Is Your Paycheck Getting Smaller This Year?

Do you feel like your paycheck got a little lighter this year? Well, it did. Your paycheck is smaller as a result of the payroll tax cut expiration. In December of 2010, Congress cut payroll taxes from 6.2 to 4.2 percent to boost the economy, but the deal expired on Jan 1.

The payroll tax is a deduction used to fund Social Security. Your employer pays 6.2 percent and you pay the other half, and if you are self-employed you pay 12.4 percent.

The Tax Policy Center estimates that 77 percent of Americans will pay higher taxes this year. So, this means that if you make $50,000 a year, you will take home $1,000 less and if your household income is $100,000, your earnings will decrease by $2,000.

Even though you may feel angry about bringing home less money, remember that this is not a tax hike, it’s just the expiration of a temporary tax cut. With that said, how do you get extra cash to get your old paycheck back?

Use your skills: If you are a good writer or an expert on a particular subject, freelancing can be a good option to get extra cash. Read newspapers and magazines that interest you to see if your talents could fit into any of the publications you enjoy. Many freelance jobs pay about $20 or $30 per hour, or a couple of hundred dollars a week. Also, if you have any other skills such as sewing or fixing cars, use them! Post an ad on the newspaper or on informing the community about your services.

Sell your stuff: Maybe the cash you are looking for is in your closet or in your garage. Do you have an old laptop you don’t use or jewelry you don’t wear? Try to sell it on Just be safe when contacting sellers, as doesn’t take responsibility for any problems customers may face. Another option to make cash is to return stuff you purchased. If you bought way too many Christmas presents or you have new clothes hanging in your closet, you can head back to the store to get some cash back.

Avoid eating out: Eating at restaurants can be expensive and unhealthy. Instead, cook your own meals to save money and lose weight! Soups and steamed vegetables are great choices for the winter. Visit to find delicious and easy soup recipes.

Buy generic items: Don’t waste extra money on brand name items unless you are absolutely sure they are better than generic products. For the most part generic items are very similar to brand name products and they cost 20 to 30 percent less. This is because when you buy brand name items you are paying for packaging and advertising, but not for the product itself.