Super Safi’s Monday Morning Math Mayhem 31 – Paycheck Math

Morning Mathematical Monsters & Maniacs!

(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)


Hi, I’m Super Safi and you may remember me from such stats and strategy posts as Kwik-E-Mart Farming and the advanced losing-to-win Superheroes battle strategy.

Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing mathematical journey involving fractions, probability, Fermat’s last theorem, and hundreds of other aspects from the wonderful world off mathematics.

And what better way to start your week, then by discussing math Monday morning?

Are you getting your final paychecks of the year? Have you ever looked at paycheck in detail? You ever use your weekly paycheck to calculate your annual salary or hourly wage? This week we take a look at our favourite patriarchs paycheck to calculate his hourly wage and annual salary.


In Much Apu About Nothing (Season 07, Episode 23), when a bear wanders down Evergreen Terrace, Quimby proposes tax rises to fund a new bear patrol. The bear tax results in some classic Simpsons banter:

Homer: Woo-hoo! A perfect day. Zero bears and one big fat hairy paycheck. [opens it up and reads it] Hey! How come my pay is so low? “Bear patrol tax!” This is an outrage! It’s the biggest tax increase in history!

Lisa: Actually, Dad, it’s the smallest tax increase in history.

Homer: Let the bears pay the bear tax. I pay the Homer tax.

Lisa: That’s home-owner-tax.

Homer: Well, anyway, I’m still outraged.

So let’s look at Homer’s paycheck.


Net Pay

Net pay is the amount of money earned after taxes and other deductions. We can see that Homer’s net pay is $362.19, as seen at the bottom of his paycheck.

Net Pay   =   $362.19

Homer’s net pay is $362.19.


Gross Pay

Gross pay is the total amount of money earned prior to taxes and other deductions. We can calculate Homer’s gross pay by adding all the deductions to his net pay.

Gross Pay   =   Net Pay   +   Deductions

Gross Pay   =   Net Pay   +   Federal Tax   +   FICA   +   State Tax   +   Municipal Tax   +   Bear Patrol Tax

Gross Pay    =   $362.19   +   $56.25   +   $36.34   +   $10.45   +   $9.37   +   $5.00

Gross Pay   =    $479.60

Homer’s gross pay is $479.60.


Hourly Wage

Hourly wage describes a rate an employer agrees to pay a worker per hour worked. As per Homer’s paycheck, he works 40 hours per week. We can use his gross pay and weekly hours to calculate his hourly wage.

Hourly Wage   =   Gross Pay   ÷   Hours

Hourly Wage   =   $479.60   ÷   40

Hourly Wage   =   $11.99

So Homer’s hourly wage is $11.99 per hour.


Annual Salary

Annual salary is the monetary compensation that an employee receives in exchange for working for a year. Using Homer’s weekly paycheck, we can calculate his annual salary for all 52 weeks in a year.

Annual Salary   =   Weekly Gross Pay   x   52 weeks per year

Annual Salary   =   $479.60   x   52

Annual Salary   =   $24,939.20

So Homer’s annual salary for working in Sector 7G is $24,939.20.

This is just a shade less than the $25,000 Principal Skinner makes according to Nelson in Skinner’s Sense of Snow (Season 12, Episode 08):

Nelson: Hey, look at what Skinner makes – $25,000 a year!

Bart: [using calculator] Let’s see. He’s 40 years old, times 25 grand … whoa, he’s a millionaire!

Principal Skinner: I wasn’t a principal when I was one!

Nelson: Plus, in the summer, he paints houses!

Milhouse: He’s a billionaire!

Principal Skinner: If I were a billionaire, why would I be living with my mother?


Now that we’ve completed a look at Homer’s paycheck, why not show your love for math by spending some of your own paycheck on a Math Mayhem shirt or hoodie.

If you love math or enjoy reading these posts, don’t forget to stop by the Addicts Shop and check out all the paraphernalia, including the Math Mayhem shirts and hoodies.

Were you familiar with these paycheck terms? Did you recall seeing Homer’s paycheck in the episode? Did you ever calculate Homer’s hourly wage yourself? Does Homer’s paycheck make you feel better or worse about your own? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.

19 responses to “Super Safi’s Monday Morning Math Mayhem 31 – Paycheck Math

  1. In New York State, Homer and family would be out on the street in no time with that yearly income. 😕

  2. If you have any money after you paid your tax remember,

  3. Not sure if it’s just me but major Bart screen of death today

  4. Are all those taxes made up or for real

    • There are about 7 states without income tax (they get you in other ways). So that rules out Washington, Alaska, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, anyone want to add any that I may be missing?

      PS. Don’t listen to Patric’s conspiracy theory that they live in Oregon. Although, it is still a possibility. In the episode where Homer was on the submarine, they left from springton harbor (harbour for Safi) and went directly onto the Pacific ocean.

      In other episodes they drove directly to other states, so that rules out Hawaii.

      That leaves it down to California and Oregon. Maybe there is some truth in Patric ‘s theory?

  5. Question #1

    What year was that from?

    Question #2

    What is the poverty rate for a family of 5 in what ever state it is that they live in, for that particular year

    Question #3

    Why does it seem that point of your post was just a lead in to a sales pitch?

    Question #4

    How many shirts or hoodies can Homer buy with gross pay check? Or the net paycheck? What if Homer had invested the full amount at the end of what ever year that was and earned CPI (US) over that period until the beginning of 2019?

    Question #5

    What would he do with all of those shirts and hoodies?

    Thanx Safi!

    • For #3, answer is “Because yes it is”. I have a friendly competition going with Pat to see who’s shirts are more popular. So go ahead and buy one of Pat’s shirts; but be sure to buy two of mine.

      • In picking who to support I kind of feel conflicted on the same way that Homer did when he was a judge at the film festival:

        “But ‘Football in Groin’ had a football in groin”

        Or is it more like Bart at the advanced school when he said “you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t”

        This so complexing. I think I will go listen to some Motorhead to clear my thoughts.

        • Works for me….

          • After listening to Motorhead for a while, I still had no answer. So I moved on to one of my favorite Welsh bands, Budgie, then on to another Welsh band Badfinger. At long last I came to the conclusion that I will just donate some money to the local animal shelter instead. That way, I can “help those who can’t help themselves”.

            Nonetheless, I wish both Safi and Patric well in their quest to better each other in hoddie and t shirt sales.

            Happy holidays!

  6. WOW.. how can a family of 5 plus pets, live on a salary like that.!!!!!???? Clearly Homer has other types of income that he is not reporting, they are able to take road trips, vacations, go to Venues and whatnot. Am sure Homer has been dealing for some time and making some cash on the side.. and/or hopefully he got a raise by now… good post Safi..

    • Unless he lives in Indiana, where the average yearly income at least a few years ago was $25,000…. A friend said having a master’s degree in some jobs could bump it up locally to $30-$35,000 tops.

      Cost of living has to also be taken into account, no matter which state Homer is in. So if Springfield has a low cost of living, the Simpsons are doing ok. They have a nice house, at least. If no episodes about losing the house because they can’t pay the rent or mortgage, that puts them ahead of many people. Few childcare expenses because his wife is available.

      Often people can’t afford to work an outside paying job because childcare expenses would eat up their paycheck. A friend had to work on a Saturday when his wife wasn’t home, and when we did the math – he was losing a nickel per hour that day after paying for childcare.

      There are states with lower yearly incomes than Indiana, I assume.

      • Childcare in NJ for my 2 costs more than my mortgage…

        • About the same in Ontario. $1000 a month give or take.

          Quebec however has Government subsidized childcare experiment they started years ago.

          As of 2018, daycare fee’s range from $8.05 per day (for those making less than $51,340) up to $21.95 for the first child (for those making more than $165,000)

          Gov’t pays the rest. Seems to be working out…

      • There is a theory out there that states that Homer is actually a millionaire living as a peasant .. and he only works as a way to blend in to society.

    • In America, first u get the sugar….then u get the power….then u get the women.

      • I got the sugar… some power.. and I have to get me some of this Women you talk about… maybe a combination of all three… a sugar women, with power… I’ve heard of a sugar daddy, why not a sugar mommy.. equal rights and all..

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