During any time of uncertainty, it can be extremely helpful to take a break from the constant updates and news alerts to focus on self-care and improvements. A productive activity for you and your family can be taking a look at the services provided to you through your employer, companies you’re already using or even your Alma Mater. These benefits can range from coupons on delivery services to switching your credit card travel points to something more practical for now.
Employer provided benefits
We all know about typical employer benefits of health insurance and paid time off, but there are other benefits that may be available to you. Here at Harvard, we have access to Outings and Innings, which gives discounts on activities but most recently has been providing a weekly update of virtual opportunities available to us. If your health insurance offers reimbursements for gym memberships, they may have pivoted to provide reimbursements for home gym equipment for this year.
Your employer may also offer free financial counseling through a credit union, bank, or investment firm. These resources can provide you with essential information as you continue to make important financial decisions. Many employers offer Employee Assistance Programs, EAPs, which help identify resources that could be useful in many areas of your everyday life.
Some employers will offer discounts on cell phone plans, pet insurance, new computers or other common household expenses.
Contact your employer’s HR or Benefits office for details on your specific benefits! Don’t forget to also check the benefits of other’s in your household. Many times benefits are available to the household of the employees, not just the employees.
Extra benefits from the services you are already using
You may be using your cell phone for video calls more than ever right now, but these paid services sometimes give us small saving opportunities too. As you are paying your cell phone bill this month, look into what benefits they provide. T-Mobile & Sprint have “T-Mobile Tuesdays” a program that sends coupons to your e-mail inbox every…you guessed it, Tuesday! Some cell phone companies will offer you free subscriptions to Hulu, Spotify, or other streaming services.
Prior to COVID-19, your credit card points may have gone towards travel or other pandemic-affected activities. Your credit card company may now be offering more options for what to put those credit card points toward. You may now have options for gift cards or a DoorDash subscription.
University Related Benefits
If you are associated with a university, either you currently attend or you’ve graduated from that place, there could be free webinars to attend online or special discounts on insurance. As an alumni from a university, many career services offices offer free career counseling or resume help. This resource is typically available from the time you start your college experience until you no longer need their assistance.
Benefits available to everyone!
If you are not using your local grocery store or pharmacy’s app or loyalty program, we highly recommend signing up before your next shopping trip. Saving money on groceries can go a long way in limiting our everyday costs. Coupons aren’t just for the grocery store! Online, you can find a coupon for almost any product you are on the hunt for. Either through a browser extension, like Honey, or through a quick Google search, you can find discounts that may not already be applied to the things you are shopping for online.
Use Your Benefits
Being able to save money on services and products you are already buying can be one way to save money on our everyday costs. Use this list as a good start to finding more of the benefits available to you!