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Did you know that your paychecks in 2011 were a bit heftier than in years past? If you didn’t, then you’re not alone. According to a January poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 66 percent of respondents did not realize that, thanks to a 2 percent Social Security tax cut, their paychecks were larger this past year.
The problem is, if consumers find it that easy to overlook more money in their paycheck, they are likely overlooking the impact their spending habits – even buying one cup of coffee a day – can have on their overall financial situation.
If you’re wondering how much money a two-percent tax cut really amounts to, consider this: The 2 percent Social Security payroll tax cut puts $1,000 back into the pockets of a family earning $50,000 annually – a significant amount of money that could mean the difference between financial stability and financial distress each month.
Those aware of the increase appeared to have allocated the money responsibly, with the largest number of respondents indicating they used it to pay off debt, while the second-largest number caught up on past-due bills. Smaller percentages of respondents either increased their retirement contributions or saved the money. Only 1 percent indicated that they spent the money on something for themselves.
It’s important to remember that the key to financial wellness is having a solid budget – you have to be aware of every penny you spend and every penny you earn.
The January poll questions and answers are as follows:
With the 2011 two percentage point payroll tax cut, last year I …
The NFCC’s January Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, 2012 via the NFCC website (DebtAdvice.org), and was answered by 1,797 individuals.
Money Management International is a member of the NFCC. The NFCC is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. NFCC Members annually help over three million consumers through close to 800 community-based offices nationwide.
I was watching the Today show recently when a woman showed how you can organize your kitchen pantry using a low-cost over-the-door shoe holder—it was brilliant. So I thought it would be a good idea to take that concept into the home office.
A recent poll hosted on the NFCC website revealed that close to half of survey respondents were unaware of the Social Security tax break which cuts the workers’ share of Social Security payroll taxes by close to one-third during 2011.
I know a lot about money. In fact, I know so much about personal finance that I also know when I need help with it.
Last week, I was driving in a rural area and was only able to pick up one very staticy radio station. Thankfully, the station was airing an interesting show about credit cards. I was unable to find a transcript of the show, so bear with me as I try to remember what I thought was a very interesting little known fact.
Have you thought about your taxes yet? If you’re like many Americans, you will procrastinate as long as you can—especially if you suspect that you might owe the IRS. But calculating your taxes before the deadline doesn’t mean you have to file early. What it does mean is that you’ll have more time to prepare for the results.
Tax season is among us and for many it means a nice refund from the IRS. Each year people are perplexed on how to spend their refund – save or spend, invest or squander, new shoes or new furniture.
Valentine’s Day rolls around each year on February 14, regardless of the economic conditions. This obvious lack of sensitivity on the part of Cupid, the mythical god of love, leaves many wondering how to show their affection without breaking the bank.
If you find yourself in financial distress, perhaps the best gift this Valentine’s Day is not to spend money on a token of your affection, but to provide your loved one with something that’s not on sale at the stores: a sense of financial peace of mind. This type of financial peace is not based on the size of your bank account. Instead, it is understanding that regardless of the circumstances, the money is being handled responsibly. Putting the following actions in place which will provide both you and your loved one with a better sense of financial stability, even in the hard times.
Finally, vow to make the most of your money by following these 9 tips.
This Valentine's Day, remember that actions speak louder than words. When your loved one sees you putting the above steps in place, he or she will know how much you care about them. This is definitely a gift you can afford to give.
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