Taking Home a Smaller Paycheck?
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Waxhaw resident Wayne Riley noticed it right away. "I was concerned because every penny counts," he says. He didn't know the payroll tax holiday expired until he saw it reflected in his paycheck. His financial philosophy, "Buy what you need, not what you want."
If you make $30,000 a year, you're now taking home $50 less a month. If you make $60,000 dollars, $100 less and so on. This could be the "gut check" that puts your financial health in focus. Wells Fargo store manager Kimberly Treichler says, "This could be the opportunity to really have that wake up call and see 'how can I do things differently?'"
Most of us can't afford to just ignore our smaller paychecks. But experts say there is one option you should avoid. "When you start to dip into your savings account, you may at first only take a little portion of that, but that tends to grow," warns Treichler. She says the importance of savings can't be overstated and offers this rule of thumb for how much is a safe cushion: "Typically, they say about three to six months of your monthly expenses that you should have set aside."
Makes perfect sense to Ballantyne resident Troy Mills, who also points out the practicality of today's economy. He says, "Taking from your savings account is the worst thing to do, in my opinion, but people will do what they think is best for their household."
Treichler also says now is the time to take advantage of your banks online tools, like balance alerts or money mapping, to help keep your household budget in check.