When people think about saving money or personal finances in general, they usually don’t think beyond their paycheck. There are a number of additional ways your employer can help you save and create wealth beyond payday. Here are ten ways (in no particular order) your company may be able to help increase your bottom line.
1. 401(k) – Many companies offer a 401(k) option or something similar. This is one of the best ways to save for retirement because whatever amount you put in, your company typically matches a percentage of the amount. This is free money, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity.
2. Pensions – While these may be going the way of the dinosaur, if you are lucky your company may still have a pension program to supplement your other savings. If you are one of these lucky ones, cross your fingers daily and hope your company isn’t the next to do away with this benefit.
3. Profit Sharing – When a company does well, some employers share the wealth with their employees. This can be in the form of discount stocks, cash, or a mix of other monetary rewards where the company says thanks to its employees.
4. Insurance – Many companies offer at least some form a health insurance bearing some of the health care burden and making it cheaper than if you had to obtain it on your own. You may be lucky enough to have a wide range of insurance options like dental and optical as well.
5. Flexible Schedules – With busy schedules more and more employers are offering the chance for employees to adjust their schedule to fit their needs. This allows them to come in early or stay later to fir their needs. It can also let people have an extra half-day, or even a full day, which can come in handy for all of those errands that need to done during business hours.
6. Flexible Health and Dependant Care accounts – These accounts are funded with pretax dollars from your paycheck which make them a great benefit. Health accounts can be used to offset co-pays or whatever insurance does not cover. Dependant care accounts are for child daycare or adult care expenditures.
7. Discounts – Most people think of the company discount on the products the company produces, but it can also include discounts for other products and services. This benefit is often overlooked by many employees as it isn’t often advertised. Especially with large companies that are well established within a community, employees can be eligible for discounts at area businesses, shops and entertainment establishments. This could include such things as health items, lunch specials or even jewelry. It pays to ask your personnel department
8. Education – Thinking of getting a degree or maybe a certificate for some specialization? Many companies encourage their employees to learn all they can and many times they will help pay for the classes. They may even pay for it all!
9. Telecommuting – More and more companies are offering employees the chance to work at home for most or even all of their work week. Sure, you may have to come in once in a while for meetings or something that requires your physical presence, but it beats having to be at work day in and day out. And you can stay in your pajamas longer!
10. Bonus – Like profit sharing, bonuses are a way for employers to say thank you to employees. Bonuses usually come in the form of money and/or gifts during the holiday season or sometimes as a reward for going beyond your normal duties.
These and other benefits are ways companies help and reward their employees which can be of great benefit to your personal finances. Be sure to check with your personnel department to see what benefits your company offers. You might be surprised.
Image courtesy of David Glover