Hidden Work Benefits Could Save You Thousands

by Kevin on July 8, 2008

I’d love to be amongst the ranks of full-time bloggers like Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar. Don’t get me wrong. Staying at home all day blogging and helping people get out of debt and create wealth… that’s right up my alley. (You’re helping me get to that point just by reading this article, so thank you.)

But! There are some benefits to keeping that full time job other than a little bit of security of a regular paycheck.

Company Paid Benefits

As a full-time employee you probably enjoy some of the following benefits that are provided to you by your employer: medical, dental, and vision insurance, life insurance, accidental death and disability insurance, and a pension or 401k.

All of that insurance is important. The retirement plan is also crucial.

There are catches to every plan and you’ve got to learn to navigate them. Is it better for you and your spouse to be on your insurance? Or is it cheaper (for similar coverage) to have each of you stay with single coverage with your employer? Single coverage is going to be cheaper than family every single time. Combining two single coverage amounts might be more than the family or spouse plan. So you need to run that math and look at what is offered.

You are probably familiar with most of the benefits above. If not, I’m going to cover them in another post in the future.

There’s A Different Kind of Benefit

A lot of people forget that brochure or piece of paper that human resources hands out when you do your new hire paperwork: work/life discounts. I know I did until we looked into buying a house. Suddenly I was interested in finding bargains everywhere!

What are work/life discounts?

  • Would you like to save 10% on your cell phone bill?
  • Would you like to save 25% on your new washer and dryer?
  • Are you paying for the gym? What if you could get it for free?

These are some examples of work/life discounts your employer may be offering you. Often employers can negotiate with various retailers and vendors to get their employees discounts. These companies accept these discounts hoping they will make up for the loss in revenue with a large volume of corporate customers. These discounts can range from restaurants to dry cleaners to major appliances.

Can you tell what the difference between the refrigerators below is?

Can you tell the difference between these two refrigerators?

Other than price, there is no difference at all between the two fridges. This is the exact fridge we purchased last year when we moved into our first house. At the time it retailed for $1,499.99. Through my work/life discount program I purchased it directly from Whirlpool for $1,095 — a 27% discount or $404. It was delivered and installed for us (for a fee which we felt was worth it).

We were able to purchase a front loading washer and dryer from Whirlpool as well. We ended up saving over $1,400 before delivery, taxes, and installation charges on the three appliances. Even with those factored in we saved at least $1,000.

Thanks to my employer, I am also saving 10% on our cell phone bill. That essentially wipes out the cost of taxes and regulatory fees. Hey, $7 is $7. That saving for 12 months out of the year adds up to $84 per year.

Small Amount of Effort, Possible Large Payoffs

Just think of how quickly this can add up:

  • Opting in to your 401k and getting an automatic 3% match.
  • Saving $100 on life insurance by purchasing it through your employee plan.
  • Saving 15% on your dry cleaning for the entire year.
  • Enjoying significant discounts on major appliances like I did.

Each situation is going to be different; each benefit plan different. So ask your Human Resources representative for a list of your work/life benefits today and get cracking on saving some money. If you’re in debt, that extra 10% you save on your cell phone bill can be put in to your debt snowball. Remember, every little bit counts when you are trying to pay off debt.

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How to Get a Washer and Dryer for 50% Off
June 10, 2011 at 6:30 am

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Livingalmostlarge July 8, 2008 at 6:34 pm

The benefits are mostly health insurance. Do you know what it costs to self insure? To afford private insurance not covered by a group plan? Especially if you have a preexisting condition like my DH? We’d probably not get coverage.

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