What Not to do - leaving money on the tableI was jumping around the personal finance websites that I usually frequent and I stopped to read “No-Brainer Benefits to Take Advantage of at Work“.  It was written by my blogging friend DC from Young Adult Money.  There were good tips in the article about how you should be taking advantage of everything your employer provides you.  I am lucky that I have a great employer that provides me with awesome health care and a quality 401k.  I am happy with what they provide.  DC’s post reminded me that I needed to do an audit of my 401k to make sure I was taking advantage of the company match.   To my surprise, I found that they had upped their match and I wasn’t taking advantage of it.  Just plain stupid!

 

Lesson of the Day: Do NOT Leave Money on the Table!

That is right, I was simply just leaving money on the table.  I wasn’t taking advantage of free money that my employer was giving me.  There is no excuse for it, except for forgetfulness.  I have been so busy with the blog and my baby son that I just forgot to audit the account when the year started.  My employer changed their contribution and I didn’t even realize it.

When I was paying down my debt, I reduced my contribution in order to have some extra money to push toward the debt.  It was a wise decision for me because I was paying more in interest than I was gaining in the stock market.  I did not stop contributing, but just reduced the amount.  After I paid off my last credit card, I took 2 months to build up my accounts again and then started contributing more to my 401k.

This is the issue with set-it-and-forget-it type of accounts like those for retirement.  You setup the contribution once and it is then taken out of your paycheck each and every time, but you rarely audit the accounts and the contribution to make sure you are maximizing your earnings.  So, take my advice and make sure you are getting all the free money that your employer may be giving you.  There is no point not to do it and I don’t know anyone that wants to leave free money on the table.  I sure don’t and this was just an oversight on my part.  Everyone makes mistakes.

Have you audited your retirement accounts lately to make sure you haven’t left any free money on the table?

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