And, as is often the case, many of the simplest and most effective dollar-stretching tactics go largely overlooked. So, as the holidays gear up and the year winds down, instead of focusing solely on cutting back, experts suggest adding New Found Money practices to your list of budget-stretching strategies.
To help us achieve this goal, Joan Jensen, president and CEO of Central Credit Union of Illinois is here to share her best advice for helping consumers uncover and benefit from some readily available sources of New Found Money.
Found Money from Employment Benefits -- 401K matching funds represent a 100 percent instant gain (and tax deferment) for you and your money. This found money requires no risk or extra work. So, if your employer offers the program, take full advantage and contribute to the max!
Found Money from Tax Credits -- Everything from the roof Santa lands on to the sashes (windows) you throw open are eligible for tax credits at 30 percent of the cost, up to a total credit of $1,500.
Found Money From Warrantees -- Check the date of coverage on all your big tickets items including home appliances, electronic equipment and auto. Don't overlook items such as hearing aides.
Found Money From Good Health - Health and life insurance policies often change with the calendar. So, be sure to review your policy and if you've been considering some elective surgery, now may be the most prudent time to do so.
Found Money From Investments-- Dump your losers to keep more of the gains from your winners.