Monday, March 31, 2008

A lesson, and an update

I cannot overstress how important it is to stay on top of your financial situation.

A friend of mine at work, spurred on by a lunch ladies' discussion about having company stock in our 401ks, logged in to see her balance, only to discover that due to a paperwork error, she has NOT been contributing to a 401k as she thought...for the last three years. This is thousands of dollars lost in real money (that she would have invested), company match and compound interest (which she would have earned) that she can never get back.

It would have been simple enough for her to realize this--my 401k deduction is a line item listed on my pay stub each week. But she didn't know she needed to look for it. This was her first job out of college, and it was a case of not knowing you're supposed to see something you've never seen. But she also would have noticed had she ever attempted to log into the 401k website to allocate her investments (or rebalance them, as I do about twice a year).

It's too bad, and she's rather disheartened (as I would be!), so I'm using her experience to remind you: keep on top of your finances. Log in and check your balances on ALL your accounts at least once a quarter...I'd recommend more like once a month but with the recent drops in investments, I don't blame you for looking less frequently. Know what you owe and what you have. Never assume that something you've signed up for is being taken care of. Be known more for asking questions than burying your head in the sand.

*snappy transition*
Last day of the February-March lunch challenge, and I did very well--packed in my lunch, granola bar, and juice box (I've started drinking 100% fruit juice in the morning in an attempt to ward off the yuck that's going around). Yay for me.

I have no April challenge, because my April goals are solid and I've got a lot going on in the upcoming month. No need to wear myself down.

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