If you’re in a hot and in demand field, you might find yourself with multiple job offers right out of school. While it might be tempting to take the job offer that pays the highest, you might be costing yourself quite a bit of money if you don’t look at the details.
1) The health insurance a job offers might vary widely. You should look for a job with health insurance that’s going to have a net zero effect on your salary. For example, if your job covers the $200/month fee for healthcare, that’s an extra $2400 dollars per year you get to take home, while still being insured. Conversely, if your job makes you pay for a $500 deductible, and the monthly premium, you might be out almost $3000 a year if you use your insurance.
2) Many companies are starting to offer meals to their employees as a perk. Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others have full kitchens cooking food for their employees. Of course, the notion is that instead of spending time cooking, and packing your lunch, you’ll presumably be working. If you can stay healthy while eating at work and not burn out, you’ll avoid paying more for health insurance in the future. (Additionally, many companies are now adding gyms or compensating for gym memberships for their employees.)
3) 401k Matching is a very important factor to look at when deciding where to work. If your company offers a matching plan, they’re essentially extending you the opportunity to increase your yearly pay. Additionally, as long term investments compound, this can work out to thousands of extra dollars over the course of a career. If you find yourself choosing amongst two different job opportunities with 401k matching, make sure you find out the limitations of each. According to Vanguard almost one third of all employers mandate that employees stay at the company for 1 year before they’ll start matching their 401k investments. Of course, the matching option doesn’t mean a whole lot if you’re paying exorbitant fees to the people who manage your retirement portfolio. Even though the fees seem small, a mere 1% difference in fees accounted for a 17% difference in final account balance.
Just these three factors alone can make thousands of dollars of difference in your life every year. While a lucrative offer may seem like a good deal, make sure you’re accounting for all the potential pitfalls that may come with the seemingly higher salary.
 ”Effect of a 1-Percentage Point in Higher Annual Fees on a $20,000 401(k) Balance Invested
over 20 Years.” Page 2. Changes Needed to Provide 401(k) Plan Participants and the Department of Labor Better Information on Fees