It’s Payday! …at least for some of us. Perhaps your check looks a little weak and you’re seeking new employment opportunities this year. However, when comparing job offers be careful not to just focus on the salary in determining the financial benefits or disadvantages. The following are factors to consider that may make your paycheck bigger or smaller.
For many this may be an obvious factor, especially in terms of fuel cost and commute time. However, be careful not to dismiss an opportunity solely on the basis of distance. Explore other factors such as the location’s access to public transportation, employer’s transportation benefits, and opportunities to carpool and telecommute which may significantly decrease the cost.
Accepting an offer without knowing the cost of the benefit plans, particularly health, especially if you have a family can be detrimental. I've made that mistake when I accepted a position which appeared to be a pay raise from my previous position. Unfortunately, that stack of cash with the googly eyes I thought I was getting by switching to another company was negated by the high insurance premiums. Also, find out if there are benefits that could potentially lower the cost of things you already spend money on such as child care or pet insurance, which could stretch your paycheck.
Did anybody say “free lunch?” Did you know that Google provides free breakfast and lunch for its employees? I know, old news for some, but only to make the point that discounts are nothing to sneeze at. It’s estimated that Google pays about $20/day per employee and as the old saying goes, “A penny saved is a penny earned!” I once worked for a telecommunications company and only had to pay $10 a month for my cellphone bill, which saved me $80/month for comparable service at full price. That equates to $960 a year! Now for those of you who are current students or thinking about returning to school, you should definitely inquire about any tuition discounts or reimbursements. This could save you thousands and help give you a competitive edge that’s priceless.
These are factors to consider with your current employer as well, which may prove to be helpful in determining if jumping on another opportunity will be a leap forward or a dive off a fiscal cliff. Either way, look before your leap; there might be a hidden paycheck.