Don't Waste Your Money: Smaller paychecks start in new year

(Toledo News Now) - By now, you may have received your first paycheck of the new year. If so, you've seen that it's a bit smaller. If you haven't yet, brace yourself, a small pay cut is coming.

Your boss is probably struggling to explain it.

Unless you are a business owner or accountant, you probably don't know and don't care to know how your company figures out payroll, withholding, insurance and all those other factors that go into your paycheck.

You just want to know the money will be there.

Business Owners Worry

But behind the scenes, these are very frustrating times for people who run small businesses.

Mike Luken has run his family's seafood market since 1977. He has never entered a new year with such uncertainty, knowing that his eight employees will be looking at smaller paychecks.

"The payroll's not gonna change. They're going to be paid the same amount of money," Luken said. "But what's going to happen with taxes, and the extra $10 you had every week in your paycheck? Is that going to disappear?"

The biggest issue: The expiration of the temporary 2 percent Social Security tax break, which gave the average worker an extra $1,000 a year the past two years.

Pay Cut in January, a Second in February

Luken says that will be just the start for his employees.

No sooner will they get used to smaller paychecks in January when they may get another cut in February, when he has to readjust for rising health care premiums.

"We offer health insurance to some of our employees, but we have no idea where that's heading also. Except the rates, when we renew in February, are going to be higher," Luken said.

Luken says, that will hurt everyone from himself, to his employees, to his customers, which will mean less money coming in.

"If they lose $10 a week, over a year's time, what does that amount to?" Luken asked. "Then going out to dinner once or twice, or vacation? Everyone's going to have to cut back a little bit."

The one thing that is certain is your January pay will probably be less than it was last year. So budget accordingly, so you don't waste your money.

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