10 ways you're passing up free money

Inertia can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars each year. Here are 10 low-effort, money-saving moves that many people don't take advantage of -- but should.

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Apr 12, 2014 1:55PM
The moral of this story is to simply live below your means.  All of these 10 "secrets" are things that smart people, who are smart with their money already know.  

The only money advice anyone needs is this -

1) Pay off your debts as fast as you possibly can. If this means living in a crappy studio apartment and eating ramen everyday for a couple of years, do it. If you want to buy a car, get a reliable beater. Get insurance for $25/month from Insurance Panda. Forget about buying a house until your debts are paid off.

2) Once you are out of debt, stay out of debt. The only exception to this rule is a vehicle and a house. If you want to get a nicer car, buy used and be able to pay it off in a year or 2.

3) If you are going to stay in the same spot for at least 10 years, buy a house, preferably with at least a little bit of usable land. An acre is good, 5 acres is better. Take the amount you are pre-approved for and cut it in half - that's how much you should spend on a house. Come to the table with at least 20% down and make a couple of extra mortgage payments every year. If you're going to be transferred or relocate every 5 years, forget about buying a house and rent instead.

4) Develop multiple revenue streams. Do contract work. Start a business on the side. Invest in a business as a silent partner. Raise chickens, breed dogs or grow apples. Build websites. Buy and sell antiques. Acquire rental property. Sell something that generates residual income. Learn to play the currency markets or trade stocks. Do whatever you can to generate income from multiple sources.

5) Grow these multiple revenue streams to the point that they generate enough consistent and reliable cash flow to replace your current income.

6) Make as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Give away as much as you can.

7) Retire!- the sooner, the better. Be sure you understand that "retirement" doesn't necessarily mean you stop working, it just means having the freedom to do what you want to do, when you want to do it.

Don't be foolish and fall into the trap of trying to measure your wealth by the value of your assets. Markets change. Valuations fluctuate. Instead, measure your wealth by the amount of cash flow your assets consistently generate.

Apr 11, 2014 11:38PM

Must be nice to assume that everyone can afford to take advantage of these opportunities...try to, but mortgage, property taxes, food, and fuel take precedence.

Last new car I purchased, just 19 years ago, I did wait until the end of the year...so I guess that was correct.

Do not have a choice with my 401K, company controls the what and who. Participate the max allowed, approximately 15% of my income...so that is done.

529's, have two children a few years from college and our state  only allows a max of $5k and you can only name one child as beneficiary. Besides, I would have to take it out of my 401k contributions...so that will not work.

Do not understand where the people that right these articles get the idea that everyone is rolling in dough????

Apr 11, 2014 8:13PM
Most of these are just ways politicians have used the tax code to cater to their voting blocks.  Why shouldn't everyone be treated equally under the law regardless of the politician that purchases your vote?
Apr 11, 2014 8:56PM
Can you imagine all the folks that thought this was another social program by reading the headlines?   Just for current Fed tax paying folks.
Apr 14, 2014 6:29AM

The most common component that leads to any "free" money discussed had to do with ways to avoid paying taxes. Seems to me if we revamped the tax code and let people keep more of their hard earned money everyone would be better off.


Apr 13, 2014 7:38PM
Another big tip...don't expect a financial "adviser" or even an article on saving money to have your best interests at heart.  Almost always they are trying to sell you something for more money than you need to pay.  Example from my personal life...I bought a $300 a month life insurance policy sold to me by a major bank...after realizing that I can find my own policy I went and got the same death benefit for less than $25 a month.  So for less than 10% of the cost I went to Life Ant and got the same policy.  Moral is, don't trust that anyone except for yourself has your own best interests at heart.
Apr 14, 2014 8:54AM
There's one thing about this article that everybody forgets and that is there's no such thing as free money. Someone's got to pay for someone MSN or any other mainstream media says it's free, it means that taxpayers is flipping the bill when are we going to get this straight that there's no such thing as free nothing's free. Not a damn thing, not even freedom is free if you believe freedom is free is go back in history look at the cost of our young men and women in the military what the price really is. It's a shame that the mainstream media can't get this right and the liberals are right behind him. They can get it right either the think because government pays for something that is free. The taxpayers are the government and the taxpayers are getting tired of this stuff tax and spend tax-and-spend, as all these liberals know anymore. The more the tax, the more they spend therapy spend more they want tax more American people work hard for their money. I don't care whether their Democrat or Republican, and they deserve to keep most of their money, they can surely spend a lot wiser to the US government can all you liberals out there that think the government does a better job than you write the check keep your hands off my checkbook. It's my money, I worked for it. You did not that's a fact.
Apr 11, 2014 10:25PM
I disputed my property taxes and they lowered them, but I still felt it was too high so I continued to dispute.  What started at over $2,800 is now down to only $1,329 a year :)
Apr 11, 2014 8:49PM
Apr 12, 2014 1:46AM
Apr 11, 2014 7:28PM
I have done all that apply to me all my working life. So, no money left on the table here.
Apr 12, 2014 1:45AM

is this a joke? im pretty sure this free money came from somewhere most likely the federal reserve...gee i didnt know printing more and more money simply made our troubles vanish....lol well they seem to think tossing money at problems simply fixes things..it doesnt...and this is stupid...how about getting rid of the people that are the cause of this..the feds and the republicans and democrats..they are both running the show for wall street....and you clowns are the grand finale....

Apr 11, 2014 7:37PM
With fund fees and government increasing percentage taxing every nook and cranny of the 401k not really worth the time anymore.
Apr 14, 2014 1:15PM

Notice how MSNBC and much of the "mainstream media is ignoring  or minimizing the story about the stand-off between the ranchers,cowboys and militias at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada?..The government doesn't want too much said about their attempted heavy handedness OR that obamas people backed down from FREE MEN!...What a bunch of government stooges these media organizations are for obama and his leftist thugs....I tell you what ..someone in the justice department needs to take a hard look up harry reids backside with a bright flashlight. He is being exposed as the crooked politician that he is...little beady-eyed weasel.    Now it is coming to light that his son is involved with a Chinese company that wants the land that the cattle were grazing on......Hmmmmm...of course there is a fat chance that our( "in the bag with the criminal left")attorney general will even lift an eyebrow.    Here is an article from a real news org.        Of course you idiots that voted these criminals in won't believe it no matter how true....If it were happening on a republican administrations watch you pricks would scream bloody murder and racism but ignore it when it is one of your socialist heroes.

 I detest all of you for putting us here when all the signs were there during this weak, stupid joke of a presidents first term.    I can't believe that you would trade liberty and freedom fir gifts from your socialist masters.

 In the words of the great Samuel Adams.....Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you....May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.


Apr 14, 2014 9:49AM
This article pretty much proves that the top 10% might be leaving "money on the table", and that this "money" comes at the expense of the rest of us. Just tired of having to pay for the freeloaders at the top (who have done nothing but ship jobs overseas) and the freeloaders at the bottom (who think the world owes them a living).
Apr 14, 2014 3:41PM
There is no such thing as free money.  There is only taking advantage of programs that somebody else pays for.  Most of the people who do take advantage of these programs do not need them, they just live off the programs and live better off them than the taxpayers who pay for them.  Stop printing these articles explainting how to further bilk the taxpayers.  Programs to help people in need should all come with an expiration date, and they should come with loans to get an education.  Five years and your benefits expire,  Sign here on the dotted line.  The people who pay the tab are sick to  death of all of the people out there working the system and then buying houses after never having worked a day in their lives.  We don't want any more laws protecting them.  Only the handicapped and children should be protected; those sucking from the taxpayers/government should get kicked off the programs and sent to school or put to work sweeping floors, or whatever. 
Apr 11, 2014 8:04PM
Lowering your taxes by setting aside pre-tax money for commuting costs isn't always a wise move.  Sure, your saving money now.  But you're sheltering that money from FICA taxes--which will lower your FICA wages, and thus any Social Security payout.  If you file for disability, or pass away and your family files for survivor's benefits, they will be lower because you didn't pay FICA taxes on that amount.
Apr 14, 2014 9:04AM

Wouldn't it be great if all the advertisements were framed below the page then the heart of the article could be read without hurky-jerk movements....  ah I know buy a larger monitor.  Great thanks for spending my money.

Another wouldn't it be great to read a 10, 20, 30... great things on ONE single web page.... Ah I know couldn't advertise as much.

Apr 14, 2014 12:21PM
No such thing as free money, everything comes with a price from your first breath to your last.
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