Maximizing earnings from your money and building wealth can look obvious. The cliché’ “it’s not what you make, it’s what you spend” is key to long term earnings with your money. If retirement savings is on your mind, consider what may be a hole in the earnings bucket.
Here are 10 Plug-Ins To Add To Your Earnings Strategy:
Don’t just accept fees unconditionally. Whether it’s your company sponsored 401K plan or other investment vehicles, learn what makes up your fees. Add all fees associated with your investment options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and accept what you have. Is the gain worth your cost?
The average consumer is paying $329 in fees annually for services such as checking account maintenance, bounced checks, out-of-network ATM use and overdraft charges. If you tend to rack up bank fees, consider a relationship with an institution who values the conversation and takes time to understand your situation.
Credit Card Interest Fees
There are few things more frustrating than doing your best to pay down debt only to find the majority of your dollars are going toward interest. The best way to avoid this is to pay off your balance in full each month and ensure your lifestyle does not exceed your income. If you are currently carrying a revolving balance from month to month, apply as much money as possible to your card payment every month. At the very least, try to pay double or triple the minimum due to pay down the balance faster and save more on interest.
Dealer Financing For Your Roll, Float, Travel Passions
If you have a dealer financed vehicle loan, check again at the fine print. Interest, terms, and insurance costs are often sacrificed to get through the deal. Watch for the pitfalls that come with a dealer deal. The reality of driving off the lot with premium debt versus walking in equipped with a pre-approval and knowledge of a Guaranteed Better Loan™ can save you thousands over the life of a loan.
If you take flight in your roll, float and travel plans and think checked baggage fees were a pain, think again. Airlines receive over $28 billion annually on extra charges for basic travel amenities, such as carry-on bags, seat selection, priority check-in and even boarding passes. You may not realize how much these costs that were once complimentary can add to your trip cost.
Tipping is standard practice in the service industry, but you could end up throwing away money by leaving double the gratuity if you don’t scrutinize the bill. You may look quickly at the total and add an extra 20 percent without realizing you’ve actually already been charged a gratuity fee. Be generous and smart.
While online purchases are increasing, many retailers offer flexible return policies, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook if your purchase is unsatisfactory. Some stores charge a restocking fee at 15 to 20 percent of the item’s purchase price. Check the fine print before making purchases, especially large ones.
Foreign Transaction Fees
Paying for goods and services while overseas is often more expensive than anticipated due to foreign transaction fees. Many credit card companies tack on an additional charge for each transaction that involves a foreign bank. Every time you swipe a credit or debit card in a foreign country, you might be paying as much as an astronomical 3 percent.
Reward Redemption Fees
Some airlines will actually charge consumers to redeem points they have earned. Read the fine print when signing up for a credit card that offers a reward program to understand the terms associated with redeeming your points or miles and comparing such details between companies before signing up.
Late Payment Fees
Paying bills past the due date is a quick way to waste money. This bad habit can negatively impact your credit score if it’s reported to the credit bureaus and you will be paying more. Make sure you have access to money via online or mobile. Automating payments through your checking account or credit card is another way to make your life easier. Just make sure to review bills and monthly statements for potential errors or fraudulent charges.
Online Shipping Fees
Online shopping makes comparing prices and finding enticing deals a breeze. However, those savings are diluted if you end up paying for shipping costs. Not only is it important to look for online stores that offer free shipping minimums or free delivery coupons, but you must also review the return policy. Though the initial shipping may not cost anything, you could end up dishing out an extra $5 to $10 to return something that you didn’t like. To avoid these fees, shop with an online retailer that offers free return shipping or allows returns at a local brick-and-mortar store. If you find yourself facing a pricey return shipping charge, call customer service to see if you can get the cost waived as a one-time courtesy.
You have everything to gain.
You deserve the confidence that comes with knowing your money is safe and working hard to take care of you. We help our members get on the road to a stronger financial future with custom solutions, competitive rates, exclusive discounts, and unparalleled service.
For more information on how we can help you earn and save more call 800/442-7792 or contact a Member Service Representative near you.
Don’t accept fees unconditionally. Learn to understand them and their impact.