Why is saving money such hard work? You’ve already tried cutting or reducing some of your expenses. You’re putting the cash saved each month toward your financial goals. But trimming expenses only gets you so far.
Earning more money can help reduce the time it takes to reach your savings goals, but a larger paycheck is easier said than done. Maybe your employer frowns upon overtime hours or family obligations limit the time available for an additional part-time job. Maybe you feel like you can’t seem to create financial traction in the New Year. Bottom line – you feel stuck.
Slow progress may make you want to throw in the towel. Don’t give up on your savings goals this year! Check out these saving shortcuts and you might see an immediate boost to your savings account balance.
Check for rebates
Rebates can be a great way to put cash back in your pocket when you can find the opportunity. Rebates will refund you a portion of the purchase price back on eligible purchases by filling out a form and submitting the required proof of purchase. Look for in-store rebates on brand name appliances and electronics. Don’t forget to check for mail-in rebates at grocery stores and big-box retailers too. Sometimes the rebate will be for a specific brand or type of product, or some stores may even offer store-wide rebates at special times.
Some savvy shoppers also enjoy using mobile rebate apps, such as Ibotta, to collect every available dime.
Meet your employer’s 401(k) match
If saving for your retirement is one of your New Year financial goals, then you’ll want to see if you have an employer 401(k) match available. Employers who offer a 401(k) retirement savings plan might also match employee retirement contributions, up to a set percentage. For example, if you contribute 3% of your salary to the retirement plan, the company might also contribute 3%. You can potentially double your annual contributions with little effort. Speak with your human resources department for plan details.
Earmark your tax refund check
Generally, a federal income tax refund occurs when you’ve overpaid Uncle Sam, based on your Form W-4 withholding allowance. If you receive a refund check this year, make a commitment to deposit at least half into your savings account. You might also consider adjusting your withholding allowance in order to receive more money in your paycheck and a smaller refund check next time. The IRS Withholding Calculator can help you recalculate your withholding allowance. A larger paycheck now can you give more money available to deposit into a savings account throughout the year, rather than waiting to get it back at tax time.
Stake claim to your money
You may have money sitting somewhere waiting for you to claim it. Locate cash or property you may have forgotten about, or never knew you had, with a few clicks of the mouse. Once you uncover funds that are rightfully yours, follow the agency’s procedures to claim it. Remember, you should never have to pay a fee to claim your funds.
Missouri residents can start by visiting the Missouri State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property database. Simply enter your name and see if you have funds available.
Need to search other states you’ve lived in? You can use the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website to select the states you wish to search. The agency reports that there are billions of dollars sitting with state governments and treasuries that Americans have yet to claim.
We’ll cross our fingers you find something in your search!
Looking for more ways to save? Our blog is full of helpful ideas for you.