Whether you're making a budget or considering how much of a raise to ask for, it's important to be able to calculate your net salary. Net salary is your take-home pay--the amount you get to keep after taxes and other payroll deductions. Sometimes the net salary can vary wildly from your gross salary, the amount that you earn before taxes and deductions. A few simple calculations can show you how much you're really taking home on payday.

If you are paid a flat salary, you already know your gross income. But if you're paid an hourly wage, you'll first need to do some math.

Average out your hours for the previous year and multiply them by your hourly wage to find gross income. If you know your hours are fairly steady, you can get away with adding up hours for only the previous month and multiplying by 12.

Alternatively, you can usually find your total annual hours on the last earnings statement of the previous year. Assuming your income has not changed since last year, multiply the annual hours by your wage to find gross salary.

Locate the following taxes on one of your earnings statements: state and federal income taxes, city or local income taxes (if applicable), social security and Medicare.

Locate any deductions. Examples include medical insurance, retirement accounts and union dues.

Add the taxes and deductions.

Subtract this new number from your gross salary to get your net salary.

#### Tip

Online calculators make it easy to calculate your net salary. There are also net-to-gross calculators that figure out how much gross salary you'll require for a desired take-home pay, such as the one at Bankrate.com, under "Resources."

#### Warning

Don't forget to include wage garnishments such as alimony or child support in your deductions, if applicable.

#### Tips and warnings

- Online calculators make it easy to calculate your net salary. There are also net-to-gross calculators that figure out how much gross salary you'll require for a desired take-home pay, such as the one at Bankrate.com, under "Resources."
- Don't forget to include wage garnishments such as alimony or child support in your deductions, if applicable.