Faye Arcand

It’s OK to Ask Questions.

Young people make up a huge chunk of the work force. Often you’re doing jobs in the service industry and fill positions in the sector of unskilled workers. It’s all about building life experience, but it’s important to ensure that you’re paid properly and not taken advantage of. I want to talk to you about some of the details that can get lost in your nervousness of not wanting to ask.

Believe me, employers know you’re not working out of the goodness of your heart. It’s all about the money. They want to have happy employees because that makes their job a lot easier. There are five questions you should ask your employer when you get hired (and for heaven’s sake—write the answers down so you don’t forget). If you’re too shy or nervous to ask then take a copy of this—they’ll understand.

1. What is my hourly wage? or salary? Seems like a simple question but when I ask a young person this, the answer is invariably a shrug with an assumption that they’re being paid minimum wage. Employers will tell you. They aren’t there to trick you.

2. When am I paid? It may be monthly, weekly, or every two weeks. Just ask.

3. How will I be paid? If it’s direct deposit, you’ll have to go to your bank and have them supply the deposit details for your account.

4. Can I get a print out of my deposit? This is also known as a pay stub and will show the hours you worked, the amount paid and all deductions taken off. If no paper record is available, ask your boss to email or text it. Keep a record of all your hours on a calendar and compare them to the pay stub.

5. Who should I talk to if there’s a discrepancy or question? Employers want to know if you’re having problems. Sometimes mistakes happen.

If you weren’t keeping track of your wouldn’t have a clue.

And my question for you would be, why wouldn’t you keep track? It’s like counting your own money. Are you just going to trust that job to someone else and be willingly clueless?

There’s an old saying that a fool and his money are soon parted; don’t let that happen to you. Direct deposit means that your money isn’t a tangible-in-your-hands thing and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. It can be difficult to care about things that are out of sight.

I would challenge you to begin to manage your money as apposed to just working, spending, and then waiting for payday again.

You need to know where all your money is going. If you’re using things like tap payments and online shopping, you’re doing it mindlessly. The next time you buy something, stop and consider how many hours you’ll have to work to replace those funds. If you buy a pair of shoes for $100 and you make $10/hour, you’re going to have to work about ten hours just to pay for them. Be aware because it’s the beginning to being financially smart.

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