It Pays To Pay Attention

Mike Cashion, MFF Director of Operation

By: Mike Cashion, MFF Director of Operations

We live in a world where something – or someone – is always trying to get and retain our attention. Because the flood of information is endless, many of us always have our guard up and try to ignore much of the inbound noise (advertisements, marketing of all types, promotions, sales, messages and more). You may be surprised to find that by paying more attention, you  might greatly benefit financially. Here are a few examples that I recently stumbled upon.

Newsletters

I recently spent some time skimming both my newsletter and promotions folder in my personal email. What I came to realize is that while there is a lot of useless junk in this folder, there are  also some gems hiding in plain sight. In this particular case, I had been thinking about getting a new audiobook but didn’t want to spend the money. Then I came to realize that with my Wall Street Journal subscription, I also get a free audiobook as part of my membership. Had I not stumbled upon the newsletter from WSJ, I would have missed it and probably spent $20 on a new audiobook. Have you skimmed through your newsletter and/or promotions folder recently? Who knows what gems may be hiding there that could save you some extra cash on things you are likely to purchase anyways.

Loyalty

You may remember that I have spoken about loyalty programs in previous posts. They often yield nice returns if you find yourself frequenting a particular brand.

At my most recent grocery store visit, I noticed that the total of my transaction seemed low. To my surprise, there was no mistake. As a member of the grocery store’s loyalty program, I earned a reward of nearly $15 just for being a regular customer. All that is required is that I enter my loyalty number at checkout. While $15 may not seem like much but just think… $15 a quarter equals $60 a year and $600 every 10 years. That adds up to real money saved just by doing something I have to do anyways.

There are many examples of loyalty programs out there. You may want to start by going through your monthly bank/credit card statements to see which brands, products or services that you frequently buy. Then do a little research to see if they have a loyalty program that could save you money or offer up some cool benefits.

Discounts

Seriously, who doesn’t love discounts?! As I have become older and hopefully wiser, I am always on the lookout for discounts on things that I value. Keep in mind that there are discounts all of the time. As mentioned earlier, you can often find them in those newsletters we rarely look at.

The discounts that I’m a huge fan of, are where you receive a discount on a membership for paying annually instead of monthly. This weekend I noticed that by paying annually for my car insurance, CrossFit(R) membership, and martial arts classes, I save $45 a month ($540 a year).

While running the numbers, I started to wonder if there were any other potential benefits or discounts related to these memberships. What I came to realize is that as a member of my CrossFit(R) gym, I get 15% off purchases at the cafe next door (Awesome!).

Are you paying attention?

To sum it all up, it truly pays to pay attention. These are just a handful of opportunities where the results turned into real money for me. What types of these opportunities have you found? If you have yet to look, take a few minutes to look at your regular expenses. You just may be surprised where you could save money and get great deals. The research pays off and it is also kinda fun!

Become an MFF Fellow

Our Standards of Financial Literacy program is engaging, full of interesting information, and easy to navigate. Adapted from the National Standards for Financial Literacy developed by the Council for Economic Education (CEE), this robust curriculum features six short lessons on such important topics as earning income, the value of saving and using credit. When completed, this program lays the foundation to become an MFF Fellow.

Becoming an MFF Fellow is the ticket to accessing additional MFF programs and opportunities for mentoring, networking, internships and real-world opportunities. These are the opportunities which allow MFF Fellows to continue their journey to personal financial success.

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