The so-called ‘fiscal cliff bill’ may have left you disenchanted after receiving your first paycheck of 2013. This is a result of the fact that the fiscal cliff bill did not to extend the Social Security tax cuts and allowed the Social Security payroll tax rate to jump back from 4.2% to 6.2%. One of the major issues with all of this is simply that there was no adjustment period. Since it became effective on New Year’s day, no one had time to prepare for the new year’s loss of income. For many, this small increase in social security tax left you with a big hole in your budget and with the feeling that you may be even more strapped for money as you adjust to this pay cut.
What this means is that budgeting is more important than ever and looking for creative ways to adjust spending during this fiscal crises. If you already have a budget in place and are comfortable, there is no harm in looking for other areas to cut and save money. Below are so strategies to cut out even more money from your daily expenses. If you don’t have a budget, check out my blog on budgeting here.
No better time than ever to quit an addiction (whether it be coffee or cigarettes), cancel unused subscriptions (gym, magazines) but sometimes you need to think outside of the box in order to get to your goals!
Couponing, don’t knock it until you try it! - Try planning out your shopping trips according to sales and coupons. Cutting coupons may only save you 10-20 dollars each shopping trip, but it will add up and may even make up the difference in the pay cut. Sign up for email coupons with big retailers or try money saving apps such as ‘retail me not’ to ensure you are getting the best deal every time you go shopping (whether you are shopping online or at a brick and mortar location.)
Call your utility/insurance companies and find out what discounts they offer - Your insurance company may offer a discount for safe driving that you apply for, or your cable company may be charging you for a service you don’t use! Cutting a few dollars off of each of your bills can help to save you hundreds in a year! Giving them a call can’t hurt, and you may wind up with a little extra money in your pocket!
Sell old things! - Have a yard sale or open an account on EBay and start selling things you never use! Even if you are selling these things for half of what you bought them for, it’s extra money in your pocket that you wouldn’t earn leaving it sitting in a closet or the garage.
It’s almost tax season - Consider consulting a professional to make sure you fill out your taxes correctly and completely to maximize your 2012 return.
Always keep in mind that should you really be over the edge financially that there are realistic solutions to help you out of debt and back on the road to financial freedom.