Most people wouldn’t turn down more money. And with many paying back student loans on top of covering basic living expenses, trying to make some extra cash can become a top priority.
It seems the easiest way to do that is by asking for a raise. But your employer might not be on board with your timeline for a salary bump. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a financial boost from them, though. Some companies provide benefits that employees might not be taking advantage of to cover certain costs.
Here are five ways you can get “free” money from your employer without getting a raise.
1. Tap into your Health Savings Account (HSA)
Nearly 43 million people have overdue medical debt averaging $1,766. That’s a lot of debt to to deal with on top of your other expenses. While having a higher salary could help you save for an emergency fund for medical issues, there’s another option to relieve the burden: contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA).
Some companies that offer HSAs also contribute to such accounts, which means free money to cover medical costs. This money can be used to pay for medical expenses such as prescriptions, copays, and deductibles, reducing the overall cost of some medical bills. What’s more, that contribution is tax-deductible, and the balance in your HSA account can roll over from year to year.
Check with your human resources department to find out the options available at your company and how you can tap into this extra money.
2. Use your company’s 401(k) matching program
Saving for the long term can be a challenge: 69% of millennials surveyed are not saving for retirement, according to online lender Earnest. Although it can be hard to think about setting aside money when you have to manage student loan payments, it can help with future financial goals — especially if your employer offers a match on retirement plans.
Many companies offer a 401(k) matching program as an employee benefit, under which they contribute a percentage of the amount you put into your account. That’s bonus money, which will earn interest.
Let’s look at some numbers. Say you’re 30 years old making $40,000 a year and contributing 10% of your salary to a 401(k) plan with a goal to retire at 65. You’d have nearly $574,000 in your account in 35 years. If your employer offers a match of 50% of your contributions up to 6% of your salary, that balance will jump to over $745,000.
It might not put immediate cash in your pocket, but if you didn’t take advantage of the benefit, you’d be passing on an extra $171,000 at that critical retirement age.
3. Negotiate more paid time off (PTO)
Extra vacation time isn’t the same as cash, but it’s a good bonus that could benefit your bottom line and mental health.
Having more downtime can help you relax and reboot, ultimately making you a happier and more productive employee. It could help get you recognized in the long run, especially when a raise and promotion are possible.
4. Find out if your job offers a referral bonus
Companies take on a lot of risks when hiring a new employee. Yes, they can use a thorough vetting and interview process, but they can’t know if it will work successfully. That’s why having a referral from a current employee is helpful.
After all, wouldn’t you trust the suggestion from a friend to be set up on a blind date rather than go through an online dating service?
Because an employee referral is beneficial for employers, some of them offer a referral bonus system, which pays you for recommending talent. Some companies pay hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the position.
Also, some companies will offer a bonus if you bring in a new business prospect that could be profitable. Talk with your management and human resources folks to see what referral system they have, or suggest one.
5. Request to telecommute
Working from the comfort of your bed in pajamas sounds nice. And it can help you save money. Since you don’t need to go into the office, you’d be cutting down expenses for gas, lunch, and dry cleaning.
By working remotely full time, you can save an average of $4,668, according to research from FlexJobs. Even telecommuting for half the time could save you about $2,000. Sure, that’s not a boost in your salary, but it’s a lot of money that could go toward savings or other financial goals.
Free money from your employer comes in many forms
Making more money at your job isn’t always about increasing your salary or getting a promotion. There might be untapped resources available through your employer that could help your bottom line in the short and long run.
Do some research and talk to your human resources department to find out what benefits your company offers. That could include child care stipends, covered fertility treatments, and more. Having and using this information could mean more money.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.23% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 6.23%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|