Hand moving chess piece on chess board.

7 money moves to help enhance your cash

Sometimes savings can be easier to find if you know where to look.

Beyond the generic advice of “saving more,” these nuanced strategies can help your cash flow. Here are some tips:

1. Find your match. Take advantage of employer matching so you don’t leave money on the table. If they match 3%, you’ve covered 6% of your retirement savings goal when you add in your contribution. While the specifics vary, many companies will match whatever you contribute to the retirement plan (up to a certain percentage of your income).

Bonus: If you’re already doing this, try increasing your savings rate by 1% a year. Whether in an IRA, 401(k) or some other dedicated account, this small change means you’ll be at 15% within 10 years (without even feeling it).

2. Dig deeper for savings at work. Investigate additional savings and see if your employer offers a corporate profit-sharing plan, employee stock purchase plan, which empowers you to purchase your employer’s stock at a discount, or employee stock ownership plans, which provides company stock at no cost as part of overall compensation.

3. Crusade for cash back. Befriend credit cards that reward you for every swipe and/or deposit cash back into your retirement account. But remember, this perk is only for disciplined spenders who pay off their balances religiously. Otherwise, interest fees could swallow your rewards whole.

4. Negotiate like a ninja. From cable bills to phone plans, many recurring expenses can be lowered with a simple ask or negotiation. Channel your inner deal-maker and watch the savings pile up.

5. Create challenges for yourself. Go further than "set it and forget it" savings mode, by setting monthly challenges like cooking at home one more night a week or canceling a barely-used subscription. Reward yourself for reaching these goals, but redirect those rewards to your cash stash instead.

6. Automate your savings. Make saving effortless by setting up automatic transfers from your checking or savings account to your retirement account. Choose an amount you won't miss, and watch your cash grow steadily over time. Paying yourself first keeps you on track and ensures that you’re investing consistently, regardless of market fluctuations.* And, when you put money aside in tax-deferred accounts, such as a 401(k) or a traditional IRA, you can also cut your tax bill.

7. Combine your financial accounts. This may help you take advantage of potentially lower fees. Don’t assume a bank is your only choice for check writing, and consider applying whatever savings you achieve to your retirement fund.

The secret here is to find strategies that work with your savings style. By taking a little time to think outside the savings account box and get creative, you can watch your financial flexibility increase.

Next Steps:

  • Reach out to your company’s human resources leader to ask about investing opportunities.
  • Set aside 30 minutes to identify financial accounts that can be automated for savings.
  • Review your subscriptions and make a plan to cancel those unused or no longer needed.

*This strategy does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss. It involves continuous investment regardless of fluctuating price levels of such securities.

Investors should consider their financial ability to continue purchases through periods of low-price levels.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of capital. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts may be subject to income taxes, and prior to age 59 1/2 a 10% federal penalty tax may also apply.

Matching contributions from your employer may be subject to a vesting schedule. Please consult with your financial advisor for more information.