Leaders in Washington managed to avoid putting the country over the dreaded "fiscal cliff," but the last-minute agreement failed to include a perk Americans have been enjoying for the past two years.

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The Social Security payroll tax holiday, enacted in 2010 to put more money in consumers' wallets and stimulate the economy, was not extended into 2013.

Instead of devoting 4.2% of their paychecks to Social Security, workers are again contributing 6.2% of their earnings.

A family earning $100,000 per year will see $2000 less in 2013 ($6,200 vs. $4,200 to be paid in payroll taxes). Doing the math paycheck-by-paycheck, someone earning $50,000 per year will see an estimated 80 dollar drop each pay period.

"It's a tank of gas, maybe two," said Monroe resident Heather Matisoff, who had just loaded her car with groceries. "We really have to cut back - maybe shop more locally, instead of driving a little further."

Jay Smith of Freehold said he's struggling already, and dealing with even less money per check "is ridiculous."

"You're going to make us work 80 to 90 hours a week just to pay our bills and put clothes on our kids? That's not right," Smith said.

Other comments from New Jersey residents:

"Maybe we won't be able to do the fun things that we want to do with extra money." - Bonnie, Freehold

 

"That's an electric bill. That's a food bill, every week." - Phil, Millstone

 

"That's what? Seven less gallons of gas per month? - Bob, Jamesburg

Immediate effects to consumer spending can be expected with the sudden revisit of a higher payroll tax. However, the long-term effects may not be as tangible, as Americans have been contributing a larger amount for years before the holiday was put into effect.