Years ago, when I was working at my first real job out of college, paying off my student loans and keeping a roof over my head was my priority, but I did manage to save a little every month until I had enough to put a down payment on a house. I found the house I wanted, it was within my means (barely!) and I was approved for financing. Everything was going smoothly and then 2 weeks before closing, my bank informed me that they wanted an additional amount in down payment from me. I had already used every cent I had for the down payment originally agreed on and I had no other resources, except going into debt, which was not an option. I was about to pull the plug on the whole deal when a coworker suggested using a company perk that I had never heard about before. The company put all paid time off into an employee's 'bank' account, which they added to each week. Employees were allowed to manage it however they wanted, taking time off in small or large quantities, which I knew, or taking a cash payment in lieu of time off, which I didn't. I hadn't used much time off at all and had accrued over 200 hours in my account. I cashed out enough to cover the down payment and was able to move into my first house on schedule. It was a great lesson in knowing and managing all your investments, not just the ones with dollar signs.