You know the hustle. You're out to get paid. The question is, how?
At a traditional job, you fill out payroll forms, and you get paid automatically. But what happens to people who work from home? Or are contractors?
From apps to online platforms and classic cash payments, there are numerous ways to put money in your pocket.
Not so long ago, paychecks were the most common form of payment. Checks are still used to give employees their wages. But although it remains a standard option, it's no longer quite so popular. Part of the payroll process involves printing and distributing paychecks. You receive your check with all the taxes withheld, along with any other fees or garnishments. All you have to do is sign it and either deposit or cash it.
That's one reason this method is a bit outdated — it's a bit of a hassle. Of course, banks and credit unions that have apps have made the process easier because they allow you to take photos of your endorsed checks and deposit them right through your phone.
Convenient Direct Deposit
Direct deposit is the preferred payment method these days. You typically get the funds deposited into your account earlier than the paychecks go out, which is a lovely bonus. More importantly, you don't have to wait for your check to arrive, nor do you have to wait for the check to clear after you endorse and deposit it.
If your workplace allows direct deposit, then all you have to do is give them your banking information — usually your routing and account numbers. You should see the option on your payroll forms.
Depositing wages directly to an employee's account is part of the payroll process. So, after you sign up for it, you don't have to do anything else. You can always talk to someone in payroll or HR if you decide to exercise this option after previously receiving checks. It is always smart to double-check your account to make sure your money is paycheck is posted.
Freelancers and independent contractors who telecommute and find jobs online often have the option of being paid through PayPal. You get your money instantly, which is incredibly convenient. To use your money, you need a PayPal debit card, which you can apply for on its Website, or you need to have an attached bank account that's been verified. Then again, you can always leave the money there and use it at online shops that accept PayPal. That's particularly useful if your online job is for earning extra money.
There are a couple of downsides to using PayPal, however. With few exceptions, it takes out a percentage of each deposit. Because it is not a payroll company, PayPal does not withhold taxes, either. It's up to you to put back the correct percentage of each incoming payment.
Cold, Hard Cash
Believe it or not, plenty of jobs still pay in cash. As with PayPal, no taxes are withheld. Unless you're being paid under the table, it's your responsibility to set aside money for taxes. Because cash isn't taxed, you gross more money. That's why servers and waitstaff prefer to be tipped in cash.
Outside of the service industry and tipped positions, it's somewhat rare for cash to change hands. There are contractors, landscapers, and even caterers who enjoy cash wages, though. You can always tell clients about your preference. However, in a professional setting, cash payments are unlikely.
Pre-Paid Credit or Debit Cards
Although payment via a pre-paid credit or debit card is uncommon, it does happen. Some people would rather receive money this way. Other companies offer pre-paid cards as an option for bonuses or money earned from overtime.
Online Payment Options
Although PayPal is the first and one of the best online payment forums, it's not the only one any longer. Its biggest competitor right now is Square, an online store that allows you to list and sell products and services. You can even embed the items in your Website or Web store. Further, you can send invoices and receive payments — or receive invoices and send payments. Square even has a credit card reader for in-person transactions.
Today's most popular digital payment options are app-based, and they're beloved by millennials and Generation Z. Venmo and Zelle, along with PayPal and Square Cash, let you pay your friends and receive money from your pals, not just the people who employ you. Freelance artists, writers, musicians, bloggers, and influencers frequently accept donations from fans and subscribers through these platforms.
Third-party sites that put employees in touch with employers typically have their own payroll forms and platforms. Sites such as Upwork, Freelancer.com, and others allow clients to deposit funds for jobs in their system.
The client hires a contractor to do the work. Once it's completed, the site releases the funds to the contractor. Generally, both parties must pay a fee.
Everyone has their own preferred payment method. What's yours?