ACCC Offers Five Tips to Help Employees Understand Their Paycheck on Money Matters National Education Day

With majority of adults agreeing that they would benefit from financial advice, national nonprofit ACCC provides consumers with ways to better understand their paycheck.

September 30, 2015

How to understand your paycheckAs Money Matters National Education Day approaches on September 10th, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling is providing working Americans with five tips to help better understand their paycheck.

Money Matters National Education Day is a special day when payroll professionals teach students in their communities about their paychecks, electronic payment methods like direct deposit and paycards, and the payroll withholding system. This is especially important considering most working professionals today still struggle to manage their income and finances. According to a 2014 report from the Federal Reserve, 20 percent of Americans spend beyond their means, and one-third of households are living paycheck to paycheck.  In addition, nearly 73 percent of adults agree that they would benefit from basic financial advice from a professional, according to a recent Consumer Financial Literacy Survey.

“Financial worries continue to add stress to employees on the job,” said Steven Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “While many Americans may think it’s easy to read their paycheck, that’s not always the case. We want to alleviate that stress by teaching people how to understand their paychecks to better save for the future.”

Payroll professionals are uniting on Money Matters National Education Day to help spread financial illiteracy. This is a great opportunity for high school students to learn about their paychecks so that they can start saving and prepare for the future.

American Consumer Credit Counseling offers these five ways to better understand your paycheck:

  1. Understand Gross Pay vs. Net Pay: It is important to understand the difference between your gross pay versus your net pay. Gross pay is your overall salary or wages, while net pay is what you are actually taking home after required withholdings. At a minimum every paycheck lists withholdings for federal taxes, state taxes, social security, and Medicare.
  2. Sign Up For Direct Deposit: Direct deposit is the fastest way to get your paycheck into your bank account. It also takes away the stress of having to go to the bank to deposit your check, and the time that it takes for a check waiting for it to clear.
  3. Understanding Company Benefits: A complete understanding of your company’s benefit package will help with long-term financial planning. If you participate, each pay period will display withholdings for health, dental, vision, and your 401K.
  4. Other Types of Pay: Pay attention to other types of pay that are listed near your regular pay box. These types of payments could include overtime, holiday, personal, and sick pay. Make sure that extras such as overtime are calculated correctly as these payments are usually time and a half.
  5. Understanding Your Pay Period: Every company has a different pay period. The most common pay periods are weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. It is important to understand how much and how often you are getting paid in order to budget your expenses.


ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at 

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loans, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to or visit