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Stretching your salary is easier said than done. If you find yourself spending every last penny of each paycheck, try outsmarting your spending habits next pay cycle. An automatic paycheck deduction plan can be a no-pain way to meet your financial goals.

The Retirement Fix Set up auto-deductions to make pretax contributions to your 401(k) plan right away. If your company offers a matching contribution program, that’s all the more reason to contribute.

Did You Know?

4.2% of the average American’s disposable income goes into savings or paying down the principal of a debt.

Smart Saving Business owners live by the “pay yourself first” mantra. You can live the same way. Choose an amount that gets automatically transferred from your paycheck into your savings account, investments or IRA. That way, saving becomes a no-brainer. Plus, you’ll take the stress out of lump-sum end-of-year investments.

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Care-Free Charity You may also be able to donate automatically to your charity. Workplace giving campaigns are an easy way to donate, and you may realize tax benefits of charitable giving. Some employers even match employee contributions that are auto-deducted from your paycheck. That means a bigger impact for your selected charity.

The College Fund As the cost of higher education continues to skyrocket, many parents find it easier to make smaller, periodic contributions to their child’s college fund. See if you can make a payroll contribution to a 529 Automatic Investment Plan (AIP). Or try to save what you can, even as little as $15 per month. It all adds up.

Travel Money Some employers will automatically deduct qualified transportation costs from your paycheck. In some states, that means it comes out of pretax income. It’s a great way to get your parking or train tickets out of the way, and a good way to save money too.

Saving for college a headache? Learn more about a 529 savings plan, and how an Allstate Personal Financial Representative can help.

Allstate and its affiliates cannot provide tax advice. Customers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding their specific circumstances.