By: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.
Are you looking to make some smart money moves to improve your future?
The new year is a great time to start thinking about what you can do to improve your financial situation. You can use this time to look forward and start making smart money moves that will help you in the future.
For example, maybe you want to become better prepared for emergencies in 2021 – probably on a lot of people’s minds after the year we had in 2020. There are several easy money moves you can take if being prepared is your goal.
You could put together an emergency binder that organizes your finances, contacts, personal information, etc. It’s everything someone would need if they had to take over your finances.
There are also smart money moves like finding affordable life insurance and creating an emergency fund that can help you be better prepared in 2021.
If lowering your bills is one of your goals for 2021, you may want to refinance your student loans, or make one of the easiest money moves and find a less expensive alternative to cable.
There are so many smart money moves you can make in 2021. Some are small and some are bigger, like taking advantage of your company’s 401(k) match, but all of them will help you improve your financial future.
The tasks on this list will help you to gather important documents, obtain free money (hello, company match!), find life insurance, save thousands of dollars a year, and more.
Of course, not everything on this list will apply to each of you, but this list is a good starting point. If anything, these smart money moves will get you motivated to start taking control over your finances in 2021.
Here are 14 smart money moves to make in 2021.
1. Take your company’s 401(k) match
Does your employer offer a company match?
If so, I hope you are taking it!
A company or employer match is when your employer contributes to your 401(k). And, a 401(k) is a type of retirement account that you get through an employer.
Because this is basically free money that will help you grow your retirement savings, this is one of the best money moves right now. I highly recommend taking advantage of your company’s match if you can!
It allows you to invest a portion of your paycheck before taxes are taken out, and the amount in your 401(k) can grow tax free until you withdraw. Once you reach retirement and take money out of your 401(k), the amount you withdraw from this account is taxed.
Your 401(k) is an account that holds investments, similar to how your bank account holds your money. You may choose to place investments such as stocks, mutual funds, and more in your 401(k).
Each company offers its own kind of match. For example, an employer may match 100% of your contribution, up to 5% of your salary.
If you have this option with your job, I highly, highly recommend this as one of the smart money moves you make this year. Look into this further AS SOON AS YOU CAN!
2. Create an emergency binder
An emergency binder is a way to store financial information, like bank account numbers and passwords. You can store insurance information, personal details about you and each member of your family, information about bills, and more.
Having an emergency binder is so very important.
I know there are many, many families who would be very lost if something were to happen to the person who usually manages their financial situation.
Accounts could get lost, passwords would be unknown, bills may be forgotten about, life insurance may be hard to find, and more.
It’s best to keep a family emergency binder of everything just in case something were to happen, even if it’s something no one ever wants to think about. Having one just makes life so much easier, and it’s one of the smart money moves you should make this year.
I recommend having an emergency binder if:
You have a family
You have children
You are single – this is because someone will have to handle your affairs if something were to happen to you, and they’ll most likely have no clue as to where to start. The binder can guide them.
An emergency binder can help pretty much everyone and anyone.
This can be useful in non-emergencies as well. Creating a binder like this organizes all your family’s information in one place. It makes finding any piece of information quick and easy, and you’ll probably refer to it often.
3. Sign up for a complimentary $10,000 accidental death insurance policy
My friends at Harmonic have partnered with Making Sense of Cents, and they would like to give you a $10,000 accidental death insurance policy to encourage you to build your own personal safety net.
This company is simply looking to introduce more people to Harmonic, which is why they are giving away a complimentary policy. I share lots of free things on Making Sense of Cents – this is simply another item that I’ve negotiated for my readers. You have to be a U.S. citizen, though, to sign up.
You can click here to sign up to claim your policy today! It takes less than 5 minutes.
This policy is slightly different in that it covers you in case you die in an accident – such as a car crash. Accidents are the number one cause of death for people ages 1-44, according to the folks in our government that track that sort of data.
Since this $10,000 accidental death insurance policy is at no cost to you, I recommend that everyone sign up for it. Whether you are single, have a family, have a dog, etc., it’s a no-brainer because this won’t cost you anything.
4. Find life insurance
Since we are talking about insurance, looking at life insurance is another one of the smart money moves you should take this year.
Surprisingly, life insurance is much more affordable than you’d probably think.
I did a quick search through PolicyGenius, and I was able to find a $1,000,000 policy for 20 years, for less than $27 per month.
Life insurance is money for your family if you were to pass away. And, if you are the sole or primary earner in your family, then there are probably a lot of people who rely on you financially. Life insurance is money that can be used to pay for funeral expenses, day-to-day bills, pay off debt, etc.
If you are looking for life insurance, I highly recommend looking into PolicyGenius.
PolicyGenius makes getting life insurance easy. A quote takes just 5 minutes and you can see comparable policies so that you can determine what is best for you.
5. Shop around for more affordable car insurance
Shopping around for car insurance is something that most people do not do, and it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime.
By simply comparing insurance rates, you can save over $1,000 yearly.
You’d be surprised by how many people NEVER compare insurance rates, and how much money it can cost you.
In fact, a family member of mine has been paying around $2,200 a year for quite some time, and when I found out, I was absolutely shocked!
I easily helped them find car insurance with better coverage for just $600 a year. Yes, they were able to save around $1,600 in literally less than 30 minutes.
You can shop car insurance rates through Get Jerry here.
This company will allow you to get quotes from up to 45 insurance companies, and switching is super easy – you simply click a button and save money.