You work hard every day with the goal of giving yourself and your family financial stability. Unfortunately, some all-too-common workplace habits can jeopardize this goal. If you’re guilty of any of these, a small change to your habits could yield significant savings.
Buying Lunch Out
We’ve all been there – your alarm is going off and the last thing you want to do is get out of bed, so you begin negotiating with yourself. While you’ve mentally agreed to a shorter shower, leaving the house with wet hair, and wearing wrinkled clothes, you’re still desperate for just a few more minutes. Then it happens: “If I don’t pack my lunch, I can stay in bed for five more minutes.” It seems pretty harmless – there are a ton of pizza or sub shops that offer a cheap $5 lunch special, so it won’t cost much. However, doing this just twice a week will cost you $40 in a typical four-week month or $520 in a full calendar year. In addition to the money you’re spending on lunch, you’re also losing money when you have to throw out fresh items that were meant for your lunch but have now gone bad at home. If you know you’re not going to get up in the morning to pack your lunch, do yourself (and your wallet) a favor and pack it the night before.
Ignoring Your Benefits
What does your comprehensive benefits package look like? Do you have access to any free or discounted services? Do you know exactly what your employer match is for retirement contributions? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you could be making major financial mistakes. You may be able to be reimbursed for training that can help advance your career and health programs that can reduce the cost of your insurance. You may even have access to free counseling programs if you hit a rough patch. When it comes to your retirement match, you’ll want to speak with a licensed financial advisor or planner about how much to save and how to allocate your funds, but generally speaking, not taking advantage of an employer match is like throwing away free money.
Always Saying “Yes”
Sports teams, concerts, service trips, charity walks, half-marathons and more. Your coworkers and their kids sure are involved in a lot. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be supportive, there’s also nothing wrong with saying “no” sometimes. If this is something you struggle with, there are ways to minimize the chance of overcommitting yourself financially. Choose a few causes you’re truly passionate about to support, set a charity budget each month, or ask if there are other non-financial ways you can help. Sometimes manpower and volunteer hours are more valuable than a monetary donation or purchase.