SAN ANTONIO — High inflation is eating away at your income. Do a paycheck check-up to find four ways to potentially get every penny possible to battle high prices.
#1: Do the math.
“Make sure the numbers are adding up,” said Sean Pettit of Payroll Vault. “You want to make sure you’re getting paid correctly.”
Look to see that you got the correct overtime pay. Check that your salary amount is accurate. Payroll Vault said a third of employers make payroll errors.
#2: Tweak your taxes.
Reduce your tax withholding to boost your paycheck.
“Say you get a refund of $5,000,” Pettit said. “Well, really that’s the IRS holding on to that $5,000. It’s really yours. So it’s almost like giving yourself a pay increase if you do that withholding adjustment. Guess what? You could potentially have $400 more in each paycheck for the year. That helps, especially with inflation today.”
Just know changes to your tax withholding will lower your annual tax refund.
“Some people view it as a forced savings and they’re okay with that,” said Karen Orosco, president of global consumer tax and service delivery for tax preparer H&R Block. “They look forward to that big refund and they have plans and it helps them kind of save for larger purchases. There are many that believe that I’d rather use my own money during the year versus let someone else use it for the year. So, it’s very personal. “
#3: Brush up on your benefits.
Double check you are using the benefits you have. Ditch the ones you do not use.
“Forty-nine percent of employees don’t even know really what their benefits are,” Pettit said. “So for instance, you had a child that would have braces on and they had braces for two years and you had a rider on your insurance. Well, if they’re done with the braces and you don’t take that rider off, guess what? You’re paying money you really don’t need to.”
You may need to wait for the annual open enrollment period to make adjustments.
#4: See if your employer or bank offers early wage access.
It will allow you to get money before payday.
“If you get paid on Friday, you can access your wages on a Wednesday or Thursday,” Pettit said. “Sometimes that can be helpful, going to the grocery store and you need that little extra cash.”
Check if there is a fee for early wage access.
These are ways to boost your take-home pay until you qualify for a raise.