Navigating Benefits

Stretch Those Paychecks: 6 Cost-Saving Ideas for Employees

  • You can help coworkers stretch their paychecks and make the most of their benefits with a few cost-saving ideas

  • Dependent care FSAs, employee assistance programs, legal insurance and flexible schedules are all valuable options

  • Don't forget to ask the workforce to see if anyone has cost-saving ideas of their own

Posted by September 17, 2018

When some employers talk about their company’s benefits, they are simply referring to health insurance—but there is so much more to consider. For a few pennies out of your organization’s coffers, there are several ways you can help the workforce save money.

For starters, you can help your coworkers stretch their paychecks and make the most of their benefits by sharing these six cost-saving ideas for employees.

1. Choose Your Health Insurance Wisely

It’s crucial to think through all your health insurance options—including discounts for wellness participation, preventive medicine and health care spending accounts (HSAs) that allow people to pay for medical expenses with pretax dollars. Not all insurance companies are created equal—some contract with pharmacies that can automatically send out maintenance medication to prevent individuals from having to spend a lot of money due to a health crisis. Make sure you weigh all your options.

2. Consider Dependent Care FSAs

In order to determine the best cost-saving ideas for employees at your company, consider where the costs are highest. For example, if the majority of your colleagues have children, they are probably spending a lot of money on daycare. Whether their kids are in full-time care, after-school care or summer camp, the costs can really add up. Dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow individuals to pay at least a portion of that bill with pretax dollars, which can lead to significant savings.

3. Take Advantage of EAPs and Legal Insurance

Did you know that Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs) can offer free or low-cost mental health counseling, financial advice and legal advice? Depending on your company’s plan, you and your fellow employees can get great benefits at a small cost. And with proper financial advice, you can all save more money and avoid debt.

Additionally, it’s possible for businesses to offer employees access to legal insurance to protect against potential liabilities. Individuals can buy legal insurance for a number of different reasons, from property disputes to traffic violations. No one can predict the future, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

4. Look Out for Local Discounts

There’s a good chance that businesses near your office will agree to offer your colleagues discounts on their services, from coffee to dry cleaning to bowling. While none of these things are critical to survival, they are all things your team members probably spend money on. Working with other small businesses can give everyone a break and help your town’s economy at the same time.

Employees can also save money by buying in bulk. Using company finds to pay for memberships to local warehouse clubs can help keep workers’ grocery bills down.

5. Consider Flexible Schedules and Telecommuting

How much money does the workforce spend on gas and car maintenance every month? The number is likely staggering. Whenever an employee works from home, they save on gas as well as wear and tear on their vehicle. Avoiding rush hour traffic is better for your employees’ automobiles (and therefore, their finances) as well as their work-life balances.

Additionally, allowing someone to work from home when they are expecting the furnace repairman also saves a vacation day, which means employees can use their vacation days to actually relax. The ability to work remotely can help your coworkers feel even more appreciated, and thus, boost morale!

6. Ask Your Fellow Employees

Every business is different, and your colleagues may have ideas of their own about how to make things better. Perhaps getting a full-sized refrigerator for your break room allows them to bring lunches instead of going out. Your fellow employees know what they need (and what might work well for your business), so ask them—and listen.

Having happy, hard-working employees benefits everyone. Saving the workforce money can help keep everyone engaged, which may result in a boost to the organization’s bottom line. That’s a good deal.

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