Yes, there is such a thing as "free money"
6 Ways To Find Free Money
by Jason Topp
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What are the two words that people love most? Oftentimes it's free and money! Who doesn't want to get free money?
What's amazing is the number of people who I run into on a regular basis who continue to leave money on the table!
If you woke up this morning, got your cup of coffee and went to the front porch to get your paper and instead found a nice, crisp $100 bill, would you pick it up? Of course you would! You wouldn't pick up your paper and say, "Oh a $100 bill" and turn and walk into your house, and yet thousands of people are doing just that.
One of the best feelings in the world is putting on a pair of pants or a jacket and reaching in the pocket only to pull out a crumpled $10 bill that you forgot about! I love that! So, let's find some free money:
The number of companies that are matching employees 401k contributions has gone down since the start of the Great Recession, but there are still plenty of employers that are matching.
It amazes me the sheer number of people I run into who are unsure of what their company matches or even if they are contributing enough to maximize the full matching potential of the employer.
If the company says, "we'll match dollar for dollar up to five percent" and you're only putting in three percent, that is just plain silly! Review your company's plan to determine if there are some matching opportunities that you've left on the table.
How many of you bought a product with a nice little rebate only to forget to send in the form along with proof of purchase and receipt? According to the National Consumers League, "Only two to three percent of all those who buy a product with a rebate ever end up receiving the funds." Rebates are easy to forget, but worth remembering. Every little bit counts towards getting free money!
So technically this doesn't have to do with finding free money, but it does have to do with finding your own missing goods.
MissingMoney.com is a national database established by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). MissingMoney.com enables owners to perform comprehensive searches for lost assets required by law to be turned over to the states. Just go to the site, type in your name and state, and see if there is any unclaimed property waiting to be returned to its rightful owner.
My coworker actually told me about this site after he found some goods that he was missing.
Not Joining a Rewards Program
I know there is hot debate over credit cards rewards programs. I won't get into that here. But, what I do know is that there are plenty of grocery stores, gas stations and the like that offer free "rewards programs" or loyalty discounts if you sign up.
One example is the Speedy Rewards from Speedway Gas Stations. This is not a credit card. It is simply a loyalty rewards program where you can accrue points to spend on free items.
We have a lot of Speedways near us and yet my wife and I still haven't signed up for their rewards program! We have friends who tell us how great this program is, so we need to get signed up and start swiping at the pump!
Leaving Money in a Checking Account
This is basic. Yet it's amazing to me how many people leave large chunks of money in their checking accounts earning zero! Even if you moved some of the money to a savings account that only earned one to two percent, you'd be better off. Every thousand dollars earning a half percent gets you $5. No, it's not great, but who wouldn't take $5?
There are plenty of High Yield Savings accounts out there that can help earn an extra 1 or 2 percent as well. You're leaving free money on the table.
Get the interest your deserve!
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Not Deducting Charitable Contributions
Maybe this is more common for Christians who think they shouldn't deduct their charitable contributions because they are seeking a "heavenly reward" rather than an "earthly one." I think this is a silly argument. Remember the parable of the talents? The master was not pleased with the servant who just buried his talent and earned nothing. He said, "You should've at least put it in the bank and earned some interest."
Now, I'm not saying the context applies here, but the principle does. Take advantage of opportunities to grow the money or receive free money that the IRS allows! Why not get that money back on your taxes and give that away too?
Jason Topp is the founder of RedeemingRiches.com. The mission of R2 is to think biblically and practically about our money so we can redeem back the misguided views that wealth leads to happiness.
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