The payslip is more than just a month-long awaited document telling you there’s money in your bank account again. It’s a necessary piece of paper that’s super important when making adult life decisions.
Once you finally have your first payslip you can start thinking about all the adult things you can start doing. Yes, some activities may require at least three month’s worth of payslips, but you can start saving them from now.
What is a payslip
Okay, before we get into the amazing things you can do once you have a payslip to your name, we need to define what a payslip is and what makes it so important.
On your payslip, you’ll find certain important details. Your name, address, the company you work at, the position you work in, the date, the tax period, your gross salary, your net salary and your leave balance. Depending on certain benefits, bonuses, commission agreements or union fees, there may be other information listed as well, but these are the standard details.
The reason this little piece of paper is so important is that of all the information it contains as it is all proof of a stable income. And when you hit the adulting world, stability in your salary opens the doors to a world of opportunity for independence.
Applying for vehicle finance
You can finally start going through the process of financing your own car. With your payslip as proof of income, you can go to car dealerships and start browsing for your dream car. Set a budget for yourself based on what you’ve saved, how much you earn and what you can afford to pay on a monthly basis.
Find the car you want, use a car loan calculator to work out how much you’ll be paying for it every month, apply for vehicle finance and there you have it. A vehicle registered in your own name, which you are completely responsible for. It’s both a scary and exciting moment, all made possible by that first payslip.
So, along with vehicle finance, you also need your payslip as a proof of income when you want to take out a personal loan or rent a house. If you can prove your contract with the company and have your first payslip as further proof, you may not need to wait for three months worth of pay to get some of these amazing things.
A cell phone contract under your name
This will probably be on the first things you’d like to responsibly take from under your parent’s name. But getting a cell phone contract under your own name can be quite the process. Not only do you need at least three months worth of payslips but you also need to have a good credit score in order to be trusted with the cellphone contract debit order.
But another great thing for you to do with the first payslip that will help you with the process of building credit is to apply for a credit card.
Applying for a credit card
What can you get when you walk into a bank with one payslip, your identity document, proof of address and bank-line patience? A credit card application. That’s right, you’re heading into the world of serious banking and super responsible life decisions by applying and getting yourself a credit card. The amount of money you earn (proven by your payslip) will also determine which type of credit card (or bank account for that matter) you qualify for.
Give the application a few days to process and in a few days time, you can have an entry-level credit card in your wallet. Just be sure to use your credit card responsibly in order to keep your credit score a good one that will allow for cellphone contracts and things to be approved.
Entering the world of tax
With your first payslip, you’ll be entering the world of tax. When you start working for a company, you have to head to the nearest SARS and get yourself an income tax number. This will then be used for all things tax from your first paycheque and onwards. So, you want to keep your payslips and understand them for tax purposes.
This is where the gross and net salary figures are important because you may think you’re missing a few bucks after you see your salary reflect in your bank account. Your gross salary is what you make before any tax deductions. This is the figure that you get excited about when it appears on your contract. And your net salary is what is actually paid into your account after tax (and other, if applicable) deductions.
Essentially, it all comes down to you needing a payslip to prove you’re an adult and can actually afford things.