The Fiscal Cliff, that is.
In all honesty, I haven't paid ALOT of attention to it. I am NOT a political girl, so as soon as something related (even remotely) to politics is mentioned....I zone out. However, G-man and I were talking about work, and it forced me to think, and worry, about.
G-man said that there is a furlough plan in place at his office, just in case. The likelihood of it being enacted before April is small (I really don't know why that is). I don't know if this plan is for the entire office, or just his group (since someone has to be there 24 hrs a day). But...each employee would be forced to take off 1 day per payperiod (essentially, a 10% cut). Back in 1995, the last time he was furloughed (which pre-dates our relationship by a year), he was paid for the weeks he was off (totally different position). This time, there is no guarantee that he will get paid. He probably can use vacation time to make up the difference, but then he is using up time.
Then there is the whole tax withholding piece. Since I work for a small company, there is a good chance that my withholding will be incorrect for at least January (and of course that is a 3 paycheck month). Then the boss will have to play catchup by taking out extra once it is figured out. Super.
For G-man, I am at a complete loss on figuring out what his check will look like. The FSA cap changed, so more of our money will be after-tax. He is getting a cost of living increase (1%? 2%?) unless they take that back. AND now the change in tax amounts. His first paycheck of the year will have overtime on it, so it will be at least the end of January or early February before we see a "normal" check.
Some of the calculators I have looked at suggest that our tax situation will change by 17%!!!
I don't want to take out too much in taxes this year, but I am worried that when we file our 2013 taxes we will end up owing. So now I am wondering what the answer is? Change the withholdings again?? Put money aside for taxes (and hope we don't need it)?
The bottom line is I can't do ANYTHING about the decisions the government will make. I am just trying to get ahead of the curve and make sure we are prepared. Anyway I look at it, we will be living on less....
I just want to "set it and forget it." That works best for us. If I have things auto-debited or transferred around at payday, I always have money for the needs. I want to aggressively get rid of the credit card (the $1200 we spent on airline tickets to see my parents is really nagging me). But I can't be TOO aggressive if that means I won't have money for utilities, food, etc. I just want to figure out the optimal answer...and go with it.
Anyone else worry about this stuff? I know I have several non-American readers.....do you think this whole thing is crazy????