Use Benefits You’re Entitled To comments (2)

Guest Post by PhD Jen Anderson

Learning to take full advantage of often overlooked organizational benefits can enrich your life, in both the long and short term—you just have to know where to look in order to find them all.

When one thinks of traditional benefits offered by companies these days, health and dental insurance, or a 401(k) fund might come to mind.

However, there could be other items that are not advertised in the job posting that might be overlooked as benefits. You work hard, so why not use the benefits you’re entitled to?

For example, one great value that could pay serious dividends in one’s career is tuition reimbursement. Considering the rising cost of education in recent years, the very thought of someone else paying for your tuition or book fees is almost intoxicating. Many organizations offer virtual or e-learning type courses that you can participate in right at your desk. Classes that can add to your knowledge base or skill set can really pay off in the long run.

Another great way to improve your financial know-how is to attend financial planning classes that may be offered by your 401(k) administrator or Human Resource department. Read through the corporate benefits handbook for examples on how to save money by using a tax free, flexible spending account for medical or childcare expenses.

Other great opportunities to use the benefits you’re entitled to at work include:

  • Free CPR classes
  • Childcare discounts with neighborhood providers
  • Health fairs where you can have free health screenings
  • Corporate discounts on tax preparation, flowers, travel, vehicle insurance and more
  • Employee counseling opportunities on stress, health, finance or legal concerns
  • Family picnics or fun days
  • Weight management opportunities, such as seminars or program discounts
  • Participation in community volunteer activities
  • Discount tickets to local theaters, museums, or art galleries
  • Free checking and other incentives with a company credit union affiliation

Many organizations offer these types of perks to remain attractive to their employees. If your organization does not offer these types of benefits, maybe you could be the one to research them and suggest a few.

Remember to look beyond your employer for benefits as well. Research opportunities within your community, church, library and other organizations to see what value they can provide you. Consider how you can take full advantage of often overlooked benefits in all of these places.

Readers, are there other perks or benefits that you can recommend? What does your organization offer?  Let’s hear from you in the comment section!  Remember, life can be richer and more rewarding in so many ways when you learn to take full advantage of the benefits you’re entitled to.
Jen Anderson is a PhD and a financial controller for a Texas-based company. She earned three degrees by making full use of her employer’s tuition reimbursement program over a 15-year period. Jen’s PhD dissertation was ranked in the Top Ten Sellers List in 2010.  (Her name at the time the dissertation was published was Jenny Schneider, PhD.)

Finance is her business, math is her hobby, and sharing encouragement and tips with others is her joy. You can read more by PhD Jen Anderson at her brand new blog, JenAndersonWrites!


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Comments for Use Benefits You’re Entitled To
By Amy Evrard on June 04, 2011

Another small perk I’ve always enjoyed is access to musical and cultural events, whether a free lunchtime concert in the office or reduced tickets to some event the employer is sponsoring or a Museum of Science weekend for employees. Those feel like luxuries and too often, unfortunately, get left out of my budget, so I appreciate them!

By Wendy Mihm on June 06, 2011

As entertainment gets more and more expensive, that is a HUGE benefit that often gets overlooked.  Employers often get group discounts to art museums, which typically have great kids sections, theme parks (which are really expensive), zoos and other great destinations and more.  But that’s not all—organizations like AAA and your local credit union have them too.

Great comment Amy!  Thanks!

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