paycheck, divide your annual salary by the number of pay periods in the year, or multiply your hourly rate by the number of hours worked in that pay period. Then, divide your take-home pay by your gross pay and multiply by 100.

How to Calculate Your Hourly Take-Home Pay Rate

To calculate the amount of take-home pay you earn per hour, take your take-home pay and divide it by the number of hours you have worked. You can do this calculation for a year’s worth of work or for a single pay period.

How to Find Take-Home Pay on Your Paycheck Stub

The amount on your paycheck is your take-home pay. Most paycheck stubs label this amount as net pay. Stubs note your gross earnings, a list of your taxes and deductions, and your net pay. Many paycheck stubs also have a year-to-date field that shows the total net or take-home pay you have earned since January 1 of the current year.

Further Reading

  • Consumer response to the timing of income: Evidence from a change in tax withholding – www.nber.org [PDF]
  • The mismeasure of mammon: Uses and abuses of executive pay data – papers.ssrn.com [PDF]
  • The economic consequences of President Mitterrand – academic.oup.com [PDF]
  • What does financial literacy training teach us? – www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
  • An inclusive, progressive national savings and financial services policy – heinonline.org [PDF]
  • “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”: Economic and cultural explanations for how lower-income families manage debt – academic.oup.com [PDF]
  • Financial education and timely decision support: Lessons from Junior Achievement – www.aeaweb.org [PDF]
  • The economics of employer versus individual mandates – www.healthaffairs.org [PDF]
  • The influence of consumer socialisation in the home on gender differences in financial literacy – onlinelibrary.wiley.com [PDF]