Take Home Pay

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated August 12, 2020

What is Take Home Pay?

Take home pay is the portion of one's salary left after all payroll taxes have been deducted.

How Does Take Home Pay Work?

John Doe has a salary of $100,000. He is paid 26 times per year (every other Friday). The federal and state payroll taxes (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and federal withholding) amount to, say, 10% of his salary.

John Doe's salary divided by 26 paychecks equals $3,846.15 per paycheck. However, because John Doe has payroll taxes withheld, his take home pay is actually 90% of that, or $3,461.53.

Why Does Take Home Pay Matter?

Understanding the difference between salary and take home pay is important for anyone trying to create and live on a household budget. Taxes are not the only thing that can affect take home pay. If a person is having alimony, child support, retirement plan contributions, or other money withheld from his or her paycheck, these things will also affect the person's take home pay.