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2013 Tax Change Impacts U.S. Buyers

Smaller take-home pay means shoppers will spend less.

A change in U.S. social security tax law that decreased Americans’ take-home pay is affecting how much people buy.

That’s according to a recent survey by researcher BIGinsight. It finds that 73.3 percent of shoppers say their smaller paychecks are influencing their spending habits.

More than 45 percent say they are spending less, overall, and 35.6 percent say they now look for sales more often, the survey finds.

“Families will adjust to the changes in their take-home pay by purchasing generic brands, searching for coupons, downgrading on services”

‘Small luxuries’ take a hit

Smaller paychecks will mean fewer luxuries, according to the survey. In fact, more than 33.5 percent of respondents note they are eating out less and 24.5 percent add they are spending less on nonessential items like coffee and manicures.

Buyers also report they now look for deals more often, with 46.4 percent saying they now comparison shop and 54.5 percent spending less on clothing. More than 20 percent add they will buy more generic-branded items this year.

Tax refunds may provide some relief, the survey notes. It finds that 65.8 percent of respondents are expecting a refund from Uncle Sam. However, the majority of buyers will use that cash to pay off debut or will put it in savings. About 29.7 percent will use it for everyday expenses.

“Americans are extremely mindful of how they spend their hard-earned money these days, and that includes any refund they may get back from their taxes,” reports BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “Thanks to years of practice stemming from high gas and food prices, and an uncertain economy, families will adjust to the changes in their take-home pay by purchasing generic brands, searching for coupons, downgrading on services like cable and Internet, and re-evaluating their overall spending habits.”

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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