You could be handling all of the finances correctly, having more money coming in instead of going out, and saving money, but there are still areas that we can improve to take our personal finance to the next level. In fact, there are some areas where there is free money given out that you may not be fully taking advantage of today that you’ll want to make adjustments as soon as you can.
Not Taking Advantage of Company-Matching 401(k)
Saving for the future is extremely important, especially if you have big plans to walk away from the workforce and retire with income to live off. Taking part in a 401k plan at work is a great start, the earlier you save the better, but where you could be falling short is not contributing enough. Many companies will offer matching contributions, say up to 6% of your income, so as long as you contribute 6% they will match up to that. Any contributions less than 6% will be leaving free money on the table, missing these funds to grow over time.
Charging Without a Rewards Credit Card
The best thing I’ve only recently been obsessed with is the rewards that come with making purchases with your credit card. These can be in the form of airline miles, points that you can redeem for gift cards, or even a check once a year with cashback. What you are leaving on the table if you are not using, is that just by making the normal purchases that you would be making in a month anyways normally using your debit card, use a credit card instead and earn free money, you’ll be surprised at how many rewards will add up over the course of a year.
Avoiding Grocery Digital Coupons & Fuel Points
Sure, sitting down with the Sunday paper and clipping coupons with the family might be fading quickly as newspaper subscriptions continue to be a thing of the past now that you can read online, and more up the second news, but that doesn’t mean that coupons a dead. If you go to your grocery store’s website you can load digital coupons to your rewards card so the discounts will come off at the register. Also, while using your rewards card you can earn fuel points which can be cashed in at the gas pump to save off each gallon of gas you fill up on.
Missing Out of New Bank Account Signup Bonus
You may notice by all the mail you get seemingly on a daily basis asking you to open up a new bank account. There seems to be such competition now with trying to get new accounts open (which is still amazing to me the amount of bank branches that continue to open by me), that they are offering money just to open an account with them. Just keep in mind how much you have to keep in the account and how long it needs to be open for until you receive the money.