A Breakdown of What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means For You

By: Laura Berry Email
By: Laura Berry Email

Congress averted the fiscal cliff, but unfortunately it still involves the federal government taking more of your money.

The expiration of a payroll tax holiday means less take home pay for most Americans.

"Payroll tax went from 4.2 percent back up to 6.2 percent, which was just lowered for a few years and now it's back in full force," said Brett Shunkwiler, President of Shunkwiler Financial. "With that said it's going to take about a month, roughly for employers to get that figured out and get the correct tax put in there."

For instance, the average U.S. Household that earns $50,000 annually, will pay an extra $1,000 in taxes in 2013.

"I honestly think you definitely have to plan on spending less," said Shunkwiler. "Do I think moving forward this might go back to 4.2 percent? Absolutely not."

So plan for change. It's best to do things like cancel unused gym memberships, bring lunch to work and Shunkwiler suggests implement a mandatory 48 hour waiting period on big purchases to avoid making impulse buys.

Way too much goes on credit cards and not enough goes into savings," said Shunkwiler. "Especially if you're not saving 10-15 percent you're falling behind; now you have a reduction because of your payroll taxes and people are expected to save which puts them in a tight spot."

Because the deal happened so late, you might not see a change in your take home pay until your third paycheck of the year.


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