At the end of 2012, President Obama increased the Social Security Tax by 2% - meaning that your take-home paychecks in 2013 are less than they once were.  The move happened without much fanfare, but many Americans have been wondering what they can do to counter the loss of income.

The experts at the Dollar Stretcher Blog have suggested ways that the average American could make a difference in the money they have left at the end of the month.

Those suggested steps include:

  • Refinance your home. If your home value is higher than your mortgage amount, you could take advantage of low interest rates to refinance.
  • Shop your home insurance policy.  It only takes an hour or so to make sure you have the right insurance and that you're getting the best rate.
  • Shop your auto insurance policy. The same thing is true with your auto policy. You may be able to handle a bigger deductible, and, rates vary between insurers.
  • Eliminate a monthly expense. Most of us have monthly subscription services that are built into our lifestyle.
  • Things like premium cable channels and health club memberships.
  • Save on routine expenses. There are some budget categories that are large and where we spend money often. By using coupons, a grocery pricebook and purchasing less prepared foods, you could cut your bill by 10% or more.
  • Gasoline. It may be time to reconsider starting that carpool or using a bike for shorter trips.
  • Change daily spending habits. Coffee breaks, a quick stop at the convenience store on the way home from work, or glass of wine with dinner each night seem like a small expense, but they do add up. Replace one of those habits with something less expensive. If you save $1 a day by bringing coffee break items from home, you'll have achieved one third of your $1,000 goal.

The Dollar Stretcher Blog is a wonderful resource of money-saving tips you can use.  Check out their website by clicking here.