Every year around this time I login to our bank account and am surprised at how small (in relative terms) my paycheck is. There are several reasons for this.
For starters, I earn more than the Social Security wage base, so my employer stops withholding FICA-OASDI taxes partway through the year. In January, these taxes come back. And this year they came back plus the payroll tax cut expired.
In addition, our health insurance premiums went up for 2013 and we also increased our retirement and HSA contributions to keep pace with the new limits.
The end result was that, even though I got a raise effective January 1st, my take-home pay went down noticeably vs. what I was used toward the end of last year.
And now… Here are some articles that caught my eye this past week:
- How to Cut Your 2012 Tax Bill Today — Believe it or not, it’s not too late to cut last year’s tax bill. How? By contributing to an IRA before April 15th.
- Do You Know What Your Debt-to-Income Ratio Is? — Yes, in fact, I do. It’s zero.
- Investing Based on Economic News — I’m with Mike. We don’t change our approach based on economic (or other) news. We’re in it for the long haul.
- Debit Card Discounts vs. Credit Card Rewards — I’ve never been a heavy debit card user, but that could change if Harry’s predictions are right.
- The Oil Well You Can Keep in Your Pants — A nice reminder about “the power of clothes” when it comes to saving energy (and thus money).
Finally, the Carnival of Personal Finance included my post on paying for your kid’s college education and the Carnival of Passive Investing included my post on contributing to a Roth IRA when you’re over the income limit.
That’s it. Hope you’re having a great weekend.