- When do we get paid? Every two weeks or twice a month? Every two weeks means your pay is essentially reduced by two entire paychecks. With "twice a month" your paycheck is $NET_SALARY/24. With "every two weeks" your paycheck is $NET_SALARY/26, meaning two months out of the year, you'll get three pay checks. But--the rest of the year, your salary is essentially reduced by ($NET_SALARY/26 * 2). You can't create a monthly budget out of two pay checks you get twice a year, six months apart.
Realistically, you aren't going to not go with an employer because they pay 26 times a year instead of 24. It's just something to be aware of since it reduces your practical salary by two entire paychecks.
- Are benefits included? It's a mild disappointing cognitive change to go from a job that pays full benefits to one that makes you pay $100/month for them.
- Meals/snacks/fruit? It's another mild disappointing cognitive change going from a company catering two meals a day to one charging $2 for a water from a third party vending machine.
- Are you lumping any bonuses in with the full salary you're offering? Be careful of HR starting your conversation with "Your total compensation is $80,000 per year" when they then mumble "That's a $45,000 base and a $35,000 bonus, paid out yearly at the end of your hire date anniversary." Your huge total comp package may make your ego feel good, but you can't budget against end of year bonuses.
- Stock is always imaginary unless you're at a public company. Always try to double or triple the base "options" they offer. Be wary of places that do 25% cliffs instead of 50% cliffs. 25% cliffs are just silly.
Am I missing something there? To me, this is only a concern for someone living paycheck to paycheck and that generally doesn't seem to be an issue for software developers.
If you have to sweat the difference between being paid twice a month and every two weeks, you need to start saving yourself more of a cushion.
Let's use an example. Assume $100,000 salary, pre-tax. Post-tax, let's assume your net salary is $74,000.
For being paid twice a month (15th and last day of the month), each pay check will be $3,000 (we're rounding up here). Each month you'll have $6,000 to spend.
For being paid every two weeks (every other Friday), each pay check will be $2770. Each month you'll have $5540 to spend ($460 less than the twice a month schedule). Except—two months out of the year, you'll get a third $2770 paycheck, giving you $8310 to spend in those two months.
It's just... weird. What's the difference? A car payment or a student loan payment or extra food or insurance premiums or parking or transit or anything you can spend $460/month on. Sure, to a well off person $460/month may not sound like much, but it adds up when it's taken out every month and only paid back in lump sums twice a year. (My entire point being: you can't form your monthly budget to include lump payments six months in the future.)
The only reason this whole pay period thing matters is because bills (rent, car payment, insurance, utilities, iPhone bill) tend to be due monthly and not every two weeks.
And if that bonus isn't guaranteed, then you're not even getting that.