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4 Ways You Could Be Leaving Money on the Table

Oct. 18, 2017
Managing Money, Personal Finance
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You’re probably employing some obvious saving strategies, such as setting aside part of every paycheck or waiting for sales instead of paying full price for clothes.

However, you still might be falling short of your savings potential. Here are four ways you could be leaving money on the table.

1. You don’t take advantage of your company’s 401(k) match

Americans pass up a total of $24 billion in 401(k) company matches each year, according to a 2015 report by financial advisory firm Financial Engines.

Most companies that offer a 401(k) plan also match some portion of employees’ contributions. Even if the match is modest, contribute at least enough to earn the maximum. It’s free money.

2. You don’t try to lower your bills.

Many people don’t realize that they can actually negotiate their recurring bills, such as cable and internet. Taking steps to lower your bills can pay off: The survey says that negotiating bills can add up to annual savings of $600.

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3. You don’t use up your credit card travel rewards (or have any to use)

Do you hoard points — or worse, don’t accrue them in the first place? Only 15% of Americans have paid for part or all of a flight with rewards points, according to a 2016 poll by the American Institute of CPAs.

Credit card rewards can lose value over time. Issuers can even rescind them if they go untouched for years.

4. You don’t negotiate your salary or benefits

Only 38% of new grads negotiated with their employer when they received a job offer, according to a 2015 NerdWallet survey. And 80% of those who did request a salary increase were at least partially successful.

Whether you’re a new grad or switching jobs later in life, don’t miss an opportunity to negotiate your salary or benefits. If you’re not sure how to have that conversation, try these 15 strategies.

The NerdWallet app helps you get more from your money, like finding better ways to save. Download for free.

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