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For part-time workers, here's a financial toolkit

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If you are working part time, you have plenty of company.

While the latest jobs report showed solid growth overall, with 195,000 jobs added, there was a serious 322,000 increase, to 8.2 million, in the number of people working part time for economic reasons. An additional 19 million are working part time for other reasons.

(Read more: Job Growth Posts Large Gain in June; Rate Holds)

The high number of part-time workers is becoming a political football, with critics of the Affordable Care Act citing the law as the cause.

(Read more: More part-time jobs ahead under Obamacare: Critics)

Others say the rise in part-time work began in the recession.

Politics aside, if you are one of the millions of part-time workers, you have special financial needs. For starters, most part-time work does not provide benefits, and that makes health coverage difficult.

(Read more: Young, low-wage workers face health-care challenge)

That is likely to change in 2014, when the ACA will require workers who are not offered health insurance at work to obtain it elsewhere, or pay a fine. The carrot accompanying that stick is that the government will subsidize premiums for workers earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level—a large portion of the part-time workforce. By some calculations, that almost makes working part time a better deal.

Don't Just Think of Retirement, Do Something

Another issue is retirement savings. Though pensions are increasingly rare, many employers offer full-time employees a 401(k) plan, something that may not be available to part-timers.

If you are going without a retirement plan, it's time to take matters into your own hands. (This may be especially true if you are a woman, since you are more likely to have interrupted your career for family reasons and are likely to live longer.) Start a traditional or Roth IRA, or if you are self-employed, consider a Simplified Employee Pension Plan, or SEP. Both provide tax-deferred savings to speed the building of your nest egg.

"I think your biggest pitfall here is just not thinking about it at all," said Jackie Perlman, principal research analyst at H&R Block's tax institute. It's worth considering all your options, she added, but "it's not so much the 'what to do' as 'do it.' " Put some money aside, she advised, even if it's not the maximum allowed.

What about taxes?

Another potential minefield for part-time workers involves taxes. If you have more than one part-time job, you may not be withholding enough, even if you are taking minimal deductions.

Perlman offers this example: You're working five jobs, and your income from each is $10,000. Each employer will tax you as if you are earning $10,000 a year, but if your total income is 50,000, you will be in a higher bracket.

This is a particular risk if you don't always work the same number of days for a job every week, or even every month. And if you miss by more than $200, you may have to pay a penalty in addition to the taxes you owe.

To avoid this situation, calculate what you owe from your combined jobs using IRS Publication 15. If it's more than your employers are deducting, use your W-4 withholding forms to have more taken out of your paycheck. You may even get a nice surprise come April 15.

"You need to be a little bit more financially aware or savvy than the average person who is just at one company all year long and has nothing else to think about," Perlman said.

Part-time work brings with it some full-time challenges. But with a little forethought and planning, you can make part-time jobs work for you.

—By CNBC's Kelley Holland.


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