2013 paychecks could get smaller despite fiscal cliff vote

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Financial experts predict that no matter what fiscal cliff deal Congress agrees to, changes are coming to your paycheck.

With a deal still up in the air, local small businesses are worried they will not know exactly how much to pay employees.
Families are worried about how new changes Congress may negotiate into the tax code will reduce pay and tax returns in April.
The increase in payroll taxes are back as of January 1.

The Social Security payroll tax rates reverted back to the 2010 tax rates; therefore 2 percent more will come out of paycheck for Social Security.

That is an extra $83 more on a $50,000 income.

Payroll taxes are key for financing Social Security, and the break of the past two years has forced the government to replenish the funds with borrowed money. The tax break was always meant to be temporary.

Accountants said even that kind of loss can have a big trickle down effect on the economy.

"If people aren't spending money, they don't have it in their wallet to come to a Roasterie and buy a $5 cup of coffee. Business decreases which means they would need to lay off employees," Jane Rubenstein, owner of Business Accounting Services, said over her coffee.

Many families will continue to get the child care tax credit and college education tax credit.

Both houses decided to continue those breaks.

Still, experts suggest coming up with a plan now to save more money each month.

They suggest trying to chip away at your monthly expenses and discretionary spending.

Many Americans have already had to make adjustments, but even small changes can help, at least for now.

Consider what you can really survive without.

Money expert Clark Howard suggests:

*Drop your landline.
*Get cheaper Internet service.
*Call your home and car insurers to see if they can offer lower rates.
*Shop at cheaper, off-brand grocery stores
*Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
*Go out to dinner one less time per month
*Avoid the dry cleaners as much as possible

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