Money·8 min read

Skimm Money: Pay Transparency, Interest Rates, And Money Boundaries

Women laughing over a laptop
Nov 4, 2022

Eyes On

Pay Transparency

Show us the money. New York City’s pay transparency law went into effect on Tuesday. It requires companies with four or more employees to list a minimum and maximum salary range in every job posting. Giving job seekers and current employees insight into how much a company is willing to pay for a role. NYC joins California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington in passing pay transparency laws aimed at closing racial and gender wage gaps.

Your move:

  • Know your worth. Check job listings in your state or in a state with a pay transparency law to get an idea of how your salary stacks up. Don’t forget to consider your experience, skill set, and location.

  • Negotiate your salary. If your findings show your pay is subpar, use your research to set a target salary range. Then schedule a chat with your manager to advocate for the raise you deserve.

  • Talk to your coworkers. Because ending wage secrecy can help close gender and racial pay gaps. Up next: closing the wealth gap.


Psst...wondering what NYC's pay transparency law could mean for your paycheck? Skimm This broke down how you can take advantage of the new rules, even if you don’t live in a place that has them.

Financial Goal Unlocked

The goal: Don’t leave money on the table at your 9-to-5.

A winning mindset: Make the most of your employer’s benefits. Like PTO, your company’s 401(k) match, a flexible spending account (FSA). According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits account for about 31% of total compensation for private sector employees. So when you don’t take full advantage, you’re basically cutting your own pay. Significantly.  

A winning strategy: Use. those. benefits. Hint: If you want to know more about your company’s offerings, HR is a good place to start… 

  • Know what you’ve got. Does your employer reimburse your gym membership? Do you get access to free or low-cost mental health services? Spend some time reviewing your company’s benefits package to find out. 

  • Get the match. If your company offers a 401(k) match and you're not enrolled (or you’re not contributing enough to qualify for the match), you're missing out on free money. Bonus: Investing in your 401(k) could lower your tax bill.

  • Use your PTO. Don’t feel guilty about taking a vacation or using a sick day or two (or three). If you accrue PTO, you’ve earned those days off. And if your company’s OOO policy is flex, don’t get caught in the unlimited PTO trap

  • Use your FSA. This year, you can contribute up to $2,850 of pre-tax funds to pay for healthcare expenses. Here are 12 ways to put that money to good use.


theSkimm: Get to know your employee benefits package. If you’re not familiar with everything your employer offers you outside of your paycheck, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars every year.

And Also This…

What’s increased dramatically…

Homeownership. Especially among Asian, Black, and Latinx communities. According to an analysis of federal data by The Washington Post, these groups saw the largest growth in homeownership in 2021. Thanks, in part, to the pandemic. But with pandemic-era financial policies — like the student loan payment pause and rental assistance programs — coming to an end, that growth may not be sustainable. And many systemic issues, like biased home appraisals and discriminatory policies, still impact how POC build wealth through homeownership. 


Who needs better money boundaries…

Most of us. A recent survey found that more than 3 in 5 Americans who lent money to a loved one had a bad experience.Some experts recommend steering clear of mixing money with friends or family. But for many people, keeping money and loved ones completely separate isn’t an option (hi, Black tax and Brown tax).Setting clear and firm boundaries with your friends and family around money can be a good way to protect your relationships, your mental health, and your bank account. 

What’s going up (again)…

Interest rates. On Wednesday, the Fed announced its fourth consecutive 0.75-percentage-point rate increase in its fight against inflation. Which brings the Fed’s benchmark lending rate to 3.75%-4%, the highest it’s been since 2008. Bad news for homebuyers already stressing about their budget. Good news for savers with cash in high-yield savings accounts.

What’s got us heading to the polls on Nov 8…

Financial issues on the ballot. The state of the economy is looming large in elections all over the country. Think: Inflation, the cost of housing, and student loan forgiveness. And your elected officials play a major role in addressing the economic issues that impact you. 


PS: We Skimm’d your ballot for you.

Asking for a Friend

Q: With all the uncertainty in the job market right now, how can a side hustle help you secure your professional future?

Trisha Sakhuja-Walia:I think it's more practical — not easier, but practical — to pursue a passion project or a side hustle than ever before. There is no dearth of resources and tools. If you want to start an e-commerce brand, you can launch a Shopify or Etsy store. You'll still have to promote yourself, but at least you can gain some traction through their platforms. Obviously, the end goal here is to generate revenue, which many people may feel is daunting or like they don't know where to start. Even something as simple as starting an LLC can make people nervous. But the best thing that I can say is, regardless of the state of the economy, there's nothing better than pursuing a passion project or a side hustle that truly fulfills you. You never know, it may actually end up being something that you do full-time.


Trisha Sakhuja-Walia is the CEO and co-founder of BrownGirlMagazine.com, which she started as a side hustle. She left her 9-to-5 to work on Brown Girl Magazine full-time in 2018. Her answer has been edited for length and clarity.

Skimm’rs

Tell Us How You Really Feel:What big purchase are you saving up for RN? Is it a home reno project, a car, or something else entirely? Tell us here

Last week, we asked all you job-hoppers out there if you have any regrets. We’re happy to report that 89% of you are happy in your new positions. But 11%, not so much. Here’s what you shared…

“I left for more money, which I like, but I do not jive well with the company culture at my new job. It's been four months and I've already started applying for a new job somewhere else.” — Katie R, Pittsburgh, PA

“Nothing would have changed if I stayed in my previous role. Not only did I get a significant boost in pay by leaving, but my exit interview led to big changes at my previous employer. Including giving the next person a better-defined role, reasonable responsibilities, AND a higher salary and salary wage band. I really miss my previous coworkers, but I'm really happy to actually be able to save money for the first time in a decade!” — Jax C, Western New York

“I'm a boomerang employee. I was furloughed in April 2020 and was lucky enough to land a new job in my field and industry a month later. I stayed at that new job for just under two years. The new job helped me grow my skills and I learned so much (both things I'd like to imitate and things I would never want to do to another coworker)! Ultimately, that job turned out to be pretty toxic and abusive, and I was fortunate enough to have left my previous company on good terms. So when they had an opening on the team I really wanted to be a part of, I jumped at the chance to boomerang.” — Jamie J, New York, NY

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.


Skimm Deal of the Week: Whose birthday is it? Ask Alexa. Celebrate her birthday at Amazon by saving on the Halo View fitness tracker, the Echo Show, the Fire TV Stick, the Fire Tablet, and more. This sale only lasts through November 7, so grab ’em while you can. Shop here.


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