Save energy, pay off debt, take advantage of credits
Millions of Texans and workers across America are in for a shock when they receive their first paycheck of 2013 due to a two-percent Social Security tax re-instated by Congress this year.
However, Houston financial planner Michael Parmet says there are ways to offset that $20-30 weekly hit to your wallet, such as dining out less often, turning down the thermostat or replacing old appliances.
“The old refrigerator out in the garage may be running you $10 or $15 a month, it may be running you $30 a month,” Parmet tells KTRH News.
Paying down your credit card debt also will help eliminate high interest charges.
“If you have money in your savings account, you should use that immediately, outside of your emergency funds, to pay off that credit card debt,” says Parmet.
And if you're in Texas, don't forget to itemize state sales tax, that's back again this year. You also can claim tuition and student loans from 2012 when filing your returns.
“The sales tax can save you a couple thousand dollars,” he says. “The Child Tax Credit, Adoption Credit and many of the education credits are back again this year.”
If you're looking for new appliances, Parmet says be sure to spend wisely.
“Those cards you received at Christmas, cash or gift cards,” he says. “Things are going for a lot less in January than they did in December, they're not full price anymore.”
Parmet still worries the new tax bill increases taxes on 70% of workers, and that could drive us back into a recession as consumers once again scale back their spending.