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First 2013 Paychecks Bring Unwanted Surprise

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) -Two weeks ago, congress finally applied the breaks to keep us from falling off the “Fiscal Cliff.”

While they did not allow income tax to go up for most Americans, they didn’t stop in a payroll tax increase.

“If an individual earns 50-thousand a year, you’ll see an increase of 100-dollars a month,” said Greg Carver, an employer tax specialist for Ernst and Young.

That means the average American will see an additional $1200 deducted annually from his paycheck. For those making $100,000 or more, the deduction is two-fold.

And, that hurts. It could also hurt the economy. People are going to spend less and that’s exactly what financial experts are recommending they do.

LaToya Glaspie had just been talking to her boyfriend about it as they pulled up to Cliff’s Check Cashing in Dallas.

“I end up looking at it and I seen the social security,” she said.

Glaspie was one of several at the check cashing store experiencing “paycheck shock.”

“I looked at it and I was like Wowwww. They’re taking a lot of money out now!” she said.

Joyce Williams hadn’t heard about it until she was about to cash her check.

“It’s crazy. Between the gas and this. That’s why I don’t go anywhere most of the time. Can’t afford it,” she said.

For the middle class, the Social Security Tax increase means 40 to 50 dollars less every week.

And for LaToya Glaspie, every dollar counts. Walking away from the cashier’s window with fewer greenbacks in her hand, she looked very sad.

“It’s disappointing. It really is,” she said.

“That’s going to cut into consumer spending. And, consumers are already hurting,” said Jim LaCamp.

Jim LaCamp, a financial advisor, says credit card debt is creeping up again and the job market doesn’t look good.

“The jobs that have been recreated as we’ve started to recover has been low income jobs,” he said.

“Healthcare, burger flippers, waitresses. and, there’s nothing wrong with doing those jobs. It just doesn’t pay very much. So, we’ve seen incomes pressured in the United States. And, people are feeling it,” LaCamp said.

And while some people are already watching gas consumption, LaCamp recommends they apply the brakes elsewhere.

Some people will just have to cut back on expenses, like eating out.

“No impulse buying. Make a list before you go to the grocery store. Plan out your vacations carefully. There’s all sorts of ways you can vacation cheaper,” LaCamp said.

With a smaller paycheck, vacation isn’t even on the map for LaToya Glaspie.

“I guess work more hours. Try to find another job,” she said.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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