You might have already started feeling the effects of the payroll tax hikes; a smaller paycheck means a smaller budget. Throughout the recession you’ve cut back on as much as you can and now you have to cut back even more.
Time magazine pointed out that if you’re making about $50,000, single or joint income, you could be seeing $1,000 less this year. They’ve also figured out a few ways to combat this loss, here are some of their tips.
- Drive less. Cutting down on driving about town can reduce how much you’re spending. An easy way to do this is to track how much you spend on gas on an average week, the following week try to cut down how much you drive by carpooling, walking, or using public transportation. If you’re able to spend $80 less each month on gas you’ll save close to $1,000 by the end of the year.
- Stick to your resolutions and kick your bad habits. You said that this year you’d stop smoking, or drink less, or stop buying coffee each morning. On average Americans are paying over $5 for a pack a day; at the high end someone could pay be paying over $1,800 a year for cigarettes and at the low end over $250 a year. This year you should vow to break your bad habits, especially those that are costing you too much money.
- Stop paying interest. While you can’t stop paying your credit card bills, you can try to pay off your credit cards and stop wasting your money on recurring interest charges. In the end that’s a 2-for-1 deal, less debt and zero interest charges.
An additional way to save money we’d like to suggest is to re-think your fitness goals. We’re not giving you fitness advice here, but you should re-consider that gym membership and those personal training sessions. If you’re paying $50 (it’s probably higher) for a personal training session each week, by 6 months you’ve spent $1,200. Personal trainers are great, as are gyms, but there are thousands of free online resources that could help you meet your personal fitness goals.
If you really need that money now, consider changing your W-4 withholding instead of waiting for that yearly refund. You’ll need to pay close attention as to how much is being withheld though, too little could mean you get an IRS bill instead of a refund.
To find out other ways you could save $1,000 this year by visiting Time.