The Center for
Mathematics and Quantitative Education at Dartmouth

Money Matters
The Financial Literacy Initiative at Dartmouth College

How Much Will I Take Home?

SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- More than two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, according to results released today from a survey by the American Payroll Association.

The "Getting Paid In America" annual survey asked respondents how difficult it would be to meet their current financial obligations if their paychecks were delayed for a week. More than 22,500 of the more than 31,000 respondents, 72 percent, said they would find it somewhat or very difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paychecks were delayed.

Controlling household budgets begins with an understanding of the employee paycheck. Many young people are not aware that they cannot plan their budget based on their stated annual salary. In this module we look at a typical paystub for a new teacher to understand all of the deductions, what they are for, and which are tax-exempt. Based on an understanding of the paystub and payment schedule, students can create a basis on which to build a household budget.

We suggest that instructors open the instructor notes for this module, save them as a PDF file, and print them for reference.

This module also includes assessment tools (pre and post test) and a case study for deeper investigation of this topic. These resources are available by contacting Audrey Brown .

Akila Weerapana, Wellesley College, Kate Sorenson, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Peter Mili, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Corrine Taylor, Wellesley College, Kim Rheinlander, Dartmouth College, Dorothy Wallace, Dartmouth College