You work hard and your money should work just as hard for you. But if you’re finding that the money disappears before you can even bring it home, don’t despair. It’s not too late to turn things around and keep more money in your paycheck.
Keeping more of your paycheck for yourself doesn’t have to be complicated or require a whole lot of sacrifice. There are some simple steps that you can take which can help you hold on to your money and save more. Having more money to save will help you reach your financial goals and allow you to live your best life.
Taking home more of your paycheck can be as simple as taking advantage of available resources and paying attention. Being mindful of habits and making small changes are other ways to keep more of your money. Read on for some simple steps you can take to maximize your take home income and build your financial freedom.
1. Make The Most Of Your 401(k) Contributions
Jumpstart your retirement savings fund by taking advantage of company perks. Many organizations offer top ups to your 401(k) contributions as a common employee incentive. If your employer matches your 401(k) contributions, that’s free savings money you could be putting towards your retirement.
2. Reassess Your Healthcare Plan
It’s common for employers to allow some customization to healthcare plan options or at least to offer a choice of packages. Check if you can choose a less expensive plan that will still suit your needs or cut out what you are not using to lower deductions and keep more money in your paycheck. If you’re paying for a personal plan, find out if you can get the same coverage through your employer at a better price. Go over the plan your spouse has, or anyone else that you might be covered under, and remove redundancies.
3. Claim Your Expenses
If you regularly incur business expenses while conducting activities required by your job, you should be able to claim them and get some money back. Ask for your employer’s policy on work related expenses such as travel or client meals to see if you are eligible for reimbursement. If you work from home you may be able to claim expenses for office supplies, equipment, or even your internet bill.
4. Take Advantage Of Company Perks
Some employers offer incentives such as subsidized daycare, onsite gym, assistance with tuition, and discounts at local businesses. If you are paying for some of these services already, you might be able to get a discount through your employer and keep more of your money. Just be sure that it was money you were going to spend on these purchases anyway. Getting a good deal is no deal at all if it’s money spent on something you don’t need.
5. Automate Your Savings
Make your financial goals a priority by putting your savings first. Have a portion of your paycheck automatically diverted to a high interest savings account. Tuck your money away before it hits your checking account so that you can’t spend it.
6. Join A Carpool
Carpooling is good for the environment and great for your finances. Driving your car comes with costs. Not only does your vehicle burn gasoline, driving it puts wear and tear on your car and its components. Save on vehicle costs and gas by carpooling and keep more of your money.
7. Don’t Buy Coffee On Your Way To Work
A cup of coffee isn’t expensive but if you make it a habit to buy one on the way to work every day, those little bits of money can really add up. It’s much cheaper to make your cup of coffee at home and bring it with you. If your employer provides coffee it’s completely free and probably already waiting for you at work.
8. Pack Your Lunch
It’s easy to rationalize eating out for lunch when you’re hungry but you can keep more of your money with a little planning. Buying lunch is much more costly than bringing food from home. Prepare a lunch the night before and make it easy for yourself to grab and go on busy mornings.
9. Save Your Raise
Most people respond to getting a raise by spending more. When you get a raise, don’t increase your spending. Increase your savings instead. It’s money you didn’t have before so you won’t miss it and you’ll be able to achieve your savings goals much faster.
10. Adjust Your W-4 Exemptions
When you started working for your employer you provided information which was used to calculate how much of your paycheck should be withheld for tax purposes. If you’re consistently getting a sizable refund, you are having too much money withheld. You need to speak with your employer about adjusting your deductions to help you keep more of your money now instead of waiting for your return.
11. Add Up Your Deductions
Review your pay stubs regularly and do the math to make sure nothing was missed. Verify that you are being paid for all your hours at the correct rate along with any reimbursement for expenses. Check that the correct amounts are being withheld and that you’re not subject to any deductions which you didn’t sign up for such as automatic donations to a charity.
Keep more of your money by paying attention, utilizing what resources you have available, and by making a few better lifestyle choices. With some simple but effective changes you can take home more money and then watch your savings grow. Setting that money aside for your financial goals is the best way to transform your life.
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