Money Talks: Why you’re missing out on free money

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he words “money” and “free” rarely find themselves together in the same breath.

For the masses, money comes from hard work, determination or hours upon hours of sweat and tears within the confines of your office trying to work hard to impress the boss and earn more money or that job promotion you have had your eye on for quite some time.

But none of that brings money to your fingertips for free.

That said, free money does exist in the real world, far beyond those days of playing Monopoly as a child and accumulating the kind of paper money you wish would have followed you to adulthood.

The idea of money being free doesn’t mean that someone is going to surprise you with one of those cardboard lottery checks or just hand you money over for no reason (unless you’re talking inheriting money or some other unique situation of that ilk).

Free money is more, for example, about retirement and planning for the future. Do you have enough money saved for that day or are you even on the right track? Turns out, money is waiting for you, and you may not even realize it.

Ask about your company and its retirement plan. If they have some sort of 401K or IRA and they match your contribution 100%, you’d be silly not to do two obvious things: make sure you enroll as soon as possible and contribute the maximum amount possible.

Now, you might try to convince yourself that you need that money in your check more so than the money in a retirement account you’ll use in 30 years or so, but that equal contribution contingency might not hang around forever, so you might want to consider rethinking your budget versus walking away from money that you have to literally do nothing to get.

Perhaps even more obvious at it relates to free money and not using it and thus being able to save in other areas are the bevy of loyalty programs you belong to, yet you still never manage to cash in when the time is right. From free miles to points that equal free meals at a bevy of restaurants, you might be losing when the free flying or food is standing right in front of your face.

Even something as simple as a gas fuel perks card that is implemented by plenty of grocery stores is being wasted when you have $1 off a gallon of gas, only to watch the expiration date come and go without ever using it.

Free money might not be exactly what you expect it to be, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile in other facets of your financial future when it turns up as products, services or funds that you failed to account for.

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