It didn't take long for the pain from the 2 percent payroll tax increase to hit your wallet. Households bringing home $50,000 a year will take home roughly $38 less per biweekly paycheck (about $1,000 a year), and those making $100,000 will see about $2,000 less a year.
With some maneuvering, you can make up the shortfall.
MAKE ADJUSTMENTS. If you typically receive a tax refund, adjust your exemptions upward to take more of your money now. Increase 401(k) contributions if you can. In the long run, you'll pay less tax on your income, advises Charles Hamowy, an Ameriprise private wealth adviser in New York City.
GET CREATIVE. Raise an insurance deductible. This will increase the amount you'll pay if you use the insurance, say if you get into a car accident, but it will reduce your monthly payment. You can save $1,000 per year, says Howard Dvorkin, founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
CLEAN OUT. Sell or pawn unwanted items such as jewelry, bikes or electronics. Look for unused items around your home that contain scrap metals such as iron or copper that can be sold quickly, says David Flores, New York regional manager of GreenPath Debt Solutions in Jericho.
RESTRUCTURE. REFINANCE. The monthly savings will make a difference, says Patricia Seaman, spokeswoman for the National Endowment for Financial Education. Cancel the home phone and evaluate your cellphone plan; can you cut back?
FORGET CONVENIENCE. Let the gardener go, minimize eating out, spend time collecting coupons. The little things will add up.