Are you trying to learn what information is included on a pay stub? If yes, you should check out our helpful guide by clicking here.

Your pay stub is the document that explains what you were paid. Employees get them for every pay period, whether that’s weekly or monthly.

They’re also known as a payslip or paycheck stub.

Pay stubs aren’t a modern invention. Archaeologists found a 5000-year-old pay stub in Iraq. It included beer rations for workers.

Thankfully, modern pay stubs don’t come in the form of ancient clay tablets. However, they can still be difficult to decipher.

What information is included on a pay stub? Read on to learn more.

What Does a Pay Stub Look Like?

Pay stubs include four main types of information. While some of the information included can vary by state, following are the four primary elements of a paycheck stub.

  1. Gross Wages

This refers to the amount you earn before anything is deducted. This figure refers to the salary that your employer advertised.

If you’re paid hourly, it will show the number of hours that you worked. Check this against your own records.

Salaried workers sometimes also have their pay rates listed on their pay stub.

  1. Tax Deductions

This varies from individual to individual. Everyone has deductions to cover taxes at a federal, local, and state level.

Federal taxes are charged based on your tax bracket. These work on a sliding scale, so your tax contributions are tied to how much you earn.

State tax is more complicated. That’s because states charge their own personal income tax rates. Some states don’t charge any state income tax.

Some metropolitan areas like New York City also charge local income tax.

If you see FICA on your pay stub, that’s your deductions for social security. It stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

Other people will also see deductions for any benefit insurance tied to their job. This happens if you contribute to employee benefits at your job for things like disability.

  1. Insurance Deductions

This part of the pay stub explains how much has been deducted to cover insurance payments.

That might mean your life insurance policy, health insurance, or payments into a 401k. These deductions depend on retirement plans offered by your employer.

  1. Net Pay

The pay stub also shows you how much money will make its way into your bank account after deductions. Some people refer to this as take-home pay because it’s what you actually ‘see’.

You may also see ‘back pay’ listed on your pay stub. If your employer adjusted something related to your salary, and they owe you money, it’ll show up here.

How Do I Find My Pay Stub?

If you’re paid by paper check, you’ll get your pay stub with your paycheck.

If you’re paid through direct deposit, you should either get a paper copy from your employer or a link to view the pay stub online.

It’s a good idea to download electronic pay stubs and store them on an external hard drive. Keep your own copies of your financial records and don’t rely on your employer to do so.

It’s important that you understand your pay stub so you can spot any mistakes. ThePayStubs have a great article about the times you’ll need a pay stub.

That’s How to Read Your Pay Stub

The layout will vary depending on the software your employer uses to make your pay stub. The information that’s included is usually the same.

Check your pay stub when you get it to make sure everything is right. You don’t want to miss out on pay or put the wrong amounts into an insurance plan.

Curious about anything else? Check out our ‘how to’ articles for more simple explanations.