Top Ten Personal Financial Mistakes – Part 7: Failing to Accept Free Money —

How do you end up in financial distress? There are many reasons, and, when it comes to facing a potential bankruptcy, very often the biggest triggering event is a medical crisis or a divorce. But there are smaller factors that can add up to your finding yourself in a big crisis. This is the seventh in a series on what one bankruptcy attorney identifies as the “Top Ten Personal Financial Mistakes” people make. His list is useful for all of us to review and consider, and his posts link to helpful resources available on the web. Be sure to click on the link below to his post and check out the resources he provides, too.

Here’s an excerpt from the series by Eugene S. Melchionne, Connecticut Bankruptcy Attorney at

Your employer provides access to a retirement plan and has life insurance as part of a benefits package, but you don’t take advantage of it. What? Yes, it costs money an it will reduce your take-home pay, but consider the advantages: cheap term life insurance will pay death benefits to your dependents and retirement funds are often matched by employer contributions. No matter how you calculate the amount, every dollar your employer contributes to your retirement plan is FREE MONEY.

I never understood this one — I have never had the opportunity for an employer to match any kind of contribution I might make, but I always knew I would save the max the employer would match, at a minimum.  My heavens! Free money!

One caveat — how safe is the fund you are contributing to? If it goes bust, okay, that money was not well invested (saved) — BUT don’t use that as an excuse NOT to invest (save) appropriately.  Do some research, think about it, and save what and where it is appropriate to do so.

Earlier posts in the series: Failing to Live With Direction, Living Beyond Your Means, Borrowing Money With Credit Cards, More on Borrowing From Credit Card Companies, Having No Emergency Fund, Failing to Save for Long-Term Needs

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