TAMPA - A lot of you will get your first paycheck of 2013 this Friday. The first one since the last minute fiscal cliff deal. That deal avoided widespread spending cuts and drastic tax increases across the board, but every working American will be seeing less money in their paychecks.
The payroll two-percent tax break expired with the new year, meaning someone making an annual income of $60,000 will be saying goodbye to about $100 a month. That's $1200 a year and those amounts have the average American family breaking out the calculators and re-evaluating monthly bills.
"It’s a scary thought," says Danielle Gamson, a marketing consultant and mother of two in Tampa.
She and her husband Josh are reevaluating their financial future. They are the typical, middle class parents, attempting to live the American dream with their two young children; but cash concerns as of late have started a very serious conversation between the Gamsons about how to move forward in a financially uncertain climate.
"We had Busch Gardens and Sea World passes. Those won't get renewed," says Danielle. "We had aquarium passes, zoo passes, the Glazer museum. I think the things, the extras we used for entertainment with our kids, we wont be able to afford all of them."
The government's two-percent social security tax break is gone, and every working American will be seeing two-percent less in each paycheck. That means working Americans will be contributing 6.2 percent, up from 4.2 in that Social Security line on those pay stubs.
The Gamsons say that means less extras for their family.
"They'll notice that in the afternoons we aren't running to tennis and gymnastics," says Danielle. "Now we are just doing one, if anything at all."
The private school education they have been able to provide for their children is even being looked at.
"The question is going to come up now, whether we look towards the public school system and take them both out, or whether we have enough to move forward and stay in the private school."
It's a paycheck-to-paycheck kind of life for this family of four, with the two little ones, student loans from grad school and other bills that just have be paid.
"There's no savings account," says Josh. "There's no retirement plan, that all died in 2008."
A very familiar story to many middle class American's just trying to make it. The Gamsons say in a month they could spend $600 on groceries, $450 on gas for two cars, phone and cable is around $130, plus $1000 for daycare, not to mention the $300 to $500 they say they spend on eating out, which they also say has to stop.
"It's about making more decisions this year. As opposed to just saying we've got it right now. Making more educated decisions when it comes to what they decide to do for the kids, extracurricular wise."
They, like many with an already tight budget, say there just isn’t much wiggle room anymore.
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