ATLANTA, April 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- It's April Fool's Day but that doesn't mean you can't be smart about managing your money. Today, SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) offers solutions to five common financial mistakes. Over time, these seemingly insignificant money missteps can add up to substantial missed savings opportunities, so avoiding them can help ensure your financial future is no joke.
1. Missing out on 401(k) employer match. Not utilizing your employer's match is like giving away money. Over the course of a long career, that could result in a significantly smaller retirement fund. If you can't afford to increase your current level of saving, consider a 1 percent escalation each year until you reach your goal (10 percent of your income is a good benchmark).
2. Not using your alerts. If your bank offers low balance alerts, use them as an easy way to find out when your checking account balance is low. You can also sign up for overdraft protection, which can help keep your bills up-to-date in case you are faced with an unforeseen event.
3. Foregoing cashback bonus offers. If your credit card is offering a cash back bonus for specific purchases – groceries or gas, for example – take advantage of the free money. After you receive the bonus, transfer the funds to your savings account or use them to pay off debt.
4. Failing to consult with a financial advisor. If you have exceeded your emergency fund goal but still haven't met with a financial advisor, you may be passing up opportunities to grow your savings. From certificates of deposit to money market accounts and other investments, there are ways to potentially increase your rate of return while protecting your cash.
5. Forgetting to update the beneficiaries on your life insurance and investment accounts. Policies you purchased or retirement accounts you opened decades ago may list people no longer intended, such as a deceased parent as the beneficiary instead of your children. Spare your family potential legal fees and family drama by keeping your life insurance and retirement account beneficiaries up-to-date. Creating a will or estate plan can also help ensure your assets are distributed to your wishes.
"Almost everyone has made financial decisions they regret at some point in their life, but the key is to make sure we learn from those mistakes and that they don't continue to cost you money," said Scott Hotham, Retail Investments and Premier Banking executive vice president for SunTrust Investment Services. "Set aside a day to thoroughly review your finances and identify where you may be losing unnecessary funds. Then, set up a system to help sustain good behaviors in the future, which will help transform financial stress into confidence."
SunTrust is leading the onUp movement to help people move from financial stress to confidence. At onUp.com, Americans can commit to take the first steps toward greater financial control, and access tools and resources.
SunTrust also shares financial tips on Facebook and Twitter. Visit twitter.com/suntrust and facebook.com/suntrust.
About SunTrust Banks, Inc.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses and communities it serves. Headquartered in Atlanta, the company has three business segments: Wholesale Banking, Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, and Mortgage. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients nationally. As of December 31, 2015, SunTrust had total assets of $191 billion and total deposits of $150 billion. The company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Join the movement at onUp.com.
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SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.