My Most Profitable 401k Day Ever

Yesterday, on top of my daily earnings, I also earned almost $6,000 in my 401k account due to the final piece of my company match vesting.  Five long years I’ve waited to have full ownership of this money.  It feels really good to see it now in writing.  I’ve been counting it towards my net worth all along because it was a bit of a pain to recalculate every month.

Your 401k match is basically free money on top of your salary.  If you aren’t contributing to your company’s 401k at least up to the match rate, you really are just walking away from free money.  Don’t do it!

And, once you contribute up to that match, keep going!  One day you could max the whole thing out.  That’s a great day too.

Dear readers I hope you’re grabbing as much of that dough as you can!

Posted in Retirement Tagged with:
  • Yup. That’s the first thing I put my paycheck toward — before Roth, before paying down debt, before eating. So few opportunities for free money that it’s silly not to take this one

    • Excellent. And, I as I think you are implying the next step after contributing to your 401k, you really should max the Roth IRA next, then come back and finish the 401k to max. Ideally, this is all irrelevant because you are fortunate and disciplined enough to max both of them.

      • Weird. I thought I responded to this. No, I’ve got too much in high-interest student loans. I get my 401(k) match (will end up w/about $11k this year), max my Roth (I’ve done all $5,500 for 2013 already), and then everything else I can spare goes to the student loans.

        • Yeah, I saw your loans rates. Ack! I, fortunately, finished during a different time where consolidation and on-time payment rewards have taken my fixed rate down to 1.5% and my variable rate loans are at 2.5%. I pay extra every month to the variable rate loans in hopes of killing as much as I can while rates are low. I should be putting this extra to my mortgage at 4% probably, but the variability scares me.

          • Ah, what I’d give to have your loan profile right now. I’m sure both are totally tax deductible for you too so your effective rates are even lower…

            Mine are definitely no joke. I definitely don’t regret the education and know I could have done things smarter before and during grad school, but here we are. Anyhow, that’s the reason for the super-aggressive — and possibly creative — payments, and why I keep a blog in the first place.

          • I feel you. My wife quit her soul sucking job halfway through my program so we essentially lived off my loans, savings, and about $10k in internship $. Probably not the best financial move, but we’ve survived it. That was 7 years ago.

            My blog has definitely kept me focused although it does NOT add meaningfully to my bottomline 🙂

          • Cool. Congrats on making it through.

            For me, the blog is just another thing to make me feel guilty when I think about straying from my plan. I might be at the grocery store thinking I should just walk away and eat out that week, but then I wonder, “What would my one reader think?” 🙂

  • Nice, I was just commenting to the Mr the other day on how amazed I am that I am 80% vested in my 401K, and will hit 100% on January 1. It feels like a landmark of being a grown-up to get fully vested, and I’m excited to hit it. Plus, the money’s a nice bonus!

    • I’ve actually never stayed at company long enough to be vested so this is definitely a milestone for me.

  • Nice job actually being getting to fully vested status. That $6k will be worth a lot of money in retirement.