How to Make a Pay Stub in 3 Simple Steps

Think of a pay stub this way.

It is a document generally given by the employer to an employee that lists down the financial compensation paid to the employee during a listed time period. 

Pay stubs are a convenient way to prove your income to an institution like a bank or a loan provider. They also come in handy when you might have a disagreement with your employer.

If you are working on your own or are self employed, you can make a pay stub by yourself using either manually (using a spreadsheet) or by using an online pay stub generator. More on this later. 

Here is how you can make a pay stub in three simple steps:

  • Get all of your financial information organized.

A pay stub is essentially a collection of information neatly presented.

Before you can get to the presenting part, you will need to have all of your financial information in a single place. 

Pay stubs generally list three things. Gross pay, deductions and net pay.

Gross pay is the total compensation that an employee receives.

Deductions are things like taxes, benefits, contributions and other heads that need to be taken out of gross pay.

Net pay is the take home pay that an employee receives.

Apart from this, information such as the employee’s name, employer’s details, financial period, date, tax information, insurance, can be included on your pay stub.

As you can see, this is a fair bit of data and information. It’s relatively easy to miss something small like a local tax or insurance charge. 

Managing these tedious and time consuming tasks well and before you have to give the stub is the smart way to go about things.

If you have not ensured the accuracy of the information present on the paystub, you are effectively invalidating the pay stub as a legitimate proof of income. 

Another disadvantage to not rechecking the information on your pay stub is that in the case of a disagreement with your employer, you will not be able to show proof of your claim.

Needless to say, you need to get your information organized especially if you plan to make the pay stub on your own. 

  • Have a look at different templates.

Once you have the information for your pay stub arranged, you will need a template to display that information.

If you haven’t made a pay stub before, it makes sense for you to stick to a template that has already been used by several other people and small businesses. 

However, if you still feel that you can add something of value to your pay stub then you can customize your template to fit your needs.

All pay stubs need to have information including the employee’s details, employer information, gross pay, list of all deductibles along with net pay.

Generally, you will want to keep the formatting to a minimum. Remember that the purpose of a pay stub is to show proof of income. 

You don’t want to miss the point of creating a pay stub by adding so many colors and formatting styles that it becomes difficult to find relevant information. Plus, this makes your pay stub look unprofessional.

  • Enter the information and make the pay stub.

Once you have your pay stub information and template sorted, all that’s left is to make the pay stub and print it out.

If you feel that your chosen template is not as professional or missing something, then you can use an online pay stub generator to easily make the pay stub.

This is especially handy, when you have several employees to manage and pay. Using an online tool will pay for itself because of the time it saves and the convenience you’re ultimately getting.

In the past, pay stubs were generally given as a hard copy. But these days digital copies are being accepted in many cases. It’s always best to check your local laws and regulations for these sorts of things.

You may be wondering why you need a pay stub anyways. Well here are four use cases to get the pay stub that you have just made:

  • Pay stubs will help you prove your income.
  • Pay stubs allow you to be more aware of your financial situation.
  • Paystubs will clear any doubts that you might have about your income.
  • Pay stubs will help you when you’re filing taxes.


Making a pay stub is not as confusing or time consuming as it might sound. With that being said, you should always ensure that you only use accurate, needed information and that it’s presentation is acceptable. 

For most use cases, you will want to use a pay stub generator to make a pay stub for you. It will eliminate a lot of the hassle that goes into creating and maintaining a spreadsheet or a template.

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