One of the things you should be doing to maximize your money is to get a credit card (which you repay each month - don't get trapped in revolving credit hell!). There are endless cards with rewards programs, many available only with large spending or monthly balance minima and/or high annual fees. Play them off each other - invent offers from other cards if you have to - and negotiate yourself into the rewards program that fits your purchasing habits and maximizes value for you in the best way. Ramit Sethi talks about his technique for this in his book (highly recommended), called I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Check it out. Here are several credit card reward programs that may make sense for you: http://www.learnvest.com/2013/08/credit-cards-with-seriously-sweet-rewards/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=internal&utm_campaign=Tuesday%20One%20Daily%202013-08-06
Also check out NerdWallet.com, creditcards.com/reward.php and any number of others for tips. They want your business!